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Who's at fault when a driver hit a hydraulic lift gate on a parked truck that was unloading.
I have an insured who was unloading an ATM machine, he went into the store for 2-3 minutes. The insured left the gate down on the truck and another vehicle came around the truck and was trying to drive down an aisle to park and hit the gate.
The other vehicle states they did not see the gate was down. We were in a no parking zone, no signs stating there was no unloading.
Who's at fault?
Hello there whoever you are.
By the way you asked the question, you sound like a claim adjuster. In which case, there are couple of things you have to keep in mind here.
1. Is there coverage? – Most auto insurance policies cover auto accident and also cover situations where someone is loading and/or unloading cargo. The question here is – was your insured loading or unloading? If she/he was not, then liability coverage might not be afforded under the coverage. Basically you have a situation where a car hit a parked truck. Yes, you could leave a gate open or a door open and not be loading and/or loading. 2 to 3 minutes might make that difference.
2. Even if there is coverage under the loading and unloading language of your policy, is your insured negligent. It sure does not look good that he is parked in no parking zone, however, most states require that drivers look out.
If this is a big truck, with a ATM machine on the cargo area, why did the other driver see it? Was there something to impede visibility or what? If the truck was there for 2 to 3 minutes ( a long time in a parking lot accident), he was there to be seen, in other words, the was not putting the gate down as this other car was driving by. Also, you must look at the non parking area. If this is an area where visibility is an issue, then the non parking argument will be strong. But if this is a non parking area where everyone can see, the duty of the other driver will be significant.
Make sure you do a scene investigation to determine this, after that, look at the statute on your state that talks about loading and unloading and liability and what kind of duties are in each driver.
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