Q&A - Barrier came down on my car and my shoulder. Do I have a case for claiming damages?

Q: On the last day at a rented holiday apartment I scanned the carpark pass to leave. The barrier lifted but came down before I had got fully though, hitting my car. It rose again and I got out to survey the damage, but while I was looking it came down again on my shoulder. No-one was around and as the barrier was on the edge of the main road I had to drive off to avoid it happening again.

I stopped soon after and photographed the damage to the car. Later I called the apartments’ management company. They said there was no CCTV, no other reported problems and as the barrier had sensors it was impossible for it to come down on me or my car. Further, they displayed a sign saying parking was at owners’ risk. Repairs to my car are estimated at £2,000+ and my shoulder pain is agonising. What can I do?

A: “Parking at own risk” does not include something that is not your fault. If the carpark owners had CCTV monitoring the exit barrier then the incident may have been avoided. The owners have a duty of care towards everyone using the car park and cannot use this notice to escape liability for personal injuries.

Even without witnesses it may still be worth pursuing a case for damage compensation, in respect of your car and your shoulder, if you can fix the damage and injury in time and place. Gather as much evidence as you can. The date and time the incident happened may be pinpointed on your phone camera and the photographs may indicate a recognisable location. Make sure that your injury is checked out by your GP in case of any complications and save any record of communications with the car park managers. Then contact your local specialist personal injury solicitor to take the claim forward.

Article 26/08/2019

Claire Parfitt

Claire Parfitt

Senior Solicitor

Senior Solicitor within our Civil Litigation team in Wrexham and Oswestry