You had just left the hotel to retrieve your vehicle from the valet. When your car pulls up, you instantly notice something wrong. The paint is scuffed, and the front bumper is sticking out. You clench your fists and bite your tongue. You try to remain calm and consider your options. Now you want to know if you can sue a valet.
Analyzing the Damage from the Valet Driver Accident
Before determining whether you can sue a valet, you must first appraise the damage. A scratch probably isn’t worth suing over unless the car comes from an extremely high-end manufacturer. However, a hanging bumper on your brand-new Cadillac might be worth your while.
Either way, if a valet has damaged your car, be sure to call your insurance company as soon as possible. Start by collecting the valet’s personal information. If they refuse to speak to you, you can request their information from the valet’s office. Additionally, if there’s enough damage, you may want to call a police officer and file a formal report.
Understanding Liability and Car Insurance for Valet Parking
If you decide to pursue compensation beyond insurance, it’s important to know who is liable.
Do I Sue the Valet Company?
If the valet damaged your vehicle in the course of their normal duties, then both the individual driver and their company have some degree of liability. Although it varies by business, many valet companies maintain a minimum of $1M in liability coverage.
On the other hand, if a joyriding valet caused the damage, the individual is responsible, but the business is not. Similarly, if a poorly maintained building (falling light, water leak, etc.) is responsible for the damage, the building owner may be liable for the damage. Generally, if your car is damaged while held by a valet, there’s a good chance you can find a liable party.
If your high-end vehicle was damaged during valet services, you might have a case. If you’d like one of our experienced auto attorneys to evaluate your case, consider calling Weinstein & Scharf, attorneys at law, at (954) 482-4534 or send us an email.