What to do if I recently had a vehicle transported out of state but it arrived damaged?

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What to do if I recently had a vehicle transported out of state but it arrived damaged?

A front bumper was split and the driver side window was left down, unprotected against the elements the entire time it was in the possession of the transporter (10 days). As such, upon arriving, 5 days late, I found the damage and 2 inches of standing water in the seats, which are now ruined. The transporter claims zero responsibility, even though they did not do what is required regarding informing the storage lot that they “found” damage. The owner of the business personally threatened me on the phone, stating that I had better stop trying to get reimbursed. I’ve filed with BBB and AG’s office; is there anything else to do?

Asked on October 11, 2012 under General Practice, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the transporter for negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable vehicle transporter would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).

In order to prove negligence, you will need to prove duty (of due care mentioned above), breach of duty (failure to exercise due care), actual cause, proximate cause, and damages.

Actual cause means but for the transporter, would your vehicle have been damaged?  If the answer is no, which appears to be the case, actual cause has been established.  Proximate cause means are there any unforeseeable, intervening acts which would relieve the transporter of liability?  If the answer is no, proximate cause has been established.  Damages means the amount of monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit for negligence.  Your damages would be the cost of repairs to your car.

Before filing your lawsuit for negligence against the transporter, it would be advisable to check with your state's Attorney General's office to see what action the Attorney General is taking since you already had contacted them and filed a complaint.  If they aren't pursuing the negligence claim, then proceed with your lawsuit.


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