Can I sue a repair shop if one on the employees took a customer's car and then struck my car? 15 Answers as of August 30, 2013

A month ago I had a car accident where I was struck in the passenger side of my car by a guy who does not have a driver license. I broke my left arm and had surgery. I stayed at the hospital for 6 days and physical therapy for 2-3 months. After contacting the insurance company of the party at fault, the car involved in the accident was not insured yet. The owner claims that his car was at the repair shop when one of the employees took his car without his permission causing the car accident. The car didn't have insurance because it was being repaired. Can I sue the auto repair business since neither the driver nor the owner of the car has insurance?

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Law Firm of Marco Caviglia | Marco Caviglia
You should sue the repair shop and the owner of the car that was being repaired, and anyone else actively involved. An attorney will be of assistance in this matter if one or more of those don't fix everything without cost to you.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/30/2013
Law Office of Robert M. Turkewitz
Law Office of Robert M. Turkewitz | Robert M. Turkewitz
You most likely have a claim against the repair shop.
Answer Applies to: South Carolina
Replied: 8/30/2013
Havens & Lichtenberg PLLC
Havens & Lichtenberg PLLC | Michael Lichtenberg
In New York, a no-fault auto insurance is the law. It means that you cannot sue unless you have sustained a "serious injury" or an unusual economic loss. The damages you describe do not seem to fit into the category of claims fit for litigation. Your own insurance policy should cover your damages. If, for any reason that a court would recognize as a legitimate cause to set aside the no-fault law, your damages should be covered by someone else than your insurer, then the repair shop might be liable to you for failure to supervise an employee. But I must warn you that the arguments for defense in this case stack up noticeably higher than the arguments for the plaintiff. You might have better chances of success suing your insurer.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/30/2013
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
Sue the driver and the repair shop he was working for.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 8/30/2013
Hobbs Law Group
Hobbs Law Group | Kristin E. Hobbs
Yes! Contact a personal injury attorney immediately. My office provides free consultations and takes cases on a contingency basis.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/30/2013
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
    James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
    If the employee was on the job and it was his fault, you can go after the shop. Hopefully, he was on the job and the shop has insurance to cover that. A simpler solution may be to make a collision and uninsured motorist claim on your own policy and let your insurance company worry about getting their money back. You may want to consider talking to an experienced personal injury lawyer as well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/30/2013
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    If you believe the story, you may sue the auto repair business.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/30/2013
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    Sure, but you should probably sue them all.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 8/30/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Possibly, but need more facts.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/30/2013
    The Law Offices of Russell Gregory, P.C.
    The Law Offices of Russell Gregory, P.C. | Russell Gregory
    This matter may well be pursuable. It should certainly be looked into. I could definitely help with that.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/30/2013
    Padove Law | Burton A. Padove
    Sure, you can sue the business and should sue the owner and driver. The question is whether they will have assets to pay any judgment. If you have uninsured motorist coverage you should notify insurer of a possible claim. You should seriously consider hiring counsel. Your fact situation is a bit complicated for most people to handle unassisted.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 8/30/2013
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    You sure can. An employer is liable for the negligent acts of its employee, which includes taking a car for a "test drive"
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/30/2013
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC | Stephen R. Chesley
    You should contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss this matter. There are avenues you can take to obtain payment for your pain and suffering, together with your medical bills.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/30/2013
    You should have a claim under your own insurance under the uninsured motorist provision. In addition, you should have a claim against the employee who struck you. Whether you has a claim against the garage is problematic. It will depend on whether (1) the employee was acting within the scope of his employment in driving car; and (2) if not, whether there is any basis for claiming negligent entrustment of the car or car keys by the garage.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/30/2013
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    There are several avenues that might be pursued. First, you might have what is called a "UM" (Uninsured Motorist) claim. In NY this type of coverage is mandatory but I don't know what state you are in. This is a provision on your policy that covers situations such as this, where you have been injured by an uninsured motorist. Failing that, NY has an agency called MVAIC which picks up if there is no primary coverage and no UM coverage, other states might have such an agency as well. Finally, yes, you might have a cause of action against the mechanic and his employer. This is tricky, though depending on this business of whether the employee was taking the car for a test drive or a joy ride or some other purpose. For all of the above reasons, you need a lawyer. Do not try this on your own. Seriously.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/30/2013
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