If I parked my car using a free valet parking service but my car was damaged, who is liable for the repairs?

UPDATED: Aug 5, 2014

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If I parked my car using a free valet parking service but my car was damaged, who is liable for the repairs?

When I got my car back it had been side swiped by another car, probably while it was parked. They claim it was a hit and run, so they should not have to pay for damages.

Asked on August 5, 2014 under Accident Law, Florida


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

A typical valet parking service has its employees park the car and return it to the owner.  Therefore, an employee must have scraped your car causing the damage.

If that is what occurred, you would have a property damage claim  for the cost of repairs to your car to be filed with the insurance carrier for the valet parking service.  If the case is not settled with the valet parking service's insurance carrier, you could file a lawsuit for negligence against the valet parking service.  You might also have a claim based on premises liability since the damage to your car occurred on the premises of the valet parking service and against the establishment (restaurant, hotel, etc) where the valet parking service is located.

If the accident was hit and run as the valet parking service claims, if you have uninsured motorist coverage on your auto insurance policy, you could file an uninsured motorist claim with your auto insurance company for the property damage to your vehicle.


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