ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Have you ever been frustrated that you cannot find a parking spot, and yet another car thought it was okay to park illegally?
Not only is illegal to park where it is not indicated to, but it can also be dangerous for other cars on the road. Drivers might be wondering, then, if they can get in trouble for possibly hitting these cars that are not parked where they are supposed to be.
As it turns out, it depends on the situation, according to Injury Experts.
Responsibility for these instances tend to fall on the driver that hit the parked car. However, there are circumstances where the owner of the illegally parked car can be found at fault.
“Anytime there’s a violation of a statute such as a parking ban, it can be regarded as negligence per se,” said Tom Merriman, managing partner of Merriman Legal. “It’s the causality that’s most often the determining factor.”
For example, cars cannot park in front of fire hydrants, as firefighters need quick access to them if a situation arises. This type of ban does not exist for the safety of other cars driving. In this instance, the driver of the car would be found liable.
However, the owner of the parked car would be liable if the location where they parked could compromise other drivers’ ability to avoid a collision. If a car is parked around a blind turn, for example, then the car’s owner put other drivers in danger of getting into a head-on collision.
Residents that do end up hitting a parked car should attempt to find the owner or leave a note. Even if the other car is at fault, leaving the scene without leaving word could be considered a hit-and-run.
They should also gather evidence of the damage and to document that the car they hit was indeed parked illegally. Having a picture of the illegally parked car would prove to law enforcement that the driver could not safely avoid the accident.