Orange, NJ asked in Personal Injury and Criminal Law for New York

Q: I accidentally side swiped a outdoor restaurant seating structure on the street? There was no real damage no police repo

There was a person in the structure that was not in contact with my vehicle but claimed he was assaulted? He also took a picture of my license? Is that legal? And was that assault? He refused me calling medical attention

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3 Lawyer Answers
Steven Richard Smith
PREMIUM
Steven Richard Smith
Answered
  • Garden City, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Taking a photograph of your license plate is certainly legal. To prove assault, he would have to prove intent to harm. This sounds more like a simple, negligence action. If your car accidentally hit a structure, your liability insurance should cover the damage. Simply report the accident to your Insurance as soon as possible and if that person has a claim, they can put it through your insurance. Unless you intended to harm the person, I would not see this as an assault. Assault is a criminal charge and they would have to go to the police to report it .

Tim Akpinar , William Vance Ferro and Jonathan R. Ratchik agree with this answer

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
Answered
  • Little Neck, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: It sounds more like a negligence claim than an assault claim, since there doesn't seem to be any intent on your part. Notifying your insurance carrier could enable them to anticipate possible claims - either from the person or from the restaurant for property damage. Good luck

Jonathan R. Ratchik agrees with this answer

Jonathan R. Ratchik
Jonathan R. Ratchik
Answered
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: As my colleagues correctly advised, this incident sounds more like negligence than assault (which requires an element of intent). Report the matter to your insurance carrier and let them handle it. No real damage does not mean the restaurant did not sustain any damage for which you would be responsible (and which your insurance company might cover, but only if you timely report the matter).

Tim Akpinar agrees with this answer

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