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Michael J. Duber and Brandon T. Duber

Can I recover damages if a parked car caused my accident?

Oct 21, 2022 |

You probably know that if you are in a car accident caused by another driver, you have a right to recover compensation though a personal injury action. But what if an illegally parked car causes your accident? Can you recover damages if there was no driver?

The answer is yes, you can receive compensation even if there was no one driving the illegally parked car at the time of your car accident.

How illegally parked cars cause accidents

Illegally parked cars can cause accidents in various ways. They can block proper views of the road or signs, such as stop signs, which can cause a collision between two vehicles.

Sometimes illegally parked cars jut out into the road, interrupting the flow of two-way traffic and effectively turning a two-lane road into a one-lane road. You may collide with another vehicle while attempting to move around the parked car.

Drivers can also stop their car in the middle of a road and get out to take care of something, such as retrieve an item that fell out of the vehicle. This is illegal and can cause a serious accident if other cars must suddenly brake to avoid the vehicle.

Ohio’s comparative negligence law

While you can file a personal injury action to recover compensation for your losses after an accident caused by an illegally parked car, Ohio’s comparative negligence law will still apply.

Comparative negligence means that your damages will be reduced by your own percentage of negligence, if your own negligence contributed to the accident. If you are deemed to be 20% negligent and the driver of the parked car is deemed to be 80% negligent, your compensation will be lowered by 20%.

If your negligence is found to be 50% or higher, you cannot recover any compensation. Proving negligence can be especially difficult in cases where the other car was parked, so having a strong advocate on your side is important.