If your accident involved hitting an illegally parked car, you’re probably wondering what happens next.
Car collisions don’t always happen when two moving cars crash into each other. You can collide with parked cars, and even other stationary objects, like structures on the street, garbage bins, etc. If your accident involved hitting an illegally parked car, you’re probably wondering what happens next.
In such a case, the fault is often shared between you and the driver who parked illegally. You may be at fault for not driving carefully enough to avoid the parked car, and they may be at fault for parking illegally, putting other drivers at risk. Because these cases can get rather confusing, it would be wise to speak with a St. Louis car accident attorney to maximize your chances of receiving the compensation you are legally entitled to.
Duties of Care
To better understand who you may be both liable for the collision, we will remind you about a driver’s duties of care. This is the general requirement for any driver to act in a predictable way, practice cautious driving to avoid unexpected events like this.
You might think that it’s not your fault at all for hitting the illegally parked car, but if it can be proved that cautious driving would’ve prevented the collision, you might become part of the cause for the accident.
In the other driver’s case, it is clear that the duties of care were not applied when they parked in an illegal spot, putting other drivers or pedestrians in danger.
Shared Fault in a Car Accident
If it can be proven that you couldn’t possibly avoid the illegally parked car, even when driving cautiously, the other driver may be the only one liable for the accident. But if you were also negligent at the time of the accident – by speeding, using your cell phone, etc. – the fault will be shared.
The next steps in a car accident claim will depend on the state where this will be disputed. Missouri, for example, is a ”comparative negligence” and “pure comparative fault” state, which means that the settlement you will get depends on the proportion in which you and the other driver are at fault. For example, if you are found to be 20% at fault, your final settlement will be 20% short after calculating what should be paid for your damages.
What to Do After Hitting an Illegally Parked Car
It’s important to start gathering hard evidence from the scene, as much as possible. Take pictures of the two cars, of the parking space and surroundings, talk to witnesses and request their contact info, and call the police. The police report will weigh a lot when calculating the settlement. The next steps are going to the doctor for an evaluation and seeing a good St. Louis auto accident lawyer who can help you get the most out of the settlement dispute.