Who pays for an accident at a car dealership?

by Bryan

I am a current employee of a small car dealership group (7 stores) and I recently backed into another vehicle on the lot. I have been with the company for just over one year and have not had any problems or previous accidents. When this happened my manager, albeit nicely, took the stance that because I caused the damage I would have to pay for the repairs.

I was a little shaken at the time, embarrassed also, and really did not say much. He said he will get estimates at the lowest possible price, but I am looking at about 2 weeks lost salary.

The accident occurred as I was pulling a vehicle out for a customer to test drive. I did not see that a car had been moved into a space perpendicular to the rear of the vehicle. As I backed out, crunch, and now this is $$$ worth of damage.

No hot-rodding was taking place (I simply backed out of a spot into another vehicle...yes it was stupid!) No drugs or alcohol were involved. The whole event was captured on security camera.

I know in many situations employers pay for broken or damaged product and if it keeps happening can fire the employee. I was a bit surprised that I was expected to pay for it as this was a typical part of my job. I would really appreciate any feedback you could give. Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Who pays for an accident at a car dealership?":

Bryan (Boston):

Whether or not you are required to pay for the damages is strictly within the discretion of the dealership owner, or manager (if he or she has that authority from the owner).

In the alternative, if you had been injured as a result of the collision, workers' compensation insurance would likely have covered your injuries and resulting medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, and about two thirds of your lost wages.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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