If you were recently in a car accident on private property, you may be wondering how your accident’s location can affect your settlement.
Accidents on private property can bring up questions such as whether the property owner has any liability for your accident. Here, we will discuss private property accident laws and some things you should know if you were in a car accident on private property.
What Counts as Private Property?
Private property is any property that is owned by an entity other than a government entity. Unless your accident occurred on a public road or on government property, it occurred on private property. For example accidents in the parking lots of stores or restaurants are usually private property car accidents.
Can the Property Owner Be Liable for Damages?
In some private property car accidents, the owner of the property on which the accident occurred may share some liability. If the property had inadequate signage, objects obstructing drivers’ views, or other hazardous conditions, the property owner may be partially at fault for the accident. Taking photos or recording details about the accident scene as soon as possible can help you prove property owner liability.
Even if you do not think that the property was unsafe, you should inform the property owner of the accident. Auto accidents on private property are often recorded by security cameras installed on the property. This footage can be useful for establishing fault in an insurance claim or lawsuit for your accident. If you immediately report the accident to the property owner, security staff on the premises may make an incident report that can also provide useful evidence for your claim. An attorney can help you make a formal request for video footage or other evidence in the property owner’s possession.
Should I Still Report the Accident?
Georgia police are sometimes reluctant to complete reports for accidents on private property unless an injury occurred or criminal conduct such as drunk driving caused the accident. You can still call the police to the scene of a car accident on private property and request a report. If the police will not make a report on your accident, you should create a personal accident report.
You can find personal accident report forms online. These forms ask you for information such as:
- The time and date of the accident;
- The location of the accident;
- Information about vehicles involved in the crash, including year, make, and license plate number;
- Information about any drivers involved in the crash, including address, birth date, and driver license number; and
- A description of any damage.
You should not file this form with the Georgia Department of Transportation. Your personal accident report provides information about the accident to your insurance company. This will be useful if you want to file an insurance claim regarding the accident. You should fill out a personal accident report as soon as possible after an auto accident on private property. Recording the details of the accident while they are still fresh in your mind can benefit your case if you decide to file an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Should I Hire a Lawyer If I was in an Auto Accident on Private Property?
Proving fault can be especially difficult in a private property auto accident because police will not usually issue a citation. Police citations are important evidence for establishing fault in car accidents that occur on public roads. An experienced auto accident lawyer can help you establish fault based on the details of your auto accident.
The attorneys at Pritchard Injury Firm are familiar with Georgia private property accident laws and will communicate with you throughout your case to help you receive a fair settlement. Contact an experienced car accident lawyer at the Pritchard Injury Firm today.