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Hit roll-off dumpster

Discussion in 'Auto Accidents, Injuries' started by Melissa, Apr 18, 2021.

  1. Melissa

    Melissa Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    My apartment complex was recently replacing roofs on the buildings and the construction company had placed a roll-off dumpster by the curb behind my car. When I backed out to leave for work it was dark out and I didn’t see the dumpster, as it was not in a well lit area and didn’t have any sort of reflectors/cones around it, and I backed into the dumpster, causing damage to the rear of my car. The dumpster was not there that morning and is not something that I would have expected to be behind my car. Not only was the dumpster in a dark lit area, but it was also green, so it easily blended in with the trees and shrubs behind it, so I did not notice the dumpster when I walked to my car either. I filed a claim through my insurance and they covered to get my car fixed, but it was almost $9,000 between the repairs and the rental car that my insurance paid for. I had to pay my $500 deductible. I am worried that my insurance rates will go up at the next renewal because of this.

    Am I able to go after the construction company for the cost of damages? What is the likelihood of getting paid from the company?
     

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  2. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    How fast were you going when you hit the dumpster?
     
  3. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    You could try that, though it's far from clear that you would win. Even though it's dark, your car should have backing lights that should have illuminated the area behind your car allowing you to see what was behind you.

    But even assuming you could win, the problem is that because your insurance company has a right of subrogation, it would be entitled to everything you get from the lawsuit up to what it paid out -- so likely all you'd potentially get is the $500 deductible you paid. If you won, though, that might be useful in getting your insurance company to back off a rate hike. No guarantees on that, though.
     
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  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Not only were you negligent in backing up and hitting a stationary object but you must have been going at a higher than reasonable rate of speed to incur that much damage.

    Your rates are likely to go up if your insurance people rule you at fault.

    Having already paid your claim, your insurance company has the right of subrogation, to seek reimbursement for your claim including your deductible. You no longer have the right to sue unless the subrogation people waive the right to subrogate. They will only do that if they believe that there is no chance of recovery.

    If the experts at your insurance company don't think that there is any chance of recovery, then there is literally close to zero chance of you winning.

    Before you commit to a lawsuit talk to your subrogation reps and see what their opinion is on the chance of winning.

    You will need their consent to sue and on the remote chance that you win, all but your deductible goes back to the company.
     
  5. Melissa

    Melissa Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I would say a normal speed for backing up. Barely touching the gas, but just enough to get the car moving.
     
  6. Melissa

    Melissa Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I was barely on the gas, just enough to get the car moving to back up. It honestly didn’t even feel like I had hit it that hard when it happened, but when I got out and saw the damage and realized that I had hit the corner of the dumpster, which had parts that protruded out, it seemed to make the damage worse than if I had hit a flat surface of the dumpster.

    I attached a picture that I took of the dumpster with my flash on, which shows the dumpster in more detail. Sorry that it is still a little blurry.
     

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  7. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    How many feet between the end of the white line and the dumpster?
     
  8. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Proving the construction company placed the dumpster, where you claim it was will be a daunting task.

    I'm sure the contractor will DENY it was placed where you hit it.

    I'm certain someone will theorize it could have ended up where you hit it after a prankster moved it., or a gust of high wind somehow caused it to drift.

    Good luck.
     
  9. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    The photo reveals that the dumpster was placed far enough away as to be avoidable. It was negligence to back up and hit it.
     
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  10. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Hmmm, Meatloaf sang about a similar situation:

     
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  11. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    Much better than Doris Day, AJ.
     
  12. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    LOL, they're both excellent artists.
     
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  13. sandyeggo

    sandyeggo Member

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    Judging from the photo, you could have easily avoided hitting that dumpster. You have no case, IMO.
     
  14. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Translation: You operated your car negligently by failing to determine that the path in which you would be traveling was free from obstructions.

    OK...but you have eyes, right? And you had the ability to look around before getting in the car, right? And "not well lit" is not the same thing as absolute darkness, right?

    Did you ask someone with your insurer about this, or is this just an abstract concern?

    Of course you can. I'm not sure what you meant by "go after," but anyone can sue anyone for anything.

    3.865%

    Seriously...if you contact the company, you're going to get a response similar to what I gave above. You are responsible at all times for ensuring that your path is clear, and you failed to do that. Also, if the repairs cost $9,000, that strongly suggests that you backed up at a much higher speed than would be appropriate in an area that you admittedly knew was "not well lit." Maybe the company will refer you to its insurer, and maybe the insurer will offer a nuisance settlement. But you shouldn't be optimistic. Also keep in mind that, as a result of you taking payment from your own insurance, your insurer now owns your claim, so you would need your insurer's permission before suing or your insurer will be entitled to anything you recover.

    I'm skeptical that this could have resulted in $9k in damages.

    That thing is huge, apparently white, and has reflective stickers on it. With your backup lights (which are white) on, there would be no way that anyone paying attention could have missed that.
     
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  15. flyingron

    flyingron Well-Known Member

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    It's unlikely the owner of the dumpster is going to come after you for damages.
     
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  16. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    ...but possible ;)
     
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  17. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    Especially if Melissa attempts to sue them for her own negligence.
     
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  18. benevideslauren67

    benevideslauren67 New Member

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    hi, i would say normal speed for backup. .. it is important
     
  19. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    No, it's not important.
     
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  20. flyingron

    flyingron Well-Known Member

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    And quit calling me Shirley.
     
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