If my car was broken into while at a restaurant, can I make a claim for the damages with the restaurant’s insurer?

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If my car was broken into while at a restaurant, can I make a claim for the damages with the restaurant’s insurer?

Asked on July 5, 2011 under Insurance Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, you probably cannot. A property owner (or renter, in the event the restaurant leases the property) is not automatically responsible for damage to another's car or other property. For the restaurant to be liable, one of the following things must apply:

1) The restaurant must have taken on the duty to protect the cars in its lot, which could be indicated by a secure lot, by valet parking, etc.--this is, however, very unlikely.

2) A resturant employee broke into the car.

However, absent some special duty or fault/wrongdoing by a restaurant employee, the fact that your car was broken into in the restaurant's lot does not make the restaurant any more liable than you would be if a friend's car was broken into while parked at your home.


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