What is my employer’s responsibility regarding damage to my car if it occurred on its property?

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What is my employer’s responsibility regarding damage to my car if it occurred on its property?

I work at a group home for adjudicated youth. While at work I observed a resident of that group home key (scratch) my vehicle that was parked in the driveway. I gave the company everything they asked for – 3 estimates for repair and a police report. After 2 months they asked me to file a claim with my insurance company and they would pay the deductible. I told them that they should file a claim with their insurance company, not mine. Was I right? Who is liable?

Asked on October 31, 2013 under Accident Law, Louisiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Your employer would  only be liable if they were at fault in some way. In this case, that would mean if the reason the youth was able to damage your car was that he was not properly being supervised. If the employer, however, was not being negligent (or careless) in some way, they are not liable (financially responsible) for the criminal act of the resident. You could potentially sue the youth's family, if he is a minor; a minor's legal guardian is responsible for damage intentionlly done by the minor.

So if there is no fault, your employer would not have to pay anything; it would be generous of them to pay your deducible. (Note: the fact that it was there parking lot does not, without more, make them liable, the same as you would not be liable if someone parked in your home's driveway and a neighborhood teen vandalized their car.)


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