Car accidents happen daily, but not all of them involve two moving vehicles. In fact, many incidents stem from a motorist hitting a parked car. What happens when the car that was hit was illegally parked? In that situation, New Jersey’s contributary negligence laws come into play to help determine who was at-fault and which insurance will reimburse for damages.
Examples of Illegal Parking
Before diving into the ins and outs of how contributary negligence works, it is important to define illegal parking. A car parked too close to a fire hydrant or street corner is illegally parked. The same is true of a car parked legally along a residential street but slightly blocked a driveway. Double parking is typically illegal, as is pulling over on the shoulder of a road when such actions have been clearly prohibited.
Many drivers believe that if they just put on their four-way flashers or park for a minute then they have covered their bases. However, if they are in an illegal parking zone, even one that is not necessarily marked, they are putting others in harm’s way.
Contributary Negligence and Car Crashes
After getting in an accident in New Jersey, drivers should always contact their insurance companies. Even drivers who hit illegally parked cars but cannot find the owner of the car need to call their insurance provider to make a claim. In determining which party pays for damages related to the claim, the insurance provider needs to figure out which party was most responsible to assign fault.
An illustration of this in action would be a driver who cruises around a corner and hits a car that has been illegally parked on the side of the road. The car that was hit might be completely totaled, even more so than the car that hit it, but the insurance provider may still find that the driver who parked it there was at-fault. After all, the motorist driving around the corner had no expectation that there would be an illegally parked vehicle just ahead.
If the motorist was driving while intoxicated and speeding, the insurance company might find that the motorist was at-fault. Therefore, the motorist’s claim would likely be denied.
Working with a Lawyer on a Denied Claim
Sometimes, motorists in New Jersey who run into illegally parked vehicles may be denied claims to cover property damage, medical bills, and other costs related to the crash. Rather than try to appeal to the insurance carriers alone, many individuals choose to work with an attorney. The same holds true if the motorist who hit the car suffered serious harm that required major medical attention. A car accident lawyer can help victims understand if filing a personal injury lawsuit makes sense.
Atlantic City Car Accident Lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm Assist Victims of Negligent Drivers
Hitting an illegally parked car can be more than a nuisance. It can cause serious physical harm to the occupants in the moving vehicle. If you or a loved one was injured in a car crash, call the Atlantic City car accident lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm. Schedule a free initial consultation today by calling 609-926-3300 or contact us online. Located in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, we work with clients throughout South Jersey, including Atlantic City, Linwood, Galloway Township, Cape May, Vineland, Millville, Bridgeton, Ocean City, and Woodbury.