Your Car’s Been Damaged in a Parking Garage. Now What?
Parking your car in a parking garage affords you with a sense of security and stress-free parking when a valet takes your keys. It’s protected from the elements and the parking garage attendants and security staff help to ensure your car stays in the same condition you left it. But, what happens if a parking garage valet ends up damaging your car?
Jalopnik writer Kristen Lee had her car damaged by a parking valet and sought advice from attorney Steve Lehto on how to handle the current situation and how to avoid it in the first place. Here’s they’re advice:
Before you leave your car, make sure you are familiar with any existing or non-existing damage. Do a thorough walk-around; it’s better if the valet walks with you. If the garage records evidence of existing damage, get a copy of the paperwork.
When your vehicle is returned to you, inspect it carefully. Don’t drive off before noting any changes. If a new scrape, dent or chip catches your eye, document the damage in pictures. It will strengthen your case of proving the valet caused the damage, as will the testimony of a witness. Seek out an employee of the garage, preferably a manager, to discuss the nature of your now-damaged car.
Even if the garage has signs postedthat damage is not its responsibility, you should still ask for a damage report. Once you fill out the information, be sure to get the parking garage manager’s signature. Date it, too!
“Keep meticulous records. Take down the time and date that everything happened and who you spoke to and dealt with. You want to make your case as airtight as possible if or when you need to elevate the issue to a higher-up,” advises Lee.
If these steps don’t lead to the garage taking responsibility, you can call the police to fill out a police report or contact the insurance company, according to Lee.
News Source: Jalopnik