If my car was damaged while in the possession of a dealership, who is responsible to repair it?

I left my car at the dealership on Friday and went to pick it up on Tuesday

yesterday. When I was about to get my car at the parking lot, I saw damage to

the front bumper. The dealership claimed that it wasn’t their fault, even if

another customer caused the damage, they are still not responsibility. They

didn’t do car inspection when I dropped my car. I do believe that my car was in

great condition when I dropped my car.

Asked on March 16, 2016 under Accident Law, Iowa

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The dealership is liable (financially responsible) if they were at fault in some way. So if an employee of the dealership damaged it, they would be at fault. Or if they parked it in a dangerous or unwise place (say, sticking into the road or a travel lane at the dealership), making an accident likely, they could be at fault and therefore liable due to that carelessness.
But if the dealership did nothing wrong, they are not liable; liability is based on fault. So if the car was parked properly and some other customer, driving his/her car in, drove carelessly and hit it, that is not the dealership's fault and the dealership is not liable--though the other customer would be, if you can identify him or her.


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