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A Valet’s Liability

Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com

Photo Credit: Thinkstock.com

feldman_amy Amy Feldman
Amy E. Feldman is a business commentator and legal business...
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By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - You park your car at a garage with a valet, who crashes it. Who pays?

A valet parker in Miami lost control of the Jeep Grand Cherokee he was parking, which hopped over a Mini Cooper, crashing into a Maserati and a Porsche this past year. Taaa daaa! Who pays for that damage?

You pay car insurance not only for the purpose of having the insurance company cover damage to your vehicle but also for the privilege of having their lawyers fight for you. So for a major accident involving a valet, you are best served to turn the claim over to your insurance company.

But, for the more common scratches and dents that appear when the car is returned, you should fill out a claim form.

While most valet companies do have policies limiting their liability for the contents of your car while parked, they usually can’t limit liability while they are actually driving it. But make certain that you call attention to the damage BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE GARAGE or they’ll argue that the damage didn’t happen on their watch.

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