the dealership damaged my car but I live almost 200 miles away.

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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the dealership damaged my car but I live almost 200 miles away.

Hello I was wondering if I can get some
advise. I took my new car in to get it
service at the dealership where I
bought it from. When I got to my in-
laws house from the dealership I
noticed many dents on the top of my
hood. I immediately called and emailed
the service manager he said he will fix
it and to bring it to his shop. The
only problem is that I live almost 200
miles away. I serviced my car there
because I was there on a vacation. I
requested that the dealership find me a
shop locally, they told me to find one
I did but the estimate was to expensive
for them. So now the only way to get
it fix is to drive to the dealership
and leave my car there for 3 days at
their shop. I can not afford to lose 3
days of work plus milage and gas
because of their doing.. please help..

Asked on June 21, 2016 under Accident Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You don't really have any good recourse. Your only other option would be to sue, since if someone damages your property, they don't have the right to say how they will compensate you; you could sue for the cost to repair locally. However, if they are 200 miles away, you most likely cannot sue in small claims court, or at least not your local small court--small claims court tends to have limited geographic jurisdiction. You'd either have to sue in "regular" county or district court, or possibly in the small claims court near the dealership, both of which options would increase the costs and inconvenience significantly; you'd also lose (if it goes to trial) at least a day of work anyway, even if you'd hired a lawyer to represent you (you'd have to appear in court and testify). There may be no cost-effective way to get compensation.

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