The dealership totaled my car in the service bay, what do I do?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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The dealership totaled my car in the service bay, what do I do?

I was taking my car in to get an oil change and
headlights. While my car was on the service lift, a
technician backing up a van hit my car and my car fell
off the service lift and was totaled. I have been trying
for over a month now for compensation for my vehicle and
its almost like they are avoiding me. I dont know what
to do.

Asked on February 26, 2016 under Accident Law, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

1) If you have collision coverage on your car, your insurer should pay--if they won't, you could potentially sue them for breach of contract (violation of their contractual obligations to pay for a claim like this; an insurance policy is a contract). If you have a high deductible, you could sue the repair shop and the particular technician who totaled your car for it, too.
2) If you don't have the relevant insurance coverage, your only recourse is to sue the repair shop (and possibly also the employee): anyone for damages or destroys your property negligently (or carelessly) is liable for the value of what they destroyed (the then-current fair market, or blue book, value), as well as for other out-of-pocket costs directly arising out of the incident (e.g. car rental, if you had to rent for a week or two while getting a new car).

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 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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