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TheStreet Open House

Sorting Out A Snowy Parking Lot Accident





Question: I was driving in a snowy store parking lot and bumped into another car that then hit the shopping cart corral and banged that up.  No one was hurt, but what covers me for the damage to my car and the car I hit?   Also, will I be responsible for the damaged carts?  Does the store have any liability?

Answer:  Driving during or after a snowstorm can be tricky and even dangerous. You need to be even more cautious than normal to stay in complete control of your vehicle.  (See “ 7 deadly sins of winter driving.”) 

If you lose control and hit another vehicle, or object, you need collision coverage for your vehicle to be covered by your car insurance policy.  With collision, the repairs or total loss of your vehicle will be paid out after an auto accident, minus your deductible amount.

Your property damage liability coverage will pay for the damages you caused to another vehicle, or anything else you hit, up to your limit.  To understand better what coverage is used for different types of car crashes, try out our Crash-o-matic tool that will let you click on six common accident scenarios to see what car insurance coverage would be needed to pay for damages done.

It's good to hear that no one was injured in this parking lot accident. However, if the other person complains later about being hurt, your bodily injury liability coverage should cover that individual's injuries up to your maximum per person limit.

As for the damaged shopping carts and the cart corral, it's most likely that you will be held responsible for those damages as well.  Even though it was the other vehicle that actually hit the shopping carts, yours was the one that shoved that vehicle into the store's property.  Hopefully the damage to both the other vehicle and the carts is minimal so that your property damage liability limits will be sufficient to cover both. 

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