I damaged my neighbors reataining wall with my car.Who pays for damage?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2018

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UPDATED: Oct 2, 2018Fact Checked

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I damaged a neighbors retaining wall backing up out of driveway. Who is responsible?

Asked October 2, 2018

1 Answer

Whenever you damage another person's property, you're responsible for paying for the repairs. It doesn't matter if it was an accident. You damaged their property.

If you don't tell the neighbor that you were the one who damaged the retaining wall and they can prove that you did it, you risk a lot of legal consequences. Leaving the scene of an accident involving property instead of another vehicle and driver is referred to as hit-and-run property damage. You don't mention whether you told the neighbor or not. If you drove away without even leaving a note, you should immediately speak with your insurer and a Georgia automobile accident lawyer to find out the best way to approach this situation. It's important that you find a way to make it clear that you weren't aware of the hit-and-run aspect of leaving the scene of property damage caused by a motor vehicle.

Your insurer or lawyer might advise you to contact police before contacting the owner so that you're the one reporting the accident instead, which looks better than a standard hit-and-run. Keep in mind that if you don't report the accident, you're also forcing the owner of the property to use their own money, such as their savings or home insurance, to pay for repairs. Depending on their policy and the number of their past claims, their insurance premiums might increase because of your actions. Again, they might also find out that you caused the damage, which would lead to you facing serious legal and driving privilege complications.

It's also important to note that your insurer might pay for the repairs. Property damage of $25,000 is included in the minimum coverage for Georgia. Typically, an insurer sends an inspector to evaluate the damage. They speak with the property owner and possibly a bank if there's a mortgage. Afterward, they reach an agreement on the cost of repairs and cut a check to the property owner, bank or a contractor.

Answered October 4, 2018 by FirstLight

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