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If a car runs off the road and ends upside down on your property can you refuse its removal?

More of a law question, however, If a car driven by someone you have no connection to is going down the road at a high rate of speed, spins out, flips, ends up upside down on your private property causing damage to your property, can you tell the police and towing company to get off your property? How does it work? The driver was out of the vehicle at this point.


a. I’m no lawyer
2. I don’t think so. You can ask for his insurance information, just as if he crashed into your car.

Laws may vary by state and I’m by no means a lawyer but the police likely have a say-so in a matter like this because the car was on public property when it went out of control.
If someone parked their vehicle on your property then you should be able to pretty much do what you want with it.

A Toyota owner learned a hard lesson about parking on someone else’s property when he chose to park his car on a long time friend of mine’s property after being told not to.
Toyotas are good cars but don’t hold up well against a Ruger .44 carbine… :wink:

The cop wouldn’t give me the insurance info, he said I would need to get a copy of the police report for 5 dollars. The cop wanted my drivers license, I wouldn’t give it to him because It didn’t involve my car, and what the heck does my license have to do with someone damaging my property. I was in my house when this happened.

The person that hit my property is questionable, the truck had a valid insurance policy from a fly by night company, but it was unknown if the driver was a covered driver. This is all the cop told me.

This happened when I was typing a response to a post about the bad drivers around here.

The driver didn’t get a single ticket.

The truck crushed the end of a 40 foot long 60’’ inch culvert on my property that was put in 2 years ago at a cost of 8 grand.

I told the cop the truck was not to be touched until I called my insurance company and got pictures. he told me they were moving it, like it or not.

The cop told me to put my camera away, I was not allowed to take pictures. I ignored him and told him I was on my property I could take pictures. He didn’t push the issue.

The tow trucks that came out further damaged the culvert and my property.

It was clear, dry, and 10am.

I hate where I live, When you go 70-75 mph on a road designed for 55 this is what happens. This is the 5th vehicle that has ended up on my property in the past 7 years.

Cant make this stuff up…

I will add I called my insurance company, our hands are tied until I get the police report which will take 4-7 days.

I feel I should get the culvert replaced. Its a HDPE plastic culvert and is only 2 years old. Now its cracked. I didn’t damage it, the driver did so why should I have to live with a damaged culvert now.

Offhand, it sounds like the cops don’t have a clue or don’t care. They wouldn’t get my license and I’d take pictures too no matter what they said.

The PD may not be able to prove speeding in a court of law but generally when something like this happens a citation is issued for reckless or careless driving, failure to devote full time attention, or some other catchall ticket.

About the only advice I can offer is get a copy of the report and go from there. Sometimes the reports police file may not reflect what really happened. Best of luck.


Thats what bothered me, why did he want my license, I didn’t want to get something dinged on my record. As far as the pictures go, I was on my property, I wasn’t interfering, I was polite when I told him I would be taking pictures because I had the right to. If it would have come to him arresting me so be it. I would have got a lawyer.

I asked the cop why he didn’t give the driver a ticket, he said because it was an accident, he said do you really think he meant to crash… I told him no, but obviously he needed a ticket for something. The cop told me to have some compassion. I will find out the driver was good ol boy and they are covering for him. Heck he was probably drunk. Another cop got him out of there real quick. The cop would not give me his name or insurance info.

The cops around here really don’t care. Its aggravating. I am a big supporter of the police, I look up to them. I like the police. But when you have cops like we have its hard to be too supportive. It gets old.

Things go on in this county that the devil himself wouldn’t do. Dirty place.

Accidents happen all of the time and someone is always at fault when it does. I’m starting to wonder if that driver is related to someone they know and they’re going into coverup mode. What a crock.

I was a passenger in a car with a friend of mine and he was issued a ticket for “Passing on the right” after taking pulling away from an intersection when the light turned green. The cop had been beside us throughout the entire red light and it was a 4 lane highway for crying out loud.
That cop demanded my license and it got a bit heated because I would not, and did not, give it up.

Apparently the edit function here is on the fritz again. Pardon the typo taking/pulling… :frowning:

I had a car crash happen in front of my house. One came to rest in my front yard. I got a couple estimates for cleanup and restoration. Leaked gas cleanup, broken glass all over my yard, car parts, soil and sod. Presented to car owners insurance and they paid no questions asked.

You have a right to be made whole. If that means replacing the culvert, then that’s what you should pursue.

You don’t have any right to hold their property or interfere with recovery. Not take pictures? I’ll take all the pictures I want. Should have gotten ticket for reckless driving or going too fast for conditions if you ask me. Accidents are for deer jumping out, not exiting the roadway due to speed.

You got the picture that matters - the license plate. If the local police aren’t any help, give the picture with the very easily read license plate to your home insurer. They should take care of it for you. BTW, you did contact your home insurer, didn’t you? I think you should.

2 thoughts:

Don’t roads have “right of ways” - an area that is considered “public” even though a private individual may own it? I think it might be called “easement”. And I would think that any vehicle within that right of way can be moved without the land’s owner’s permission - especially if the police were involved.

And since a person’s property was involved, I would think that would change things. It’s not just a simple accident. A third party has damage - and the police report should have been given to the injured party free of charge (OK, may be nowadays there is a nominal charge to cover the costs). Nevertheless, I can understand why the police might try to minimize the situation, but it hardly seems right to prevent a property owner from photographing. But it’s also possible the damaged area is within that right of way mentioned above and it is the state/county/township’s responsibility to repair it (or not!).


Yes, there is a right of way by the road, the truck was completely and totally past the right of way on my property. The reason I know this so well is that when the old culvert failed I was trying to get the county involved. After 5 months of back an forth, contacting a lawyer and getting a surveyor out here the right of way is well defined. So I know without a doubt, for a fact that culvert and creek are on my property out of the right away.

Its a 40 foot long, 5 ft diameter pipe. 2 20’ sections. The pipe alone cost 3500 dollars. The rest of the 8 grand was stone and labor.

I think the pipe will be ok, but why should I live with a 2 year old pipe thats damaged. What if it fails in 5 years? Who will pay then?

The cops attitude changed when I questioned why he needed my drivers license.

I almost pulled my car to the right of way line on my driveway to keep them from using my property to remove the truck, but those wrecker drivers have a hard enough job so I just let it go.

Twin and jt are right. This is an automobile accident whose resolve takes president over your inconvenience. You just have to deal with it. Your home owner’s insurance rep. should be able to advise you in the procedures. Yes, taking pictures is advisable but don’t expect anymore cooperation on the part of the police if there is no personal injury on your part. You are not an enforcement agent and have no right to delay or hinder the investigation and resolution of the the accident. To do so in anyway could bring charges against you for interfering with an accident investigation.
As far as your licence is concerned, it’s just a way of dentifying you as the homeowner for the police report. Why you would refuse is beyound me. In the future, if you have another form of identification, use it if you must. As far as a culvert is concerned, any part that is exposed above the ground should be easy to assert whether it needs replacement. At this point, it should be between your insurance company and their’s . You do have a right to request the insurance policy number of the owner of the vehicle and the police may not give it to at the scene but should, as they did, provide you with later access to it.

We used to have wrecker operators around here,that if the car was repairable at the accident scene,they would finish it off recovering it and I do not blame you for not wanting them to damage your land this type of land is very fragile and subject to much damage during periods of high water,especially if disturbed,sounds like the local law enforcement people,took the job because it was the only one availible that offered benefits(sort of like the prison jobs around here)-Kevin


Yes believe it or not that creek has had 3-4 foot of rushing water in it under the right conditions, I understand there is no way to get the truck out without doing further damage, and honestly the recovery trucks and drivers were very good, very professional.

I guess the reason I wanted the truck to stay there is so I had something of value to fall back on if I end up getting shafted on this deal. Shouldn’t I get money for letting them (the police and recovery drivers) use my land? Like a toll?

There is also a mess of litter all over the place? Who cleans that up?

Laws can vary from state to state but holding someone’s property is generally against the law. I wouldn’t attempt it. If they abandon the vehicle with no attempt to retrieve it that’s one thing but holding it captive is another.

Im not trying to be petty, but around here you can’t have anything nice, If you do it won’t stay nice for long. It will either get stolen, vandalized, broken, scratched or trespassed upon. If the human animals don’t hurt it, mother nature will.

I think this was the last straw for me, even my patient level headed wife is talking about moving now, The meth lab found on our property, didn’t do it, the heroin needles found on the side of that road didn’t do it, the crackheads stealing our mail didn’t do it, her getting run off the road by somebody she identified and the police would do nothing didn’t do it, but finally I think she sees what I am saying. This is no place to live.

We have a daughter now and the school she will be going to if we stay here has kids who must take all their medications at school so their parents wont steal it from them to sell it. Do I want my daughter around those people?

You have to be armed at all times around here, there was a guy bringing his tractor to the machine shed for the night and someone shot him in the back, no motive, no suspect ever found (imagine that with our keystone cops) They think he stumbled upon a meth lab. As they were knocking on doors in the area to ask people if they heard anything the cops found Not one but TWO active meth labs in peoples trailers. This was totally by chance.

I have had some drugged up girl ring our doorbell at 11 pm on a saturday night looking for directions, now keep in mind I live waaaaay back off the road, so this was a bit odd. There were 3 other people in the car and I have no doubt if I didn’t answer the door, our house would have been robbed. Everytime the doorbell rings I answer the door with a firearm in my hand(hidden behind the door). We have had countless home invasions around here, its that bad.

There are only three county police officers on duty at night and this is a big county. If you call 911 it may be a while till help arrives, and then you might get a talented officer, or some clown. If all three officers are on the opposite end of the county it can be 20 minute till they can make it and thats sirens going.

You may think im paranoid, a gun nut. Which I am not. Its just that bad around here.

Yesterday my wife and I and my daughter went to downtown indy, now keep in mind this is a haul. I put 200 miles on the prius yesterday, But in Indy where its the dangerous big city, I felt safer than I do here. Its that bad. Its time to move.

Tell us where “here” is so we all will know where not to go. :wink: