Visitor Question

Cement parking stop damages vehicle…

Submitted By: Laura (Van Nuys, CA)

I parked my car in the parking lot at a Japanese gardens. The rebar posts were sticking out the top of the cement parking stop. When I was preparing to leave and started to back out, the rebar caught my front bumper and pulled it partially off my vehicle.

Looking around the parking lot I saw that my parking stop was not the only one with rebar sticking out the top. It protruded about 2 inches above the cement top and looks like it does this on several other cement parking stops in the parking lot.

Is the liability solely mine for not seeing it or do the owners of the lot have some responsibility?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Laura,

Without seeing the actual damage relative to the protruding rebar, it is difficult to assess exact blame. We can tell you though there is no excuse for the rebar to be protruding, and the Japanese Gardens, and their insurance company should be fully liable, not only for the damage to your vehicle, but to also pay for a rental car while yours is in the shop.

We wanted to remind you to be sure when the Garden’s insurance company agrees to pay for the damages that you insist they pay for original parts from the car’s manufacturer, and NOT the cheaper, usually Asian manufactured parts.

Many people don’t realize when they are involved in a collision and the at-fault driver’s insurance company is paying for the damages that the insurance company authorizes the body shop to use the lesser quality material. That way the insurance company saves money, and many times the body shops benefit in other “mysterious” ways. Under most circumstances people won’t realize they received the cheaper parts until weeks, months or even years later when the paint on the replaced fender or, in your case bumper, begins to fade, chip, crack or peal.

You have an absolute and legal right to have ONLY original parts used for the repair to your vehicle. Make sure you follow up with the body shop. Tell them if they don’t put original parts back on you will take your car to another body shop.

Often times insurance companies will also tell you which body shop they want you to take your vehicle to. You don’t have to go to the body shop they suggest. Make sure you look at the amount of money the insurance company is agreeing to pay for the repair.

You can go to another body shop of your choice and show them the estimate. They will usually tell you if that amount is enough to pay for OEM, or original factory replacement parts. If the amount is not, then again insist on an amount which will cover the appropriate amount

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

Best of luck,

Published: September 11, 2017

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