who pays for damage to my vehicle at the repair shop,the repair shop insurance should i would think

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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who pays for damage to my vehicle at the repair shop,the repair shop insurance should i would think

Before Christmas I dropped my truck off for repairs, a week later I went to pick it up and the tonneau cover was stolen off the back along with all the brand new lug nuts that were part of the deal when I bought it last June, I looked inside and the two lighter sockets were empty, what a thing to steal. I believe the repair shop did it, they acted TOTALLY unconcerned. The guy in the office I had to beg him to come out to see all that I was talking about, he finally came out to the parking lot, cut me off and went back in trying to shoo me off fast. The police station was right across the street so I reported it, that was a week ago, they said they would talk and ask them some questions, so far, no one got back to me. So, my question is not the repair shop liable, I came to them in good faith thinking they would repair, NOT SABATOGE, my truck. it is a 2007 Ford Ranger, valued at 11,500 and in June when I bought it, it had only 77,— miles on it.

Asked on January 5, 2017 under Insurance Law, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The repair shop is liable if the repair shop did it--e.g. if the stole anything for resale, or so you'd pay them to repair or replace it. They may also be liable if they did not take reasonable steps to secure your vehicle (e.g. it was not in a locked yard or building), and that lack of reasonble security steps caused this to occur or contributed to it occuring. That is, they must be at fault in some way to hold them liable. 
If there is no fault, they are not liable; they are not your insurer. (Obviously, if you have the appropriate insurance, you an put in a claim.) So if they had, for example, reasonable security but some third party climbed the fence to steal or vandalize, they are not liable.
An issue for you, should you attempt to hold them accountable, is proving they were at fault: it's not enough to say that they "acted unconcerned," for example--that is not evidence of anything.

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