When you are involved in a car crash on a public road, it is standard procedure to report the car crash to the authorities. Law enforcement officers from the local, county, or state agencies then typically arrive on the crash scene and file a car crash report. An Orange County car accident attorney can later help you recover compensatory damages with the help of this report and other available evidence.
However, things get a bit complicated when you suffer a car crash on private property. For instance, if your vehicle is hit by another vehicle in a private parking area, things work differently. This is simply because the accident occurred on private property and not on a public road where police have direct jurisdiction. Here is a look at how private property car accidents differ from crashes that take place on public roads.
Common Causes of Private Property Crashes
Unlike regular accidents which may occur because of speeding, running a red light, and other such causes, crashes on private property usually occur for different reasons. Some of the most common reasons include:
Many drivers tend to be careless when they are operating a vehicle on private property. After all, what could go wrong on a private driveway or in a private parking lot? However, it is precisely this thinking that often leads to accidents. If you are adjusting the radio, drinking your coffee, or typing a text while driving, you can easily miss another vehicle on the road. This could lead to a car crash.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is another leading cause of crashes, both on public roads and on private property. This is particularly so at such occasions when a party or celebration may have been arranged at a home or another private property. The guests may leave intoxicated which could result in crashes caused by impaired driving.
In many cases, a car accident can result in property liability claims when the crash is a result of poor design or safety on the part of the owner. For instance, poor road conditions such as potholes can cause a crash. Likewise, failure to negotiate an exceptionally narrow or dangerous turn in the driveway or private road can also result in an accident.
Sometimes, aggressive behavior on the part of other drivers can cause a crash on private property. For instance, if another driver tailgates your vehicle, this may lead to a collision between the two vehicles.
Who Is Liable in Private Property Crashes?
The issue of liability is of primary importance in all personal injury claims. This also applies to private property accidents in Orange County. You will need to determine who is liable for the crash before you can file a claim for damages. Potentially liable parties include:
The owner of the property can be held liable when a crash occurs due to an on-premises condition. For instance, if a crash occurs due to potholes on the road, lack of road signs, poorly designed turns and corners, or any other property element that increases the risk for the driver, you can hold the owner liable. However, you will need to clearly show that the on-premises condition was directly responsible for causing your accident.
As noted above, private property crashes can often occur at parties and gatherings. If another driver was tailgating you, driving recklessly, or driving drunk and caused the crash, you can hold the driver liable for damages.
Filing Private Property Crash Claims
Before you can file a claim for damages for a crash on a private property, you must report the accident. The local police will likely not come on a private property to file a crash report as they don’t have jurisdiction. You can still call in the crash so that it goes on the record. You can also report the crash to the property owner, or any security guard or security company on the premises.
How Can an Orange County Accident Attorney Help?
If you have suffered losses in a private property wreck in Orange County, we can help you. Here at the Crockett Law Group, we understand that liability in private property accidents can be complicated. This is why we work with you to thoroughly investigate a crash, identify the liable party, and file a claim for damages. We also negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf to make sure your losses are fully covered. Reach out to us today to discuss your car crash claim with our lawyers.