What to do if I took my car to a car wash/oil and lube and after it went through an employee wrecked my truck into another vehicle causing $3,710 worth of damages?

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What to do if I took my car to a car wash/oil and lube and after it went through an employee wrecked my truck into another vehicle causing $3,710 worth of damages?

The employee did not have a driver’s license and has never had one. I wrote the company a letter and that he said he would pay for it but he does not want to pay for a rental while its in the shop. Who and what do I file to be compensated and what is my limit? I also had to take the truck to 3 appraisers; that’s my personal time.

Asked on October 8, 2013 under Accident Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You should contact the insurance carrier for the car wash/oil lube business.  The business is liable for the cost of repairs to your truck and a rental car while your truck is being repaired.  The insurance carrier for the business will handle this when you file your property damage claim.  The insurance carrier probably has a limit on the maximum daily rate it will pay for a  rental car.  Also, it won't pay for insurance on the rental car.  You will need to find a rental car with a reasonable rate to mitigate (minimize) damages.  If you were to select the most expensive rental car you could find, you will have failed to mitigate damages and your damages will be reduced accordingly.

If you missed time from work due to this accident, you can recover compensation for wage loss.  You won't be able to recover for personal time.

The employer is liable for the negligence of the employee which occurred during the course and scope of employment which is why the employer is liable for the damage to your truck and the rental car cost and if applicable, wage loss.

If the case is settled with the insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case is NOT settled with the insurance carrier for the car wash/oil lube business, file a lawsuit for negligence against the business.  You may be able to file your lawsuit in Small Claims Court.  Your damages (amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) would include the cost of repairs to your truck, rental car expense, wage loss and court costs.  Court costs would include the court filing fee and process server fee.


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