Who is responsable for the damage?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Who is responsable for the damage?

Last week my car was parked in my employers parking lot. The property is owned by them. During my shift a steel garbage can that was outside the building got blown around by some high winds and was blown into the side of my car causing damage. I asked the HR dept what I needed to do to get the damage fixed and they said that the company was not responsible for the damage and that that is why I have insurance. I think the company is responsible, it was their garbage can unsecured on their property. Why should I have to pay my deductible and risk an increase in my premiums when like I said it was their unsecured can on their property and my car was in a designated parking spot.

Asked on January 13, 2017 under Accident Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You admit it was due "high winds": your employer is not responsible for high winds, which are not under its control. There is no general obligation to secure garbage cans--as you undoubtedly see from homes and businesses all around you, the majority, if not vast majority, are unsecured, and it is not considered negligent, or unreasonably careless, to not secure them. Since it was not negligent to not secure the can, and since your employer is not responsible for the high winds, the employer is not liable for the damage. The HR department appears to be correct: legally, this is not their problem, it is--unfortunately--yours.

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