What are my rights if I was injured during a test drive?

UPDATED: Apr 2, 2013

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What are my rights if I was injured during a test drive?

I went to a car dealership to look at cars. I saw a manual transmission vehicle but I didn’t know how to drive stick shift. The salesman offered to drive it for me so I can get a feel for the car. We were driving on the freeway and the salesman decides to cut another drive off and we crashed. He was driving 75 mph in a 55 mph zone. I’m suffering from lower back pains and I’m traumatized from the experience. The CHP took a police report and got reports from others that the salesman was driving wrecklessly. Can I sue?

Asked on April 2, 2013 under Personal Injury, California


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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Prior to filing a lawsuit, file a personal injury claim with the autodealership's insurance carrier.

When you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor, obtain your medical bills, medical reports and documentation of any wage loss.  Your personal injury claim filed with the autodealership's insurance carrier should include these items.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  In addition to being treated for your physical injuries, you may want to consult a psychologist or psychiatrist to receive treatment for being traumatized by the accident.

If the case is settled with the autodealership's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the autodealership's insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the autodealership.  The autodealership is liable for the negligence of its employee which occurred during the course and scope of employment.  If the case is NOT settled with the autodealership, you will need to file your lawsuit for negligence prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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