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Valet Parking Accident My 2008 Honda CR-V
(New York, NY)
I live in Manhattan and I have to park my car in a Garage Parking 2 blocks away from my building. I pay it monthly.
It's a valet service, so every time I want to get my car or leave my car, someone from the parking garage will take my car and park it inside.
Well, last Saturday, I left my car in the garage around 4pm and today morning a guy that works there called me saying that I should go there because an accident happened with my car.
When my husband and I got there in the Garage, and I saw my car I could not believe it, but my 2008 Honda CR-V with 6K miles was all burned and destroyed, from the middle to the back.
Glasses broken, seats burned, back of the car gone.
The guy yesterday had to maneuver my car and when he put reverse to park it, he told us that he hit a gas pipe and that the muffler from my car touched it and caused the fire...
We got the fire dept report, also we filled a claim with my insurance company, and they are working on it.
We have no idea how to proceed on that, what we should do, say or whatever. But we know that it was not our fault.
The people from the garage building assume all the fault and told us that they would take care of it.
We don't know what to expect.
Manuela and Ronaldo
Hello Manuela and Ronaldo. I am truly sorry to hear about your car. In this case, it sounds that you have a bailee situation.
This means that you “entrusted” your car to someone and they have the responsibility to return the car back to you in the same condition.
In the facts that you gave me, there is no negligence on your part, so you should be able to get your car paid for in less than 30 days plus the cost of a rental car if you need one.
The issue can become a headache when the car “can be fixed” and the insurance company wants to “patch it together” and give it back to you.
Your car has a lot of value in it (6K miles and a 08 model), so I would not be surprise if they want to argue the car is not a total loss. Sounds like the fire was very significant so do not let them try to fix it.
Usually the responsible insurance company will pay if everything is clear. However, Bailee claims can take a little more time than other claims, so it is possible that you have to deal with your own insurance company first.
They will go after the insurance company of the parking garage and get paid for every thing they pay on your behalf.
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