auto accident in private property/ premise liability question
Posted 08 February 2013 - 05:34 AM
I was involved in a accident where the other party has accepted 100% at fault for the accident that occurred in a shopping plaza in California. I have experienced some trauma from the accident and after replaying the accident over in my head I can't help notice that the liability may not be entirely with the other party. The other party would be partially at fault due to the rate of speed he was traveling but i truly believe the property owner of the shopping complex would also be responsible due to how the parking lot is designed. Also after talking to the business owner that is leasing one of the units out he mentioned there has been more than a dozen of accidents at the same exact location where my accident was. I currently obtained a attorney to represent me for the auto claim portion but my question is that in my situation who determines liability between the property owner of the shopping center and the third party that has already accepted liability.
Posted 08 February 2013 - 07:16 AM
You don't get any more money by having two responsible parties.
It only complicates matters and results in protracted litigation that delays settlement while both point fingers at each other.
As long as the other driver's insurance company has accepted liability, your claim is worth what it's worth, no more, no less.
Talk to your lawyer. I'll bet he knows that going after the parking lot owner is foolish.
Warning: Legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here are simplified and might not fully explain the ramifications of your particular issue. I am not a lawyer. I do not give legal advice. I make comments based on my knowledge and experience. I guarantee nothing. If you act on my comments without the advice of an attorney, you do so at your own risk.
Posted 08 February 2013 - 07:22 AM
Posted 08 February 2013 - 07:23 AM
who determines liability between the property owner of the shopping center and the third party that has already accepted liability.
Depends on how you and your attorney approach the situation. If you only pursue a claim against the driver, and if the driver or his insurer pays your claim, then any allocation of liability between the driver and the property owner will only result if the driver or his insurer seeks indemnity or contribution from the property owner. On the other hand, if you pursue a claim against both the driver and the property owner, allocation will result from either a mutually agreeable settlement or a jury's verdict.
By the way, the prior two responses seem to be based on the premise that the driver's insurance is sufficient to cover your damages or that the driver can cover any damages in excess of insurance coverage. Since you didn't give us any indication regarding your damages and we obviously don't know whether the driver even had insurance coverage (much less how much coverage he had), we're in no position to evaluate the desirability of pursuing the claim against both the driver and the property owner. I particularly don't understand the comment in "jgower's" response that seems to assume that the matter is already "settled." Just because the driver "has accepted 100%" of the liability doesn't mean he won't change his tune at some point or that his insurer won't disagree with his assessment.
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