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What to Know About a Car Accident on Private Property

Car accidents on private properties can be more complicated, particularly if the owner of the property fears they might be liable.

Everyone knows the drill: after a car accident, get out of the vehicle, make sure everyone’s okay, call the police, wait until they arrive, and go from there.

car accident that has occurred on private property

That’s the drill when the car accident takes place on a public road. However, what if you’re on private property? Does anything change?

What Should You Do?

The first two steps are identical. If you get into a car accident on private property, get out of the vehicle and call the authorities. Additionally, you should also notify the owner of the property or it’s representative of the accident as well.

The police will conduct an investigation of the accident, and the process will be simpler and faster if the owner or a legal representative is also present. The authorities generally do not have free access on private property so, for instance, if the owner cooperates, they can review any security footage right on the spot. Without the owner present, they would need to either wait until the evidence is sent to them or get a judge to issue a warrant if the owner is refusing to provide the footage.

Determining Liability

In car accidents on public roads, liability generally falls to one of the drivers involved in the accident. In some cases, liability can be split among multiple parties, if it is discovered more than one driver contributed to the collision.

The same principle applies to accidents on private property too, except there is an extra potential liable party, specifically the owner. Even if they were not present at the scene of the accident when it took place, if their property somehow contributed to the accident or worsened its impact, then they could also be held liable for damages.

For instance, if there is an area of private property under construction, but it was not clearly marked, and as a result an accident ensured, then the owner could be held liable. They had the responsibility of marking the area in accordance with safety regulations or at least should have made sure the team in charge of construction did so.

By reviewing the cause of the accident, you may be able to identify the liable party and then file a compensation claim with their insurance company. It’s best to do this after speaking with a St. Louis car accident lawyer so you fully understand what you are legally entitled to.

St. Louis Car Accident Lawyers

Car accidents on private properties can be more complicated, particularly if the owner of the property fears they might be liable. Most often, they have the resources to hire lawyers and make these issues go away quickly, which may mean offering you a settlement on the spot. However, you should not take it without speaking with an experienced attorney, as it may be less than what you actually deserve.

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Updated: June 27, 2019