Should my local dealership be liable for anything more than damages to my car if they failed to latch my hood, nearly causing an accident?

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Should my local dealership be liable for anything more than damages to my car if they failed to latch my hood, nearly causing an accident?

I took my car to the dealership for a service question. On my way home while on the freeway my hood flew up. I just avoided an accident and was so traumatized and shook up by this that I barely got myself together enough to drive home. I ws with my 1 year old. I don’t feel safe to even drive to the local grocery store for milk.

Asked on June 13, 2012 under Business Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

While you certainly deserve sympathy (and I know exactly how frightening this can be--it happened to me once), unfortunately, the law does not provide compensation for emotion upset, trauma, stress, etc. when there was no physical injury to people except in exceptional circumstances which do not apply here: for example, watching a loved one be killed right next to you; being the victim of deliberate or intentional attempts to inflict emotional harm. In this case, you would seem to only be liable for car damage and related economic costs flowing out of this incident: e.g towing; renting a replacement car or taking a cab while the car is being repaired.


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