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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 6855
Experience:  Lawyer & Real Estate Broker, 30+ years, foreclosure, land contracts, inheritance, probate.
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My question is: Who is responsible property damage in the

Customer Question

My question is: Who is responsible for the property damage in the following situation?The police were called to my home after an argument between my wife and I, and right before the police got there, I had gotten into my vehicle to leave, I made it completely off of my rental property but before I could leave the private property owned by my landlord, the police arrived and made me exit my vehicle and talk with them. Anyway while talking with the police officer, my vehicle was unattended by anyone, though the ignition was turned off on the vehicle, because it was on an incline, the emergency brake snapped and even though the vehicle was turned off and in gear, again it was on an incline and I guess in some kind of a freak accident or something - that did not stop the vehicle from rolling backwards all the way down the hill and back onto my rental home in the way of causing damage to the exterior of the home including the siding and underpinning etc. of the home as well as the front porch which leads me to the other half which is the rental property which was damaged in the way of the front porch and area (i.e. the lawn and gardening / mulching and/or rocking etc.) by mainly destroying the front porch and front porch area, which was destroyed in the way of completely uprooting the front porch (which was very poorly installed to begin with) hence why my vehicle was able to uproot the porch in the first place.So again, my question for you is - who is responsible for the property damage in this situation as I have worded and/or explained it to you? And is there a specific law that applies to this situation? And if so - then - which law is it? What is the code or numbers for that law in the state of Virginia, and in the county of Montgomery?Anyways, any help and/or answers to questions that I have would be greatly helpful and very much appreciated.Other details that I did not feel were relevant to the answering of who is liable for the property damage, but just in case I'm wrong - maybe to go ahead and answer any of your question(s) that you may have:1 - We have a 12 month lease that has been renewed for 2 additional 12 month periods
2 - We have never been late on any payment made to our landlord
3 - There is nothing specific regarding anything remotely close to this circumstance in our yearly lease
4 - They first demanded my car insurance information to start a claim with my car insurance company
5 - I declined as reporting this "freak accident" to my car insurance company was not in my best interest as my car insurance rates are already much too expensive for me
6 - That does include not reporting my vehicles damages to my car insurance company
7 - I did pay for the expenses pertaining to my vehichle damages as that was my responsibility but again it was not filed through my car insurance company in any way nor will I even consider doing so because of the rise in premiums it will inevitably cause
8 - They are requesting/suggesting that we pay to fix the damage irregardless of fault
9 - Fault of any kind was not decided or reported by the police in any way, shape, or form
10 - There was never an accident report ever made or created by the police in any way, shape, or form either
11 - This is all pertaining to Blacksburg, Virginia - County of Montgomery - Zip Code 24060 if that information may change the answer to my questions in any way
12 - They obviously have and are required to have insurance on property that they own, so with no accident report filed, or insurance claim filed on my part - wouldn't the responsibility then fall to the landlord or the landlord's insurance company irregardless?Again - Thank You Very Much For Your Time and For Any Help And/Or Answers That You Are Able To Provide Me Regarding This Situation - And Have A Wonderful Day - God Bless
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 5 months ago.

who is responsible for the property damage in this situation as I have worded and/or explained it to you?

This is really not a difficult question and can be answered under the general principles of law dealing with negligence. I don't like answering questions with questions, but in this case, I have to ask: Who else could be responsible for parking your car on a hill where if something malfunctioned, as it did, the property damage could occur, as it did? The law does not recognize "mere accident" or "freak accident", in cases such as the one you described. There is no doubt in my mind that any judge or jury who hears these facts would place liability on you. And you turn the matter into your insurance company, they would not have questioned where liability lies, and would have paid to repair the damage both to your car and to the home. The carrier would then make a decision as to whether or not to pursue contribution from the automobile manufacturer on the basis of a defective brake system, which they could, but the cost of doing so would exceed the damage claim.

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Expert:  Irwin Law replied 5 months ago.

Hello again. Do you have a follow-up question? I am not an employee of Just Answer and I receive credit for assisting you based on your rating. Please enter a positive rating for my assistance here by clicking on 3, 4, or 5, for which there is no additional cost to you. Thanks again for using JUST ANSWER.