Does Insurance Cover an Auto Accident on Private Property in Minnesota?
Do you know your rights after a car crash on private property? Can you file a claim just like you would after a collision on public property? Could the private property owner be held liable?
If you were injured in a crash on private property in the Bloomington area, TSR Injury Law may be able to help you. Our law firm has been working with crash victims for decades, helping them secure compensation for their medical costs and other damages. The initial consultation with an experienced Bloomington vehicle accident lawyer is free, and we are not paid unless you receive compensation.
Below, we discuss some of the things you need to know about private property car crashes and your rights as a victim.
We are ready to take your call. Phone: (612) TSR-TIME.
Common Types of Private Property Car Crashes
There are many different types of car accidents that could happen on private property in Minnesota. These are some of the most common types:
Collisions Caused by Unsafe Road Conditions
Potholes and damaged roads can cause you to lose control of your vehicle, causing a crash with another vehicle or a fixed object, like a road sign, tree or construction barricade.
Crashes With Drivers Backing Out of Parking Spaces
There are many reasons why crashes happen in parking lots. One of the most common is reckless driving while a car is backing out of a parking space. For example, the driver of the car that is backing out may have failed to look before backing up. An accident may also be caused if the driver in the through lane attempts to pass another vehicle backing out of a parking space.
Crashes in Fields or Other Temporary Parking Areas
When you go to concerts, fairs or other events, you may need to park in a field which can be confusing in these locations. Drivers may not know where they are supposed to go, and they may be distracted while they are trying to figure it out.
Crashes on Gravel or Dirt Roads
It can be much harder to handle your vehicle on a gravel or dirt, as opposed to a paved roadway. Unfortunately, drivers may skid or lose control because they are either unfamiliar with driving on gravel or they failed to take precautions while driving on these types of roads.
Crashes in Parking Garages or Narrow Roadways
Parking garages often have narrow through lanes, which makes it hard to safely accommodate two-way traffic. This can make it hard to avoid a head-on collision with another car. Drivers often speed in parking garages, giving you less time to react to avoid a collision, particularly around blind corners.
What Are the Differences Between Collisions on Public and Private Property?
For the most part, private property car crashes are the same as car crashes that happen on public roads. Those involved may suffer injuries and they may also have vehicle damage that needs to be repaired.
That said, there are some key differences between public and private property crashes.
Speed of the Accident
Many private property collisions happen while vehicles are traveling at relatively slow speeds. This is partly because the speed limit on private property is lower than the speed limit on public roads. Drivers may be looking for a parking space or be unsure of where they are going, which often leads to traveling at a slower speed.
However, serious injuries can still occur in crashes that happen at slower speeds. You should never assume the pain or discomfort you feel will go away on its own. You should always seek medical care after a crash. You could be suffering from:
- Damage to the soft tissues around your joints
- Broken bones
- Dislocated bones/joints
- Traumatic brain injury, even if you never lost consciousness
Fault for the Crash
Drivers are often the ones held liable for vehicle crashes. However, sometimes other factors may play a role in a private property collision. If the condition of the road contributed to the collision, the property owner may be at fault.
Property owners have a duty of care to everyone who comes onto their property legally. Generally, property owners need to take reasonable action to avoid putting visitors in an unreasonable amount of danger. If it was reasonable to expect a road condition or other hazard to be fixed or blocked off, the property owner may be liable if the condition causes an accident.
For example, if your crash was caused by a blind corner in a parking garage, the property owner may be liable for the negligent design of the garage. If there were dangerous potholes on a private road and driving over one caused a crash, the property owner may be liable for failing to fill these holes.
Private property owners have the right to set the rules of the road. If they set the speed limit too high, they may be increasing the risk of a crash.
If there is a blind corner, it may be reasonable to put in a light that will blink when the road is clear. Without such a light, it may be almost impossible to judge if you have enough time to make the turn before approaching cars.
What Steps Should I Take After a Car Accident on Private Property?
You should take the same steps you would take after a crash on a public road or highway.
1. Call 9-1-1
Always call 9-1-1 after a crash. The officers investigating the crash will write a report which serves as one of the first official records of what happened. Without a police report the insurance company may say you were injured by something besides the crash. Even if you did not call the police while you were at the scene, you should call them after the fact.
The report contains the other driver’s insurance and contact information and may also contain the officer’s assessment of fault for the collision.
2. Exchange Information With the Other Driver
While you are waiting for the police to arrive, exchange information with the other driver, including:
- Contact information
- License plate number
- Driver’s license number
- Insurance information
It may be easier to simply take pictures of these documents.
Depending on where the collision occurred, the property owner may be nearby. If so, ask for this person’s contact information.
3. Gather Evidence at the Scene
Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may be able to collect evidence. For example, you could take pictures of both vehicles and record everything you recall from the crash. Make sure you are not putting yourself in harm’s way by staying out of the street and avoiding areas with passing traffic.
There may be security cameras that captured the collision. If you see any cameras, be sure to take pictures of them.
4. Go to the Hospital
It is a bad idea to wait to seek treatment. If you wait to seek treatment your injuries may worsen significantly. You are also making it harder to obtain compensation. Insurance companies may get suspicious about the gap between the crash and when you sought treatment and can use this timeline to bolster their case against you.
Why You Need an Experienced Attorney
There are numerous benefits to hiring an experienced attorney to help you with your car crash claim, including:
- Comprehensively investigating what happened
- Obtaining video footage of the collision if it exists
- Determining if the property owner may be liable
- Reviewing available insurance coverage
- Negotiating with the insurance company for fair compensation
- Filing a lawsuit, if necessary
- And more
If you have any questions about the benefit of an experienced law firm after a car accident, we are available to answer your legal questions.
TSR Injury Law is Here to Help. Call Today
Car insurance companies are always looking for some way to get out of paying fair compensation to crash victims. That is why victims need experienced legal assistance.
TSR Injury Law has obtained more than $1 billion on behalf of our clients. We have successfully taken on powerful insurance companies and obtained favorable results for our clients.
No upfront fees or legal obligations. Call (612) TSR-TIME.