Private Property Car Accident
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Private Property Car Accident

Private Property Car Accident

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Private Property Car Accident

Most people do not know what to do when involved in a car accident on private property. Some do not even realize that these accidents are quite different from those on public roads. However, the most important thing to note is that you may be eligible for compensation even if injured in a car accident on private property.

However, to do this, you will need the help of an experienced car accident attorney. At Morgan and Morgan, we have handled countless car accident cases, including those on private property. With over $13 billion recovered and still counting, we might be able to help you or your loved one secure the compensation they need and deserve.

Fill out our free case evaluation form to find out whether your claim is valid.

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FAQ

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  • What Are Some Common Causes of Car Accidents on Private Property?

    Car accidents on private property happen due to many reasons. The most common include:

    Distracted Driving

    The speed limit on private property is usually much lower than on public roads. For this reason, some drivers do not pay attention to their surroundings when driving on private property. Unfortunately, such distractions could lead to tragedy in a split second.

    Impaired Driving

    Some drivers do not care about traffic rules when driving on private property. This is because the state does not usually enforce such rules on private property. As a result, such drivers are never concerned about being arrested for impaired driving on private property because the police will not just show up on such property unless they have a valid reason to do so.

    Poorly Maintained Road Designs

    Since the state is not usually responsible for constructing roads on private property, the responsibility of putting up road signs rests on the property owners. Failure to put up or maintain these signs increases the risk of accidents.

    Speeding

    Some drivers speed on private property because they have a higher chance of getting away with it than when they attempt to do the same on public property. Unfortunately, this puts everyone’s lives in danger, including kids.

  • What Are Some Common Injuries Caused by Car Accidents on Private Property?

    Car accidents on private property can cause serious injuries. This is despite the fact that you do not expect heavy crashes in such an environment. Contrary to popular belief, many people get injured while driving at low speeds.

    Some common accidents on private property include:

    • Whiplash
    • Soft tissue injuries
    • Fractures
    • Concussions
  • How Are Car Accidents on Private Property Different From Similar Accidents on Public Property?

    Some key differences between private and public property when it comes to car accidents include:

    It Is Difficult but Not Impossible to Determine Liability

    To receive compensation for your injuries, you must identify the responsible party. However, the burden of proof is usually heavier when you get injured in a car accident on private property.

    Take, for example, an accident that involves two drivers on a narrow road. In such an accident, establishing the party at fault may be difficult but not impossible. Either driver could be at fault for various reasons. For example, if Driver A was speeding and failed to navigate a quick turn, crashing into Driver B, the former might be held responsible.

    But what if the whole accident could have been avoided had the property owner put up clear signs warning the drivers of the narrow road ahead? Or, what if the property owner knew or should have known that the narrow road needed expansion, but they did not do that?

    These are just examples of different scenarios that could make it difficult to determine liability.

    Suppose the same accident occurred on a public road. In that case, most states are usually immune from such lawsuits. In addition, states that allow such claims require the injured to file within a very short period of time.

    Police Officers Cannot Write Accident Reports

    You probably know the importance of involving a police officer if injured in a car accident. Under normal circumstances, the officer writes a report detailing the events that led to the accident and who they believe is at fault. This report also contains crucial information, such as the name and contacts of those involved, including any witnesses.

    But when you are involved in a car accident and decide to call the police, they might not be able to write an accident report. This is because they may not have the jurisdiction to write such reports on accidents that occur on private property.

    However, that also does not mean that the officer cannot help. Although they might not be able to write an accident report, which is usually more detailed, the responding officer can write an incident report. The report summarizes everything that happened and the reason the officers arrived at the accident scene.

    You can then use this report to prove your case against the other party if they caused the accident.

    Private Property Usually Have Different Rules

    The rules that apply to public property, such as state roads, are different from those that apply to private property. Take, for example, engineering standards when constructing public facilities such as roads, parks, parking lots, etc. These projects must meet certain strict construction and engineering criteria as the state requires.

    On the other hand, private properties do not have to abide by these rules. For example, many car accidents on private property usually occur at parking garages. This is because some of these garages are poorly designed. Some have unreasonably small parking spots to save space and accommodate as many vehicles as possible.

    A good example is a parking garage business. The more parking spots available, the more money the business owner makes a day. For this reason, some of these parking garages might have unreasonably small parking spots and other poor designs you would not encounter in state facilities. But private properties cannot get in trouble with the state for that because whatever they do with their personal property is their own business.

  • Who Is Responsible for the Accident?

    As discussed earlier, it is not always easy to tell who is responsible for a car accident on private property, especially without further investigations. The truth is that these accidents are complex, even if they seem straightforward on paper.

    In most cases, the driver or property owner can be held responsible for the accident on private property.

    Here is why:

    The Other Driver

    It is the driver’s duty to drive safely and not put other drivers, including pedestrians, in danger. For example, when driving on private property, such as a gated community, you expect drivers to observe the speed limit. You do not expect them to drive as they would on a freeway.

    But that is not always the case.

    Since private roads are usually less crowded than public roads, some drivers take advantage of the relaxed laws and low traffic to drive recklessly. Some even race each other on these roads, putting everyone in danger. In that case, they can be held responsible for their negligence if they cause accidents on such roads.

    The Property Owner

    Although the property owner might not be directly involved in the accident, they still owe drivers, passengers, and pedestrians using these roads a certain duty of care. For example, as mentioned earlier, you expect private property owners to put up signs warning drivers of certain road conditions, such as a sharp turn ahead, a stop sign, etc. These simple but often overlooked steps make a huge difference.

    In addition, even though private property owners can design their property as they wish, just as long as they do not violate any local codes, they can still be held responsible for accidents caused by poor design. For example, a poorly designed parking garage can lead to serious accidents and even death. Say, for example, a parking garage lacks proper signs for drivers, leading to head-on collisions. Such accidents can cause serious injuries.

    But because you would expect a parking garage to have clear signs to direct traffic in and out of the building, you can hold the property owner responsible for failing to set up these signs. This is despite the fact that the state has no jurisdiction over how a private property owner decides to design their garage.

    The bottom line is that a lack of jurisdiction is not an excuse for negligence.

  • What Should I Do if Injured in an Accident on Private Property?

    Here are some quick steps to follow if you have been injured in an accident on private property.

    Contact the Police

    Although police officers might not have the jurisdiction to write an accident report when they arrive at the scene, a simple incident report could be all you need to prove your case. For this reason, make sure you obtain a copy of the report for future reference.

    Seek Medical Attention

    Get checked by a professional doctor even if you do not feel pain or discomfort after the accident. Remember to request an ambulance if you suffer serious injuries.

    When you call 911, the police officer responding to the accident scene can also request an ambulance if they believe you need urgent medical attention.

    Gather Evidence

    If possible, gather crucial evidence from the accident scene. This does not necessarily mean playing the role of a detective. You will likely not have the time or energy for that. Instead, you may take pictures or videos of the accident scene, check whether there are any surveillance cameras around, note their location, etc.

    Contact an Attorney

    You may be tempted to contact the insurance company before speaking with the attorney. Unfortunately, that is not always a good idea. Insurance companies usually play games you may not be aware of until it is too late. For this reason, you need someone who will be on your side from the beginning to the end. Specifically, you need to speak with a seasoned car accident attorney for further legal guidance.

  • What Damages Can I Recover?

    The kind of damages you may be able to recover will depend on the unique circumstances of your case. In the past, victims of car accidents on private property have been able to recover the following damages:

    • Current and future medical expenses
    • Loss of current and future earning potential
    • Pain and suffering
  • How Can a Car Accident Attorney Help?

    By now, you probably realize that car accident claims are complex. Things are even more complicated when these accidents occur on private property. If you or your loved one has been injured in a car accident, hiring an experienced attorney significantly increases your chances of obtaining favorable results when you file a claim or lawsuit against the other party.

    Specifically, a skilled attorney can:

    • Evaluate your case to determine whether you have a valid reason to file a claim
    • Review available evidence to determine whether it is strong enough to prove your case
    • Gather additional evidence if required
    • Assess the damages you suffered due to the accident
    • Identify the party at fault for the accident
    • File a car accident claim on your behalf
    • Negotiate with the other party for a reasonable settlement
    • File a car accident lawsuit if the other party refuses to settle the claim out of court
    • Help you prepare for complex legal processes

    Although hiring an attorney if injured in a car accident on private property is important, you should not go for just any attorney or law firm you come across. That would be as good as not having an attorney at all.

    Instead, choose a firm with a proven history of winning such cases. In addition, you need compassionate attorneys who understand your pain and have the resources to fight for you. If that is what you are looking for, look no further than Morgan and Morgan, the largest personal injury firm in the United States.

  • Morgan and Morgan Will Fight for You So You Won't Have To

    Not sure whether you have a valid claim? Fill out our free case evaluation form to have your case reviewed by an experienced private property car accident attorney.

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