Who is liable if a dumpster hit my car?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Who is liable if a dumpster hit my car?

Yesterday, my car was parked at work. There was a wind storm and a dumpster rolled into my car and caused damage. The dumpster was on wheels and the coral was wide open and it was not secured at all. I filed a claim with the trash company and they denied it because they didnt service the area that day. Then, I tried to go through the insurance of the plaza owner and he said that it was the

trash company’s fault because the dumpster is their property and wasn’tproperly secured. Who is liable and who can i get to pay for the damages on my car?

Asked on April 5, 2018 under Accident Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

There are three different issues here:
1) The first is who *might* be liable: that is whoever was responsible for securing the dumpster. If there was a "coral" for it, then whomever closes and opens it would be the one who might be liable--that is, the one who controlled dumpster and was responsible for securing it.
2) The second issue is, is that responsible person liable in this case? To prove that they are, you'd have to prove that it was unreasonably careless to not secure the dumpster, which involves showing a reasonable likelihood that the dumpster would roll and hit something if not secured. If normally, not securing the dumpster (not closing or locking the coral) would be safe, since the dumpster is so heavy and rolls with so much difficulty that it is NOT typically going anywhere, and it only rolled in this case because of an unusually strong storm, they would not be liable. They are only liable  when they fail to prevent a reasonably likely threat or risk, not when an atypical or freak occurence (e.g. a very strong storm) caused the damage.
3) Regardless of who might be liable per 1) and 2) above, do you have evidence? You, as the person suing, must be able to prove who was in charge of the dumpster and that there was a reasonable risk of damage if it was not secured. If you cannot  prove the essential elements of your case, you will not win.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption