If a valet damages my car, do I sue the valet or the owner of the car?

UPDATED: Sep 17, 2012

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If a valet damages my car, do I sue the valet or the owner of the car?

Asked on September 17, 2012 under Accident Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If your car is damaged by somone else's fault--negligence (unreasonable carelessness) or intentional bad action--you can sue that person to recover the cost to repair or replace. So if, for example, a valet drove your care negligently, you could sue him personally; you could also likely sue the company/business he is working for, since they often responsible for the torts, or actions you can sue for, committed by their staff during the course of employment.

If the valet was not negligent but some other driver was--for example, the valet drove carefully, but another, reckless driver hit your car--then the other driver (and/or the owner of that other car) is the person to sue.

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