Does Car Insurance Cover Car Accidents on Private Property?
Car insurance generally covers vehicle accidents on private and public property. Regardless of where you are, if there’s a collision, your insurance will cover it.
What Insurance Coverage Covers Accidents on Private Property?
Vehicle insurance pays for covered risks up to the policy limit and is subject to exclusions. This includes if you make a mistake and cause an accident on private property. If another driver is at fault, their insurance should cover your damage and any injuries.
Car accidents that occur on public streets don’t hold the state liable to the parties involved. But when it occurs on private property, the owner of the property may share some liability.
Lack of signs, poor visibility, and other factors may contribute to an accident. These could be the result of negligence on the part of the property’s owner.
Additionally, the property owner may have security footage. This footage can help drivers and their insurance providers determine who is at fault in a car accident. As a result, they may be obligated to provide any evidence.
Also, police officers usually do not issue tickets to drivers who are involved in a car accident on private property. This can make it difficult to prove negligence and should be considered when you’re involved in an accident.
Accidents that occur in parking areas often result in having drivers who refuse to acknowledge fault. The best option is to exchange information and provide it to your insurance company.
But once you have reported the accident to your insurance provider, you should take the steps to gather all of the evidence available to support your claim. This provides support for your position and ensures that you are not held at fault.
How Do the Police Handle Accidents on Private Property?
However, in an accident that happens on private property in Georgia, the police usually do not issue tickets or offer conclusions regarding which driver caused the accident. That’s because, by definition, nothing that happens on private property violates the “rules of the road.”
Still, the information gathered by a police investigation will be important evidence. If you’re injured and if the other driver was at fault, you need to take legal action to recover your expenses and damages.
Be sure that you call the police. Do not let anyone persuade you that it “won’t help” because the accident happened on private property.
What Should I Do if I’m Involved in an Accident on Private Property?
If the accident is on a public roadway, call the police. An officer should investigate the accident and create a report. If the officer finds legal violations, they may issue a ticket or arrest one or both of you. That report is usually the starting point of our, and the insurance company’s, investigation of your claim.
Unless there are injuries, the police may not respond if you call when the accident is on private property. There’s no police investigation, ticket, or arrest to help determine fault without their involvement.
Reporting the Accident
You should report accidents to your insurance provider as soon as you can. This is true even in cases where minor damage has occurred. This can be helpful in cases where you may not be immediately injured. In some cases, pain can arise days or weeks after an accident has occurred. The earlier you report the incident, the more likely you are to receive compensation for your injuries.
Determining who is liable for a car accident on private property can be difficult if you don’t know what to look for. Understanding and identifying negligence is the first step in protecting yourself.
Gathering evidence and reporting it to your insurance provider protects you in the long run. Accidents on private property may differ than those that occur on public streets.
Protecting your best interests ensures that you receive any compensation for injuries or damages so that you can recover quickly.
Proving Negligence to Support Your Claim
Car accident cases are based on negligence. A driver may be negligent if they were distracted, intoxicated, or not taking care to watch where they were going when they struck you.
What to Do After an Accident on Private Property
To develop evidence for your potential claim, photograph or video the scene. This includes damage to your vehicle and any injuries you suffered. If you’re injured, get medical attention and document your bills and doctor’s reports. You should also exchange identification and insurance information with the other driver. Get the contact information of any witnesses. Tell the property owner of the accident and get their contact information as well.
Photos or videos are crucial if the property’s owner or manager may be responsible for the accident. If your car slid because of icy pavement or water that didn’t drain or the parking lot is unlit, liability could go beyond the other driver.
Why is There Video of Most Accidents on Private Property?
It is also more likely that there will be a video record of an accident if it happens on private property. Especially in the last two decades, almost all commercial property owners have installed security cameras to monitor their parking areas.
Still, take plenty of your own photos. Take photos of the damages to the vehicles, your own injuries to the extent that they’re visible, and the overall accident scene. Photos can be persuasive evidence in these cases.
Similarly, if there were eyewitnesses to the accident, try to get their contact information. Later, your attorney may want their statements or testimony – which may also be persuasive evidence.
How Can an Attorney Help Me with a Vehicle Accident on Private Property?
One of the most essential things Essa, Janho & Associates, LLC will do is investigate your case. Video surveillance covers many parking lots and ramp garages. Additionally, many homeowners now have cameras surveilling their property, too.
Depending on the circumstances, we may access these videos to strengthen your case. We need to get involved as soon as possible before the property owners delete the video surveillance.
We know Georgia’s car accident and personal injury law. Our experienced attorneys will negotiate settlements with insurance companies and, when needed, take your case to trial. Facing an insurance company represented by a team of lawyers by yourself is a losing proposition.