accident in car wash

26 posts in this topic

Hello TT members,

Few weeks back I took my car to a car wash and during the car wash, the heavy metal brush  broke off from the machine and made a big dent in the roof of the car during the middle of the car wash.

we then called the police and they said they cannot make a report since it is a civil matter.

The next day, I went to  a lawyer who recommended a gutachter. The gutachter estimated the repair work around 6K euros and the lawyer sent this notice to the car wash owner.

The lawyers from the car wash ( their insurance) company are refusing to pay saying they are only liable to maintain the machine as per the catalog and work instructions and anything that happens beyond this is not part of their responsibility.

 

Our lawyer now says going to court will not lead to my favorable results and asks me to drop the case. In addition, i have to pay the 1100 euros for the gutachter. My lawyer is using my rechtsversicherung and has already billed them.

 

I feel that the lawyer I have is totally incompetent and how can someone refuse to pay when the accident happen clearly due to their machine faulting.

 

I am clueless here and any suggestions from others would help me make a decision to see if i should pursue this case in the court.

 

Thanks

Decow.

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They should pay. They must have insurance for that.

 

Happened to my dad years ago. I was with him and it scared me to death. One of the side brushes came unattached and beat dents all down the side of his car. They paid and he got free car washes after that. The owner felt bad. Of course, that was in the U.S.

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12 minutes ago, decow said:

... they are only liable to maintain the machine as per the catalog and work instructions...

 

I feel that the lawyer I have is totally incompetent...

IANAL but point 1 sounds like a fob off. Guessing either the machine is under manufacturer guarantee so a possible avenue... or the purveyor is using defective equipment. And liable.

 

Your lawyer sounds not very creative. Cough. Move on to another...

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Looks like we should have a thread called "Only in Germany/Austria"

 

Sorry to hear about your bad news, I would try another lawyer. I would think you need to chat to a auto rechtsschutz lawyer

 

Try google something like this "auto rechtsschutz anwalt" with your BLZ ( postcode ) after it. Pick a few and

 

Then get on the phone...

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Thank you. I shall google for that. My lawyer sounds a total incompetent guy with what I have experienced so far.

 

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2 hours ago, decow said:

Few weeks back I took my car to a car wash and during the car wash, the heavy metal brush  broke off from the machine and made a big dent in the roof of the car during the middle of the car wash.

 

Is the car insured Vollkasko? If yes then claim on the car insurance and they can try and recover the costs from the car wash.

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The vollkasko will likely reject the claim on the grounds that the car wash is responsible & so your Vollkasko does not cover it.

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If your car had been damaged by the brush while the brush was operating normally ( and set up correctly), then I can see how the car wash's insurance company could reject your claim. However, obviously the car wash's brush was not operating normally because it had broken off! Really poor by your lawyer - they should be reported for incompetence.

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1 hour ago, HEM said:

The vollkasko will likely reject the claim on the grounds that the car wash is responsible & so your Vollkasko does not cover it.

 

I'm no expert but I don't think it works that way, something like the car insurer is the primary responsible for the car.

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ADAC have some advice.  The free concilation service sounds interesting. 

 

Damage to the car wash: You have these rights | ADAC

 

And I guess this is the angle the carwash are trying to take...

 

" The car wash operator does not have to be liable if he can credibly document the professional maintenance and regular inspection of the system (LG Wuppertal of 13.03.2013, Az.: 5 O 172/11). However, the operator must be able to prove this in concrete terms in the event of a dispute."

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7 hours ago, snowingagain said:

ADAC have some advice.  The free concilation service sounds interesting. 

 

Damage to the car wash: You have these rights | ADAC

 

And I guess this is the angle the carwash are trying to take...

 

" The car wash operator does not have to be liable if he can credibly document the professional maintenance and regular inspection of the system (LG Wuppertal of 13.03.2013, Az.: 5 O 172/11). However, the operator must be able to prove this in concrete terms in the event of a dispute."

 

So who is responsible then? It would mean car washes are a "enter at your own risk" kind of area. If they can damage my car and there are no insurances to cover it then no way am I going in one again. And I have a shitty car. Smash up some Munich wankers BMW and not fork out for any damage...sounds like a risky game to me.

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27 minutes ago, snowingagain said:

Maybe follow the ADAC advice.

 

But that only gets you so far. Like you quoted, the operator is not liable if they have documented maintenance and inspections. If they have that, then you are shit out of luck apparently. They could total your car and you have to personally foot the bill.

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This is indeed ridiculous. Another reason I don't spend much on cars (or other things in general :)) It's just more potential for expensive damage and no recourse unless one of the 50 types of insurance you're advised to get in this country covers it.

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@JohnG... what's your take on this ?

The car wash company has commercial liability insurance hopefully.

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51 minutes ago, theGman said:

 

But that only gets you so far. Like you quoted, the operator is not liable if they have documented maintenance and inspections. If they have that, then you are shit out of luck apparently. They could total your car and you have to personally foot the bill.

A lot of carwash damage claims are about minor things, like paint damage, which are easier to dispute. (Car wash has been recently checked).  The big brush thingy breaking off and making a huge dent in roof is quite different.  Just hope they got it all photos, witnesses, whatever.  Think the arbitration service to start with sounds like the way to go.  

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I owe the OP a beer. Thanks to him I'll never use a Waschstrasse again. This is a ridiculous legal loophole and I had assumed that if the operator is not liable then the manufacturer should be liable... surely when planes started crashing and the airlines were not liable, it was Boeing who had to foot the bill??

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I doubt it is a loophole but getting insurers to disburse... and sometimes people are just not insured for all eventualities... and when they are they don't like their premiums going up because they made a claim... etc., etc.

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I am planning to use the ADAC tips. But my lawyer says I have very little change of winning due to this clause ' the car wash operator does not have to be liable if he can credibly document the professional maintenance and regular inspection of the system '.

On top of repair charges, i now have to pay the gutachter 1100 Euros and the lawyer bills. I hope the lawyer bills are covered by my rechtschutz which i took via John.G.

 

Plus the repair cost of the entire roof of the car is coming around 6K euros.

I have no clue how i can manage such unexpected expense and the law is not helping as well.

 

My sincere thanks to everyone for all your responses.

Finding a good lawyer here is another  big challenge.

 

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