What can I do about the carwash damage? 17 Answers as of April 16, 2013I went through an unattended automatic car wash and the track picked up my back tire but not the front tire therefore pushing my car sideways into the wash and then into a pole inside the wash. The owner is saying there isn't any proof and he has video but it doesn't "prove" that's what happened. I went and got 3 quotes and he doesn't want to pay. Additionally, there are NO signs that say "enter at your own risk" Isn't he responsible? Help!
Alison Elle Aleman, Attorney & Counselor at Law | Alison Elle Aleman
The owner may be trying to dodge responsibility, but I would still try to hold him responsible. The footage from his camera is very important. Try to get the assistance of an attorney who can request this footage before the owner "loses" it or otherwise destroys it. Most owners have insurance that can cover damage caused by their business. An insurance adjustor may be able to see how the damage occurred at the car wash by carefully examining your vehicle. So ask for the name of the business insurer and put in a claim for the damage, so that the insurer has to respond to you.
Answer Applies to: California
Midway Law | Joseph I. Silverzweig
I think you have a reasonably good case against the automatic car wash, depending on what you can see on the videos. You may also have a case against the company who created the car wash machinery. At this point, you have two options. Option one: you could seek out an attorney who will take this case on contingency, meaning they will take a percentage of the award after expenses. They will handle the entire process and just write you a check at the end, if the case resolves successfully. If they lose the case, they won't take any money. Sometimes, it can be difficult to find an attorney who will take an unusual case like yours, but you can usually find someone (so long as you suffered substantial damages). Personally, it sounds to me like something worth taking a look at. Option two: you could attempt to handle this matter yourself by writing a demand letter and filing and action in small claims court. You wouldn't have to pay any attorneys fees at the end of the process, but oftentimes trying to do something yourself results in a substantially lower claim. For example, I have a client who filed a claim in small claims court himself, asking for two thousand dollars in damages. Once he hired me, I was able to re-examine the situation and found $40,000 in damages that he could have claimed. If you want to write a demand letter, this website is an excellent guide: http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/free-books/small-claims-book/chapter6-4.html .
Answer Applies to: Utah
John Russo | John Russo
He could have signs all over the place, signs mean nothing, signs cannot waive liability, you have two (2) options retain a good attorney which will cost you, but you may be able to recoup the fees in an action, or file a small claims action on your own, but you will need evidence of your damages, and that said damages were caused by the owners negligence. Evidence is not the quotes to repair your vehicle, evidence is the proof showing that the owner is liable for your damages and that he/she was at fault, I or no one else on these sites can teach you the rules of evidence, that is why you either retain counsel, or start doing some heavy duty research on the rules of evidence in hopes of at least, to not make a fool of yourself at a hearing.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
Write him and demand a copy of his liability insurance policy. Florida law requires him to give it to you. Cite him Section 627.4137, Florida Statutes. The adjuster for his insurance company might want to take care of it to avoid a lawsuit.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Gregory M Janks, PC | Gregory M Janks
I wonder who picks the "category" of the question? The person asking or the Law Q&A folks? There are so many questions that indicate that they are a "personal injury" question that clearly are not. This is one of such. The problem is that personal injury lawyers, such as myself, handle personal injury cases, but not property damage cases, slander cases, real estate cases, landlord tenant cases, etc. and many, many questions are not in the category that we know anything about, despite indications that they are "pi" questions. Since we take valuable time to answer questions as a public service, it is somewhat disconcerting as it takes time to sift through questions that indicate they are "pi" questions, when they are not, and that we can't provide an answer for.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
If you can prove that you entered the car wash properly, he should be liable. Send a written demand that he pay and tell you the identity of his insurance company. Send a demand to the insurance company. If they won't cooperate, file a lawsuit in Justice Court or small claims court if the damages are less than $10,000.
Answer Applies to: Nevada