Can I sue a car wash?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I sue a car wash?

I went to a local car wash in my 2004 GTO, my hood
pins got undid in the car wash when I took off while
leaving the car wash my hood blew open and
cracked my windshield and my entire hood and took
of coats of paint and huge dents in my hood. Can I
sue the car wash for damages since they refused to
fix my car and said they werent responsible?

Asked on December 22, 2018 under Accident Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

IF they were negligent, they would be liable--but you have to be able to prove that this occured due to their negligence or carelessness and not for some other reason, such as that you had not properly closed/secured the hood the last time you opened it, or that hood pins were defective, were corroded or old, or had been previously damaged. They are not responsible if their was a flaw in the pins or if the hood was not properly sealed or closed. Only if you have some evidence of their negligence would you win the case, since the mere fact it occured in the wash does not by itself make them liable. You would need to hire some relevant auto expert (e.g. someone who repairs or installs hoods and hood pins) to examine your car and testify in court that in his experienced or expert opinion, the hood released beause of the following careless act by the car wash. Only if some expert will testify as to the cause and that it was the wash's fault might you win a case. Since you'd have to pay him for his time, and since even with expert testimony, winning is not a given (winning a case is never a given--don't believe lawyers who tell you otherwise) it is not clear that suing is worthwhile.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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