Is a car wash liable for an attendant allowing a car to proceed while in reverse and an accident occurs?

UPDATED: Aug 8, 2012

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Is a car wash liable for an attendant allowing a car to proceed while in reverse and an accident occurs?

The car pulled into the car wash and the driver was told to put it in neutral. The driver thought they placed the car in neutral but actually had it in reverse. The attendant had the machine pull the car in and sprayed it as it went through. While inside the car skipped the roller and backed into the next vehicle. Can the car wash be liable due to the attendants negligence?

Asked on August 8, 2012 under Accident Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It is possible the car wash would be liable due to the attendent's negligence. The attendent could likelwise be personall liable due to his/her carelessness. It is also possible the car's owner would be liable, for his/her initial negligence in putting the car in reverse. And it is possible each would be partial liable or responsible for the accident. It depends on the precise circumstances. If the damage is more than a few hundred dollars, it would make sense to consult with an attorney; for a few hundred or less dollars, it probably makes the most sense to simply work out payment among the parties.

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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