What are my rights if my vehicle was damaged in the parking lot at work?

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What are my rights if my vehicle was damaged in the parking lot at work?

We had a big storm come by and it blew the roof off a building close to my work and it hit my car. I don’t have insurance. Is my employer, or the other company with the missing roof, responsible?

Asked on July 29, 2015 under Accident Law, New Mexico

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Your employer is *definitely* not liable, if it wasn't their roof: your employer is not your insurer, and is only liable if and to the extent they are "at fault" in causing your loss. If it wasn't their roof, they had no control over it and could not be at fault.

The "other company with the missing roof" would be liable only if the reason the roof came off was due to their failure to make necessary repairs or perform necessary maintenance, thereby weakening the roof and making it susceptible to the windstorm. On the other hand, if a lack of repairs or maintenance was not the cause or a significant contributing factor to the roof coming off, but this was an "act of god" in that it was simply a big wind peeling off a roof when no one had done anything wrong, they would not be liable, either. They are only responsible if at fault.

This is why insurance is critical: to provide a mechanism for recovery when no one is liable for your loss.


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