Who is responsible for paying for my vehicle?

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Who is responsible for paying for my vehicle?

I was recently in a MVA. I hit a roll off trash dumpster that was parked on a busy city st. I believe this dumpster was parked illegally as did the several witnesses I have. One was the neighbor of the homeowner that had the dumpster delivered there, She stated that she had complained to them several times that the dumpster was put too far from the curb. Cars in the 2 lane had to go into the 1 lane to avoid it. there was no reflectors on or orange safety cones behind it. The officer on scene agreed that it was a safety hazard but was not sure of the laws pertaining to this. My daughter and I were both checked out in the ER with no injuries other than cuts bruises. However I only have liability insurance on my vehicle which is totaled. So would the homeowner that had the dumpster

delivered or the company that owns and delivered it be responsible for my vehicle?

Asked on December 9, 2017 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, neither the homeowner nor the dumpster company would be liable for the damage to your car. Forget about whether the dumpster was parked there illegally or not: that has no bearing on liability for damage. It may mean the homeowner or company could be fined for violating the relevant ordinances, but that is their concern not yours.
Liability, or who has to pay for the damage, is based on fault: that is, whose carelessness caused, entirely or mostly, the accident. That was your carelessness, unfortunately: the dumpster was a stationary object, and it is by definition careless to run into a stationary object, whether that object was a dumpster or a another vehicle which was parked or had stopped in that area. In hitting a stationary dumpster, you made yourself liable for the accident.


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