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Bumped another Car

Rabbi Yoel LiebermanElul 29, 5772
183
Question
I was in my house and wanted to leave the driveway with my car. There was a strange car parked in my driveway. In order to get by the other car, I had to drive really close to him, and I ended up scratching the side of his car plus breaking the bumper on the side of his car. I was so angry at him for parking where he wasn’t allowed to I didn’t even leave my number. When I came home, the car wasn’t there. Now that I’m calmer, I feel bad about this. I would like to know if -according to Halacha - the said driver comes back to me and asks me to pay, if I am obligated or if the fact that he did park in my driveway makes me exempt. Thankyou
Answer
It's a proper thing to feel responsible for your actions. However, in this particular case you are not liable. It is enlightening to see how the Talmud written so long ago applies to your case. The Talmud in Baba Kama 28a speaks of a person who has filled his neighbor's premises with jugs of wine and jugs of oil and finds the person who left his premises while causing damage to the jugs exempt of payment. The Shulchan Aruch (Choshen Mishpat 379:4) stipulates that this is the Halacha, that if upon going out damage was caused , the person is exempt of damages incurred. Therefore in your case where the car obstructed your driveway and left you no other way to get out, you are not liable. Shanna tova .כתיבה וחתימה טובה
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