A friend of mine was attacked by a man and as my friend was trying to escape he damaged a piece of property. Is my friend responsible for the cost to fix that property?
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ANSWER for "Damaged Property While Escaping Assault...":
Christine (Webster, MA):
It depends whose property your friend damaged. If your friend damaged the property of a 3rd innocent party unrelated to the attack, then there is a good chance your friend will be legally responsible for the damages.
The rationale is this... If a 3rd party was an innocent party and had nothing to do with the assault and her property was damaged then someone has to be liable for that damage. The question is who should be responsible, and who doesn't have any responsibility?
Should the innocent party have to pay for the damage your friend caused, or should your friend have to pay. Someone has to pay for the damage. Wouldn't it be unfair for the innocent party to have to pay for the damage?
The innocent party had nothing to do with the damage. Your friend is the one who caused the damage. As a result he or she is responsible.
Once your friend pays for the damage he or she can turn around and "subrogate" against the man who attacked your friend. Subrogation means to sue someone who is responsible for the money you just paid or are about to pay.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
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