Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.
“My neighbor across the street was having some trees trimmed by a small family run trimming company. The guy had just started working while I was working on my vehicle. He had dropped a few smaller branches when I was ready to back out of my driveway and leave the house, I noticed that some of the branches were still out in the street. I proceeded to back out and avoid the branches and his truck, I did not however see that his chain saw was set on the ground next to the branches in the street about about 3-4 feet from curb behind the tailgate of his truck. I backed out of my driveway and crushed the handle on the saw, upon getting out to see what the crunch was (thinking it was just one of the branches) I realized it was his chain saw. He immediately claimed I owed him a new saw and that he couldn’t work if I didn’t replace it immediately. My question is am I responsible for the damage? It was left unattended in the street behind my vehicle.”
Generally speaking, a driver is responsible for the things they run over. There are some instance where that would not be the case, but proving it in court would cost a heck of a lot more than the cost of a new chain saw.