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JHF  
#1 Posted : 20 January 2022 16:31:36(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
JHF

Hi, bit of a legal issue, if an employee drives into our car park at causes damage to another employees car, who would be liable? - the company (who owns and maintaines the car park), or is the dispute between the individuals?  Thanks.

Kate  
#2 Posted : 20 January 2022 16:42:21(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Kate

If the maintenance of or arrangements for the car park contributed to the collision then it might be that the company is partly at fault.  If it was caused purely by bad driving when parking at the end of a commute then that is nothing to do with the company.

I'd leave it to the insurers of the cars to sort out.  If they do want to go after the company, they will soon let your insurer know :-)

thanks 1 user thanked Kate for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 20/01/2022(UTC)
A Kurdziel  
#3 Posted : 20 January 2022 16:43:06(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

If it is simply a case of  an employee hitting another employee’s car and there is nothing in the company  car park that could of caused the crash, then it is simply a matter between employees, same as if they had clashed on the public highway or a supermarket car park.

 

JHF  
#4 Posted : 20 January 2022 16:48:19(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
JHF

Thanks - probably a dispute between each driver, company not involved, car park was fine.

Pirellipete  
#5 Posted : 21 January 2022 15:58:53(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Pirellipete

Hence nearly all company's have disclaimer signs in their car parks, which whilst not an ironclad Get out of jail free card, provide a high degree of protection for the company so long as no danger is created etc etc

Kate  
#6 Posted : 22 January 2022 09:39:22(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Kate

I don't believe those "You use this car park at your own risk.  The company accepts no liability" notices give any protection at all.

Either you are liable or you are not, depending on the circumstances.  The notices can't really affect this.  At most they may discourage people from making a claim.  What they wouldn't do is affect a court judgement about liability.

Accidentia  
#7 Posted : 22 January 2022 10:40:36(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Accidentia

Just to add to what has already been said. If a collision occurs in a car park, the car park occupier will only be liable if the condition of the car park influences the accident in some way.  For example, if a large pothole causes a loss of control and a vehicle negotiating it collides with other vehicles, then I would expect the car park occupier to be found partially or possibly entirely at fault.  Similar considerations apply if the car park surface has been left with thick ice for an extended period of time and a collision results, or the lighting has failed plunging one part into darkness.  Additionally, the car park operator may also be found responsible, in full or in part, if the layout of the car park does not meet with accepted standards such as those recommended by the British Parking Association etc. regarding signage and dimensions.  As always, the outcome of a case will be fact specific to the particular incident in question.

As regards disclaimer signs, it is not possible to exclude or restrict liability for death or personal injury by virtue of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977.  As far as property damage is concerned, although liability can be restricted it will only be so far as the term is reasonable in the circumstances and much will depend upon the bargaining power of the respective parties to the contract. It could be argued that the car park operator has far greater power over the control of the car park and events taking place upon it than a visitor in which case the operator would fail to restrict their liability.  Again, much would depend upon the actual nature of the wording, whether it was reasonably brought to the attention of the visitor (tiny writing on a sign 10ft. above ground level is unlikely, in my opinion, to be regarded as reasonable) or if the visitor was induced in some way to accept it (perhaps free parking for the day or a free car wash).

Whilst disclaimer notices will usually be of little legal effect, they can be a useful deterrent against claims from the ignorant.

peter gotch  
#8 Posted : 22 January 2022 11:20:54(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
peter gotch

JHF

Accidentia provides what might the model answer to an exam Q.

Very difficult to immediately conclude that there was nothing about the car park that might have been causative. I have sat in a car when the driver ended up scraping against a concrete pillar. At first sight nothing wrong with the car park, but with a little thought quite easy to see how a change in directions to traffic would have made that car park much safer.

P

Roundtuit  
#9 Posted : 22 January 2022 19:30:43(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Originally Posted by: Accidentia Go to Quoted Post
or the lighting has failed plunging one part into darkness

Interesting comment - would it be unreasonable to expect a driver put on lights to see where they are going?

When driving with lights it is anticipated that parked vehicles will be showing their (rear) reflectors to traffic.

If a car park controller insists on reverse parking (i.e. reflectors pointing away from flowing traffic) do they then become liable having instructed drivers to contravene road traffic regulations? 

Roundtuit  
#10 Posted : 22 January 2022 19:30:43(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Originally Posted by: Accidentia Go to Quoted Post
or the lighting has failed plunging one part into darkness

Interesting comment - would it be unreasonable to expect a driver put on lights to see where they are going?

When driving with lights it is anticipated that parked vehicles will be showing their (rear) reflectors to traffic.

If a car park controller insists on reverse parking (i.e. reflectors pointing away from flowing traffic) do they then become liable having instructed drivers to contravene road traffic regulations? 

Accidentia  
#11 Posted : 22 January 2022 20:12:25(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Accidentia

Originally Posted by: Roundtuit Go to Quoted Post

Originally Posted by: Accidentia Go to Quoted Post
or the lighting has failed plunging one part into darkness

Interesting comment - would it be unreasonable to expect a driver put on lights to see where they are going?

When driving with lights it is anticipated that parked vehicles will be showing their (rear) reflectors to traffic.

If a car park controller insists on reverse parking (i.e. reflectors pointing away from flowing traffic) do they then become liable having instructed drivers to contravene road traffic regulations? 


Of course a driver would be expected to use lights on their vehicle.  However, headlights are directional and illuminate the section of road (or car park) directly ahead.  Given that turning areas at the end of parking bay rows are often tight in car parks, the absence of illumination in one particular area may mean that parked vehicles at the side of the moving car cannot be fully seen.  Additionally, where one part of a car park is lit and the other not, problems with disability glare or shadows may arise, depending upon the precise nature of its layout.  There is also the question of the need for eyes to suddenly adjust to an abrupt change in brightness or darkness to consider, all of which could cause further difficulties for the driver.  I'm not saying that a car park operator would be found wholly responsible for a collision in such circumstances but they may well need to make a contribution towards the overall settlement of any claim if they fail to maintain their premises to a reasonable standard.

As to the requirement regarding reverse parking and the display of reflectors, we are getting beyond my knowledge here so what follows should be read with caution.  The Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations 1989 (which deal with the provision and positioning of reflectors on motor vehicles etc.) were made under s.41 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and apply to their use on 'roads'.  It has long been established that car parks do not constitute 'roads' see Griffin v Squires [1958] 3 All ER 468.  Therefore, it would, in my view, follow that reflectors do not have to be facing oncoming traffic within a car park.  I appreciate that a car park could be an 'other public place' for the purposes of certain sections of the Act if it is generally open to the public but as far as I can see, the legislation in this regard applies to 'roads' only and not any 'other public place.'

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