Car was hit while in custody of mechanic shop. Who’s responsible for the damages ?

I dropped off my car to a mechanic shop he said to
drop the keys off in the drop box. Next morning there
was a dent in the hood and scratches on the bumper.
The car was parked on the street. Not sure if that’s
considered his property or not. However the key was
dropped off and he was in custody of my car. Who is
responsible for the damages ?

Asked on April 29, 2017 under Accident Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Being "in custody" of a car doesn't  make you liable for it; for example, if your friend let you borrow his car and while it was parked in front of your house, someone else hit it, you would not be liable for the damage. Only fault makes you liable. Unless you can show that the autoshop was negligent or unreasonably careless in some way, they are not liable: you will have to use your own insurance, if you have any, or else pay for the repairs out of pocket, unless you can identify the person who did the damage, in which case you can sue him/her.

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