Visitor Question

Shopping Cart Damaged My Car…

Submitted By: Anonymous (USA)

A shopping cart hit my car in a parking lot due to very strong winds. I believe that the Company was negligent in the fact that they should have taken reasonable efforts to protect their shoppers from damages to person or property (cars) by having their associates collect the shopping carts that were blowing at 80 MPH winds all over.

They did not put anyone out in the parking lot to remove the carts until after my car got hit and I made an incident report to them. I have around $2,000.00 in damages to my car and believe I have a good claim for a lawsuit. I would like to file a pro-se suit against the company but I would like to know an attorney’s opinion if they think the Company is at fault.

I would also like to know if I would file a small claims action for negligence on their part, would I sue for personal injury due to negligence, or what would the official reason for the suit be?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

As to your question of where to sue, small claims courts have a cap on the amount of money you can recover within each jurisdiction, so before filing there you will want to check the rules of your state. In superior court, you can file either a limited or an unlimited case. Limited cases also have a cap of monetary damages where unlimited cases do not, hence the name.

As far as liability, you may have a problem. The theory upon which you would sue is negligence wherein you would need to prove: that the grocery store owed a duty, that the duty was breached in some way, that as a result of the breach you were damaged and finally, that you incurred actual monetary damages.

In this case, whether the store owes a duty to remove all shopping carts from the parking lot during a period of high winds is questionable, particularly if they have a procedure by which they periodically go out and collect the carts.

Assuming you are able to establish negligence, you would then only be able to recover the actual damage to your vehicle. In order to protect yourself, make sure that you have or do file an incident report and collect the insurance as to the store.

Try to submit a claim with them before concerning yourself with filing a claim because there are fees involved regardless of the type of case.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: June 29, 2010

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