Services

Is Valet Company Liable For My Car Damage?

If you live in Singapore, you may need a valet to help you park your car when you get to a hotel. You will also need the valet to bring back your car when you are ready to leave. If you are too drunk to drive, and you do not have a sober designated driver, you can hire a valet to drive you home in your car. This has become especially critical since 2013, when the Singapore Chief Justice, Sundaresh Menon, increased the punishment for driving under the influence of alcohol. However, one of the biggest questions that people have is, who will be liable for car damage when it is driven by a valet? The following are some of the factors that will go into play when a vehicle that was entrusted to a valet is damaged, and how the liability is determined:

Valet

Good valets always check the car before they pack it

- If you want to use a valet service to pack your vehicle at a hotel, a good valet will do a quick check around the car to notice any damages. This is to ensure that they are not blamed for causing the damage later. Some of them will show you the damage in order to be safe.

Damage at the parking lot

- Most hotel parking lots usually have signs that state that they are not liable for any damage to the vehicles. The valet is only responsible for the vehicle when they are driving it. As soon as they park the car, the liability shifts back to the owner of the car.

- Therefore, if the car is damaged or vandalized while at the parking lot, it is the owner of the car who will be responsible for it.

Valet service when driving home

- If a client wants a valet to drive them home because they are too drunk to drive, the valet becomes their authorized driver. This means that in case they get into an accident, the insurance will be able to cover the damage.

Car damage by the valet

- If it is proven that the valet is responsible for any car damage due to their own neglect or by accident, their employer or valet company will be liable for the damages. This means that the valet company should pay for all the damages that were caused by their valet. However, this varies from company to company, and some companies will not accept liability for neglect by their employee.

- This can also be difficult to prove in some scenarios, as the valet can argue that the damage happened in the parking lot after they had already parked the car.

- Most hotels or establishments would not take liability for a car that got damaged on their parking lot.

- As the owner of the vehicle, you may have to go through a lengthy process in order to get the valet or their company to accept the damages.

- It is therefore important for all car owners to inspect their car immediately after the valet hands them over the keys, and to report any damages. This will make it easier for them to ask for their vehicle to be repaired.

Steps to follow in case you notice that your car has been damaged:

If you notice that your car has been damaged, and you suspect that the valet is responsible, there are steps that you can follow in order to get it repaired:

- Speak to the on-site manager immediately. You can also look for the address or phone number of their corporate offices so that you can ask them how to go about filing a claim.

- Do not be rude. It is understandable that you are angry about the damage on your car. However, if you are polite and courteous, you will be able to be served faster.

- If the on-site manager does not have the necessary information, you can ask the management of the hotel for help in locating the corporate offices of the valet company.

- In case the damage is severe, you can get a police report to support your claim.

- Sometimes, the valet in charge may deny that they are responsible for the damage. The owner may have to prove that the car was in good condition when they handed the keys over to the valet.

- If the car park at the hotel has CCTV cameras, you can ask the management to have a look at them in order to see if any damage was done while the car was parked.

- The cameras can prove that the valet is the one responsible for the damage. In this case, the valet's company or employer should pay for the damages on the vehicle. A good valet company will take responsibility if the relevant authorities can prove that their valet was responsible for the damage.

- In case you have a problem, you can collect all the information on the establishment you visited, and the valet company that you think is responsible. Give this information to your own insurance company. Tell them the entire story. The insurance company has a lot more resources at their disposal. They will use these resources to find out who was responsible for the damage. However, this option may take a lot of time.

- If you do not have the time and you really need your car repaired immediately, you can ask your insurance company to take care of it. You may have to pay your deductible. The insurance company will then investigate, and they may be able to get your money back after it is proven that the valet was responsible for the damage.

Conclusion

The process of proving that your vehicle was damaged by a valet can be difficult and hectic. However, if you work with a good valet service company, they will not have any problem with covering the damages on your vehicle if you prove that their valet was involved. Simply follow the steps, in order to get all the information that you need. After you get the information or you contact the relevant authorities, you can prove that the damage was the valet's fault. This will make it easier for the reputable valet company to pay for the damages.
 
 

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