Halachos of Damages with Cars

My car grazed a double-parked car. Am I responsible for the damage?

Halachah divides the level of responsibility for damage caused by a car—and the extent of monetary liability—into various categories. Among them are: 

Bor b’rshus harabim (one who dug a pit and left it uncovered—or uncovered one—in the public domain): One is not responsible for damage to keilim (inanimate property) caused by a bor they left uncovered. Therefore, if someone parked their vehicle in an inappropriate place and it resulted in damage to keilim , they are not held responsible.

Adam hamazik (damage caused by a human): A driver who damages another’s property is fully responsible, except in a case of ones gamur (totally beyond one’s control). The damage is attributed solely to the person, and not at all to the car.

If a moving car hits a car parked inappropriately, in certain cases the driver may be held responsible—and not the owner of the parked car—since it’s incumbent upon a driver to look where they are going. 

When establishing the amount of liability for damage to a car we look at the cost of repairs, and not at the loss to its market value. #555?1




Practical Halacha: One minute a day. By Horav Yosef Yeshaya Braun, shlita, Mara D'asra and member of the Badatz of Crown Heights.