If my car was damaged while in the possession of a dealership, who is responsible to repair it?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If my car was damaged while in the possession of a dealership, who is responsible to repair it?

I left my car at the dealership on Friday and went to pick it up on Tuesday

yesterday. When I was about to get my car at the parking lot, I saw damage to

the front bumper. The dealership claimed that it wasn’t their fault, even if

another customer caused the damage, they are still not responsibility. They

didn’t do car inspection when I dropped my car. I do believe that my car was in

great condition when I dropped my car.

Asked on March 16, 2016 under Accident Law, Iowa


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The dealership is liable (financially responsible) if they were at fault in some way. So if an employee of the dealership damaged it, they would be at fault. Or if they parked it in a dangerous or unwise place (say, sticking into the road or a travel lane at the dealership), making an accident likely, they could be at fault and therefore liable due to that carelessness.
But if the dealership did nothing wrong, they are not liable; liability is based on fault. So if the car was parked properly and some other customer, driving his/her car in, drove carelessly and hit it, that is not the dealership's fault and the dealership is not liable--though the other customer would be, if you can identify him or her.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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