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What Happens if You Hit An Illegally Parked Car?

What Happens if You Hit An Illegally Parked Car?

Car wrecks happen with surprising frequency. According to the National Safety Council, over 13,000 people a day in the United States suffer harm in car crashes. If you hit an illegally parked Car and are in trouble then discuss your case from our experienced lawyer at Joel Biber law firm. If you are involved in a accident that results in property damage, injury, or death, you often have a claim for compensation you can pursue against the person responsible for the crash. Let’s learn what happens if you hit an illegally parked car

Despite the frequency of collisions, legal liability is not always apparent. Some of the most heated litigation follows car crashes where both parties bear some blame for the crash. If both parties in a collision committed unreasonably careless acts, what happens next may depend on the skill of your car accident attorney.


Negligence Includes Violations of the Law


The heart of any car accident insurance claim or court case is negligence. Any action that a reasonably careful individual would not commit is considered to be negligent. This definition covers unreasonably dangerous actions like speeding, driving while texting, and driving drunk.

If you caused a car accident because of these or similar actions, you might be responsible for paying damages to the injured party.

Violating the law is also a negligent act. Law violations are negligent because no reasonable person would break the law, including parking laws. Thus, a driver who parks their car in violation of the law has also potentially committed a negligent act. The car’s owner may share legal responsibility if this law violation contributes to the crash.

Examples of Illegal Parking


Every state has laws on the books that regulate how drivers must park their cars in public places. Violating these laws is typically a nonmoving traffic violation that results in a fine. Examples of illegal parking include the following:

Parking Too Far from the Curb


Drivers should park their cars, motorcycles, and other motor vehicles just a short distance from the curb. While the vehicle tires do not have to be touching the curb, state traffic laws require drivers to park their vehicles close to the curb if parking on the street.

The required distance varies from state to state — in North Carolina, the vehicle’s tires must be within 18 inches of the curb.

Parking in Restricted Parking Zones


Certain parking spots on the street and in parking lots are for specific drivers or vehicles. For example, you cannot park in a place designated for handicapped drivers unless you have a special permit. Laws also define areas of roadways, such as areas close to intersections, as no parking zones.

Registration Violations


Parking a vehicle in a public place can also be illegal if that vehicle is not registered. While some jurisdictions allow you to park an unregistered car in specific locations for a short time, many cities and states prohibit long-term parking of unregistered vehicles.

How Illegal Parking Affects Car Crash Lawsuits


What happens if you hit an illegally parked car will largely depend on the type of parking violation involved. If the other vehicle’s driver parked too far from the curb or was blocking an intersection, that may play a much more significant role in causing your crash than if the other vehicle had expired tags.

The more the car’s illegal parking interferes with the movement of regular traffic, the more that driver’s negligence will play a part in determining who is at fault for any crash.

In addition to the type of parking violation the car’s owner committed, other circumstances are relevant to the question of liability for damages. These include the following:

  • The time of day and weather conditions
  • Visibility and lighting conditions at the scene of the crash
  • How long the illegally parked vehicle had been present
  • Other road conditions that could have played a role in causing the crash

While a parking violation might play a part in causing an accident or making one more likely, it would be rare for illegal parking to be the primary cause of a crash.

When Two or More Drivers Are Negligent


When you and another driver are both negligent in some way, it becomes the duty of the insurance companies or the court to decide what percentage of fault is attributable to the illegal parking.

If the illegally parked vehicle is part of why the accident occurred, this determination could affect the legal rights of the owner of the unlawfully parked vehicle.

In some states, a person who is even partly to blame for a crash is not able to recover any compensation for their injuries or losses. Virginia and North Carolina are two of the four states that follow this rule.

In other states, as long as a person is not the predominant cause of the crash, that person can recover monetary compensation for property damage and other losses. Any recovery, though, would be reduced in proportion to the amount of fault attributable to them.

In yet other states, even a driver who is primarily responsible for causing a crash can recover monetary damages from another party. Here too, though, the court or insurance companies would reduce the compensation received in proportion to the amount of fault attributable to that person.

What Happens if You Hit an Illegally Parked Car? It Depends on the Facts of Your Case


Whether you can recover compensation for hitting an illegally parked car depends on your state’s laws and the specific circumstances of your case. In states like Virginia and North Carolina, you may not be successful in recovering any compensation, whether you owned the illegally parked vehicle or were the one who struck the car.

Who Is Responsible If You Hit An Illegally Parked Car


If you accidentally collide with an illegally parked car, the responsibility for the accident typically lies with the driver who was moving at the time of the incident. Regardless of the other vehicle’s parking status, drivers are expected to exercise due care and caution to avoid collisions.

Contact The Joel Bieber Firm for assistance if you are concerned about what happens if you hit an illegally parked car. Our car accident lawyers are well-versed in state laws, and we will do everything possible to maximize your recovery.

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