Car damaged at a car wash

Asked about 5 years ago - Los Angeles, CA

Yesterday, I went to the car wash and the car wash machine malfunctioned which caused my car to get stuck. The worker then got in my car in attempt to get my car out, and when i backed up he ended up causing the side skirt of my car to be broken off and damaged. He is saying that they are not liable for this damage. Is there anything i can do? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Brian Richard Dinday

    Contributor Level 16

    Answered . Mr. Weinberger's advice is right on. I would only add that you may get farther with the car wash and with their insurer if you keep in mind ( and let them know) that you have the option of suing them in Small Claims Court for up to $7500. I'm guessing your damage does not exceed that. It is cheap and fairly easy to do, so let that guide you in negotiating the amount you will accept. Get several estimates and submit the one you think is fairest.

  2. Alan James Brinkmeier

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Because weekend staffing at the car wash might just be different than weekday staffing, one idea might be to return to the car wash today or tomorrow, with the car damage, to show a supervisor there what happened and for you to request action. In essence, you would be trying to file an incident report with the business where the damage their employee did, happened.

    Also, you may want the supervisor to make sure that there exists documentation either they have or you submit as a consumer complaint that the car wash malfunction happened (time, date, reason etc...) thus setting up 1) that you were on the premises as a paying customer and 2) that the failure to provide car wash services was a part of the scenerio that caused the car wash employee to damage you car.

    Photograph all of the car damage, too. That can prove to be invaluable later on.

    I agree with Mr. Weinberger as to his observation of the case facts. Call your insurer to let them know what happened and how.

    Good luck to you.

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