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Who’s At Fault If You Hit An Illegally Parked Car?

by Jan 11, 2022Car Accidents, Mike Miller, Personal Injury

Personal injury car accident cases can be complicated, and the answer to who is at fault isn’t always clear to both parties. When a driver hits a parked car they are usually at fault, but what happens if the other vehicle is parked illegally?

Imagine this scenario: a person is driving through the city at night. This area of town is poorly lit, and it is difficult to see parked cars. This wouldn’t be a problem if they were all legally parked along the side of the road, but one car is illegally double parked and juts out into the street. The driver doesn’t have time to maneuver their car out of the way, so they hit the other vehicle. This accident causes injuries that leave one of the parties out of work and unable to perform daily tasks without assistance. Both parties believe the other is responsible for the accident. So who’s right?

Determining Comparative Negligence

In most cases, the driver of a moving vehicle is at fault when hitting a parked car. This certainly applies to any car that is parked legally, and it may also be the case for cars that are illegally parked. If a parked car is visible to drivers, anyone who hits the car will likely be 100% at fault for the accident. However, if the car is illegally parked in a way that makes it difficult to see, such as in the example above, the driver may not be completely at fault for the accident.


According to Minnesota’s negligence laws, a driver who has been assigned less than 50% fault in an accident may recover compensation. This is more likely with the assistance of a Minnesota car accident attorney. This means that an injured driver who hit an illegally parked car due to lack of visibility may be able to pursue a personal injury case to cover their expenses. Many of these cases occur at night when visibility is reduced and the illegally parked vehicle poses an inherent safety risk based on its location. If you were recently involved in this type of accident, we recommend speaking to Minnesota car accident lawyers right away. 

A driver or passenger in an illegally parked or idling car may also be able to recover compensation if they are determined not to be at fault. The other driver has a responsibility to alter their vehicle’s path to avoid an accident, especially if your car was clearly visible. You should not be held financially responsible for your medical bills and other expenses if they were caused by a negligent driver. If you were in an illegally parked car and a distracted driver hit you, causing injuries, speak to a Minnesota car accident law firm about your options before you negotiate with insurance or accept fault for the accident. 

Car Accident Attorneys in Minnesota

Sieben Edmunds Miller’s attorneys understand comparative negligence and personal injury cases. We work with clients in Minnesota and Wisconsin who have been injured in a car accident and are struggling financially as a result. Our lawyers handle everything from simple claims to the most complex cases. While an attempt to settle your case before proceeding to a trial may be optimal, we prepare every case thoroughly and aggressively as though it will end up before a judge or jury. At all times, what’s in your best interest is foremost in our pursuit of what’s financially fair for you.

Contact our car accident attorneys to discuss your case and get started.

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