Cornelia, GA asked in Car Accidents, Products Liability, Consumer Law and Small Claims for Georgia

Q: My car was damaged by an automatic car wash machine. The damage was caused by broken device. Are they negligent?

The attendant said that they are not liable for damage to vehicles over ten years in age. Some solid device smashed into the side of the car and busted the driver's side outside mirror assembly. They even stopped the automatic conveyor machine because they heard the loud "POP" sound of the impact to my car. Other cars behind on the conveyor belt were also stopped when the power was turned off. An employee walked down to our car and looked for the source of the noise. We, of course, could not exit the vehicle do to the dangers for potential bodily harm. The car windows were covered with multi-colored soap at the time also making visibility outside the auto impossible. When we exited the automated machine, we got out and inspected the damage. We drove back to the office and reported it. They said they were not liable because they had signs saying they were not responsible to cars over ten years old. I was not driving and saw no cars. This was not normal car wash functionality as I see it

1 Lawyer Answer
Zachary Taylor Beck
Zachary Taylor Beck
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Rome, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: If the car wash had warning signs (essentially liability waivers) in reasonable view, then you likely assumed the risk of damage to your vehicle by using the car wash. Thus, the car wash is not liable.

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