Does Driver Owe Tree Trimmer a New Chain Saw for Running His Over?

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“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.”

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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.

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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.