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New car, transmission cracked on private college property

Discussion in 'Car Sales, Dealers, Repairs, Lemon Law' started by alice1120, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. alice1120

    alice1120 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hello,

    I'm in need of legal advice.
    I signed a lease on my car (Subaru Impreza) in May 2017. Yesterday me and my wife went to get our first oil change and didn't expect the outcome... We found out that our transmission is cracked along with dents in the exhaust (exhaust doesn't cause problems itself but the transmission needs to be replaced). We were both shocked and completely helpless. We called the insurance company to claim an accident because this is what Subaru service station told us to do.
    The only time that the car ever hit anything was on our college property. Their parking lots' exits (3 out of 4) are not elevated correctly and there is a drop right by the street, so that when you try to leave, the car hits the road pretty hard even when you drive exteremly slow. There is no warning sign. There is a light that takes around 8 minutes to change but when it finally happens it only lasts few seconds. In order to avoid hitting the bottom of your car is to go very slow at a certain angle (and trying to make it while the green light lasts), but even though I've done that I still ended up hitting the bottom of my car. It happened to me twice last month when I couldn't find parking by the building I had class in so I had to park across at this unfortunate parking lot. I had no idea there was any damage until yesterday. The insurance inspector comfirmed today this must've happened 1-2 months ago.
    The total amount of damage is $10,000. The insurance company will repair everything but my insurance rate will go up. I had enough stress as it is because of the nursing school, me and my wife are both students working retail jobs and living with my family. We can't afford paying even more money for the insurance than we already do. We are both very careful drivers and we truly take care of the car. None of us even got a speeding ticket and I've been driving for 5 years.
    My question is if I should go after school in this case since this happened on their property. Do I have any chance to win and make them pay for everything? I know plenty of people who can confirm this parking lot exit is a big issue.
     
  2. mightymoose

    mightymoose Well-Known Member

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    You are lucky that your insurance covered it.

    No, I don't see you being successful trying to hold someone else responsible. With full knowledge of the conditions you willingly and repeatedly drove your car through there and caused the damage. The driver of the vehicle has responsibility here.
     
  3. alice1120

    alice1120 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Conditions? So that's okay that people are ruing their cars? This school charges over $30k tuition and can't afford reparis? You're wrong because I was TRYING to avoid it but it was impossible. I drove extremely slow and still hit it. And there was no other parking, so it's either that or skipping the class which kicks me out of the program. What makes you think I got a brand new car to destroy it?
     
  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    I disagree with mightymoose. You were placed in an impossible position of having no choice but to drive over a faulty installation. It's possible that the school might be held responsible for your damage.

    However, reality check, your chances are iffy at best and if you sue the school you will spend a year or two in litigation and you'll pay an attorney by the hour and not get that money back. Meantime your car spends all that time in your garage with a busted transmission.

    Or, just have your insurance company pay for the repairs, for which you are apparently covered, and let the experts decide if there is any possibility of recovering the money from the school. If your insurance people choose not to, it means they don't think there is a chance of recovering the money so it's a cinch that you won't be successful going after it yourself.
     
  5. mightymoose

    mightymoose Well-Known Member

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    It sounds as if you were aware of the problem at 3 of 4 exits and for months you repeatedly chose to not use the one exit that won't cause damage to the car. This is not an impossible situation. You had other parking options.
    You were aware of this months ago. Did you bring it to anyone's attention then or did you just keep driving over it as if it was no big deal?
    I know that if my car was hitting bottom all the time I would simply use an alternate exit.
    Also, you likely have no way of proving that the damage to your car occurred this way or when it occurred.
     
  6. txls

    txls Well-Known Member

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    You have no way to prove that the car was damaged in their parking lot. I'm surprised your insurance is covering it. You can always shop around for insurance prices when you come up for renewal. However it sounds like you have a good one.
     
  7. alice1120

    alice1120 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you, that sounds reasonable. I'll talk to the insurance company today again. The inspector said there is a chance but we should talk to the claims departament because they just want to get their money no matter where it comes from.
     
  8. zddoodah

    zddoodah Active Member

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    This is not an actual question.

    It's okay with me, but this has nothing at all to do with your question or the situation you asked about.

    No one here knows what some unknown school can and cannot afford. I can assure you, however, that the cost of tuition has little to do with this.

    No one thinks this. However, at some point, you have to realize that the hazards will cause problems and that you shouldn't continue to confront them.

    I neither agree nor disagree with "mightymoose" and "adjusterjack" because your description of the situation and our lack of familiarity with the area where this happened doesn't not allow anyone here to form a reliable conclusion about the viability of an assumption of risk argument. All we can tell you is that the issue exists.

    However, I very much agree with the last two paragraph's of "adjusterjack's" response. I'll also add that, even if you were to sue the school successfully, all you'd get was the cost to repair the damages to your car, which you're already getting from your insurance company. You would not get anything for the increased insurance rates.
     
  9. alice1120

    alice1120 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Okay, I think I didn't clarify this well, so let me explain that. The school has 4 separate parking lots with 1 exit each (this is what I meant by 4 exits). So no, I had NO OTHER parking option because the campus is very big, which means there are 2 parking lots by one of the buildings that I had class in. The parking lot, which has a proper entrance and exit was completely full even after waiting 15 minutes for someone to leave. So, I had to park across the street at their other parking lot which has the drop. The other 2 parking lots are 5 and 6 miles away from this part of campus.
     
  10. alice1120

    alice1120 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    So you're basically saying I should find a different school because it's my fault that I "confronted the obstacles"- that's such a great idea WOW
     
  11. alice1120

    alice1120 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    The insurance admitted right away that this wasn't my fault
     
  12. zddoodah

    zddoodah Active Member

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    That's not at all what I wrote, but you're apparently fond of responding to anything you don't like by completely misconstruing what you've been told, so I won't waste any more time with you.
     
  13. alice1120

    alice1120 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    This is exactly what you said if you didn't realize
     
  14. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Is this a privately owned or a state owned university?
     
  15. zddoodah

    zddoodah Active Member

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    I guess I have changed my mind about wasting more time on you.

    I'm well aware of what I have written (and I can always go back and re-read it if I forget).

    As you noted, I wrote that, "at some point, you have to realize that the hazards will cause problems and that you shouldn't continue to confront them." Nowhere in that statement did I suggest that you "should [have found] a different school." Nor did I write that the damage was your "fault." In fact, I wrote exactly the opposite: "I neither agree nor disagree with 'mightymoose' and 'adjusterjack' because your description of the situation and our lack of familiarity with the area where this happened doesn't not allow anyone here to form a reliable conclusion about the viability of an assumption of risk argument. All we can tell you is that the issue exists" (emphasis added). Moreover, you have posited a false dichotomy in which the only two choices are that you knowingly damage your car or change schools. Elementary logic tells us that there are other options.
     
  16. alice1120

    alice1120 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    privately owned
     
  17. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You can talk to two or three local attorneys about the efficacy of a lawsuit against the university.

    Suing ANY state owned entity is nearly impossible.

    Suing privately owned entities is somewhat easier.

    Meet with the attorneys, discuss your concerns, you'll come away with a better idea of a SUCCESSFUL lawsuit.

    Most attorneys will meet with prospective clients for free, ask if cost is an issue wit you. A prospective clients normally gets 30 minutes to discuss a legal problem. Occasionally, you might get an hour.

    Remember the old adage every 1L (1st year law student), anyone can sue anyone for just about anything. What you really want to know is the efficacy of a lawsuit.
     
    alice1120 likes this.
  18. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    What I see lacking here is any kind of proof, other than the poster's word, that the ONLY possible source of damage is the exit from the parking lot. How does the school know that you didn't hit something else, somewhere else, were not seen and thus never reported it? How does the court know that? How do we know that, for that matter? Yes, I know that's what you SAID, but you have a vested interest in having someone else be responsible. (No, this is not an accusation - I'm trying to make a point.)

    Do you see why it would be a difficult win?
     
  19. txls

    txls Well-Known Member

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    Valid point that it would be impossible to prove this is where it happened. And let's get real. There are always choices. You may not like the choices, but they are there. Nobody held a gun to anyone and forced them to park in this lot. There are buses and taxis and uber drivers. Have a friend drop you off, or hitch a ride with another student. Park further away and walk. Soooo many choices.
     
  20. zddoodah

    zddoodah Active Member

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    While I disagree that proving causation will be impossible (the burden of proof in civil cases is only a preponderance of evidence or "more likely than not"), but I agree that it would present a very difficult given the facts known to us. And, since the OP's insurance is apparently covering the damage, it's an issue that would make litigating this matter very unattractive.
     

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