Do the Rules of the Road Apply to Private Property?

A viewer writes in and asks Attorney Ben Schwartz if the Rules of the Road apply to private property. Hear what Delaware’s Accident Attorney has to say on this topic. 

Do the Rules of the Road Apply to Private Property?

TRANSCRIPT:

Hi, I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz.

Today, we’re going to answer a question from Greg in Dover, Delaware: “If I’m cutting through a parking lot, but I’m not following the painted lines – in other words, I’m cutting across the parking lot and going across parking spaces and I get into a car accident – am I breaking the law?

Let’s say that you are on private property in Dover; for example, you are in the Acme parking lot. This is not state property. The property belongs to Acme or store or mall, etc. In this case, you are not technically breaking the law because you are on private property. You could get into an accident and the police will respond to it. They may do a police report if the accident involves personal injury or property damage, but they will probably not give you a traffic ticket for cutting across the parking lot because the accident occurred on private property.

If you are doing this (cutting across the parking lot) and cause an accident, you may get sued. When the plaintiff files a civil lawsuit against you, the suit may say that you were violating provisions of the Delaware code relating to careless driving or inattentive driving. You are not getting into trouble criminally, but the Delaware code sets the standard for the behavior of all drivers in Delaware whether or not you are driving on private property. If you get sued, look at the lawsuit’s papers. They will probably say something about how you violated provisions of Title 21 of the Delaware code (also known as the “Rules of the Road”).

You are not technically breaking the law by driving across a parking lot, but you will be held to the same standard that the law prescribes.

I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz. I hope you found this video entertaining and informative. If you have questions about your rights under the law, send me an email or message me through Facebook.

Thanks for watching!

Do the Rules of the Road Apply to Private Property?

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