Who is responsible for damages by the City to my car?
Insurance policies may exclude coverage for damage to illegally parked cars, so whether insurance is applicable will be governed by the insurance contract terms under principles of contract law. Auto accidents are governed by negligence principles in tort law. In order to show a party is liable due to negligence, it must be shown the party had a duty to use care, carelessness breached that duty, and such carelesness was the cause of the foreseeable harm to the plaintiff. If the party who is seeking to recover damages is partly at fault in causing such damages, it is possible for the recovery to be reduced under the legal theory of comparative or barred under the legal theory of contributory negligence.
When an accident occurs involving an illegally parked car, an issue oftens arises about the cause of the accident. In many cases, the defendant will claim that the improperly parked vehicle was the cause. One of the elements in a negligence claim is proof that the harm to the plaintiff was foreseeable. If it can be proven that the car was known by the particular defendant driver to be illegally parked over a long period of time, that may weigh on foreseeability, or raise a claim of contributory or comparative negligence for failing to report the car to be towed. It will be a matter of determination for the court based on all the facts and circumstances involved.