What If I Am in a Car Accident on Private Property in Illinois
We all know that when a car accident occurs on a public road, you first need to call the medics if it’s bad. Next, report the accident to the police, exchange insurance information with the other driver, and document the accident scene. But what happens if this accident occurs on private property?
To be honest, any type of car accident can be tricky and need careful documentation. But when involved in a car accident on private property, many things change, which can complicate matters. It can be a frustrating and even stressful time, but a Southern Illinois Car accident attorney experienced in such cases can offer you the legal guidance you need.
Who Should I Report the Car Accident to?
Even though the car accident occurred when you were backing out of a parking spot, or in the parking lot of an apartment complex, or any other private property, you still need to report the accident to the police.
Unlike regular accidents on public roads, the police may not be too eager to get involved in a car accident on private property because of jurisdiction issues. Once you report it to the authorities, inform your car accident attorney in Mt Vernon, IL, for advice.
You should also report your Illinois car accident to your insurance provider as soon as possible. Even when the damage is minor, you should still notify them depending on your insurance agreement and because of injuries that may show up later.
Will The Police Write an Accident Report?
Sometimes the police may even fail to show up at the scene because the accident is on private property – and more especially if there are no serious injuries and the accident is minor. Because they can’t issue citations or determine fault in such cases, they might not fill out an official police report.
Nonetheless, they might simply document the scene and note any details of interest. Most insurers will be reluctant to pay a claim for a car accident on private property if there is no police report. If you find yourself without an official police report, contact your insurance company – they can share information on what to do.
If possible, politely but firmly keep requesting the officer for an official police report. Sometimes an experienced Mt Vernon car accident attorney may also help you with the police and your insurer.
Should I Inform the Property Owner?
You should contact the property owner too. Even when the accident has nothing to do with them and isn’t their fault, you should still inform them that an accident just happened on their property. If there are security personnel assigned around the incident area, you should notify them, and they can write a report of the incident. You can request a copy of the report and share it with your insurer.
It’s important to note that sometimes the property owner may be at fault. But the chief reason for notifying them is for assistance. They may have cameras around which can be used as evidence. They can also provide statements that will be key when establishing fault and pursuing damages.
Who May Be Liable for a Car Accident on Private Property?
When establishing liability, you have to prove that the at-fault party owed you a duty of care and breached it by acting negligently. Here, negligence will be the same as that which occurs on public property.
Sometimes establishing that a person acted carelessly or violated some laws is hard to prove on a privately owned property. You need to show negligence, but at the same time required not to apply laws used on public roads. These parties might be at fault:
A driver may be entirely at fault in a private property car accident in Mt Vernon. For instance, a driver who’s tailgating before hitting a car in front of it or a driver who violates a right of way within a parking lot.
Sometimes the two parties involved in the accident can be at fault.
While the state cannot be held liable for accidents occurring in public areas, the case is different on private property. For example, an accident may happen in a parking garage due to poor signage or poor construction and assign fault to the garage owner.
Get in touch with a skilled Mt Vernon personal injury lawyer to review your claim’s details and determine who was at fault in your Mt Vernon car accident.
How Do I Prove Fault?
You will still use the Illinois Rules of Evidence to prove a car accident on private property. Eye witness testimonies and testimonies of the accident participants are all critical. Physical evidence like tire marks and photos of the scene will also play an important role.
Because of the nature of these accidents, there’s likely to be video footage of the accident, which may not be present in other auto accidents. But sometimes, the property owner may decline to release security footage if they feel they will contribute to the settlement. But if they think they have little liability, they are often happy to be involved in such disputes and provide such pieces of evidence.
What If It Was a Hit and Run Accident?
Parking lot hit and runs are the most common type of car accidents on private property. As is often the case, one party may cause a car accident while the other party is absent from the scene. If such happens, the property owner may be dragged into the investigations because of the information in their possession – security footage and witnesses. The parking lot owner may have liability under the premises liability policy. You can also pursue payout from your own policy’s uninsured liability coverage.
A Legal Professional Protecting Your Best Interests
If you were involved in a car accident on private property, it’s crucial to move with speed and protect your best interests. Protecting your rights will allow you receive compensation for damages and injuries. Since your insurance will likely shortchange you, you need a knowledgeable Illinois personal injury attorney to help you maximize compensation.
When pursuing this type of claim, you need a lawyer in Southern Illinois who understands the rules that apply in a private property car accident. Talk to the skilled lawyers at Olson & Reeves to learn your legal options.
Call us on (618) 316-7322 or email us at email@example.com to get started.