Parked cars can cause accidents, too

Car Insurance Cost

If you have been injured in a car accident, you can apply for no-fault accident benefits. But does a car have to actually be moving to be part of an accident? According to a 2016 court decision, accidents can involve parked cars, too.

This case resulted from an incident where a plaintiff was injured by a parked motorcycle. The plaintiff was camping with his family and decided to play a night time game of tag with his children. He did not realize that a neighbouring camper parked a motorcycle in the middle of a path between the camp sites. Unfortunately, the plaintiff tripped on the motorcycle and suffered serious injuries.

This case went to court because the plaintiff claimed he had been injured in a motor vehicle accident. The insurance company disagreed – it argued that parked cars cannot be involved in accidents since they are not moving. The court agreed with the plaintiff. The court found that parking is a normal part of the operation of a vehicle. As a result, it was determined that people who are injured by parked cars could be involved in “motor vehicle accidents”.

Not all incidents involving parked cars will be considered motor vehicle accidents under the law. Situations where cars are used in bizarre ways – such as a parked car being used as a pillar in a structure – will probably be excluded from insurance claims. But the court was clear that injuries caused by any normal use of a vehicle should be considered a motor vehicle accident. This means that people can make insurance claims involving accidents with parked cars.

Economical Mutual Insurance Company v Patrick Caughy 2016 ONCA 226