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Car Damaged in Car park by uneven surface.


sakenomido
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I was driving into a roof top car park of a shopping centre, very slowly.

As I passed over a rubber ridge (the roof has hard rubber ridges like speed bumps but used to keep the roof from leaking) I heard a scraping sound and then my exhaust started to make a lot of noise as it had been disconnected.

I parked my car and went to see (and photograph) the rubber ridge which had a good few nicks and lumps missing from other cars scraping it, I think. I went along to the shopping centre manager, who came out took photos of my car and the rubber ridge and then told me to call my insurance, I'm fully comp and though the insurance will fix my car it will cost me 2 years no claims and £100.

 

I took my car into a garage and it will cost about £250-300 to fix, not worth the insurance claim.

 

Question can I get this money back from the Car Park management?

and how should I go about it?

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You could make a claim directly to their insurance, but they could avoid paying out saying that if your vehicle was incapable of passing over the rubber joint without damage to your vehicle, then you should not have proceeded.

 

Ultimately, there has to be an inherent problem. They would not be liable if your vehicle was too high, low, long or short to use their facility. I have lost count of the number of card 'grounding' on exit ramps - this isn't a fault of the ramp, but the style of car, and probably low-profile alloys that will make the problem worse.

 

They'll argue a driver has equal responsibility to be aware of the shortcomings of their vehicle and to park accordingly, and if they park inadvisedly, have to pay the consequences. If another car can park safely using the same route you took, means they are not liable to you. It is your vehicle that the problem lies, and an alternative parking space or location should be used.

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They'll argue a driver has equal responsibility to be aware of the shortcomings of their vehicle and to park accordingly, and if they park inadvisedly, have to pay the consequences. If another car can park safely using the same route you took, means they are not liable to you. It is your vehicle that the problem lies, and an alternative parking space or location should be used.

 

They might argue this, but I'm not sure this is a fair point. The last time i checked, it is the responsibility of the DVLA, VOSA (through MOT testing), and car manufacturers to make sure the cars are fit for purpose, not the driver. There are a number of perfectly legal and unmodified cars that are comparably close to the ground, so the 'another car' statement would never hold water. If a Land Rover can negotiate the ridge, does it logically follow that they have no liability toward someone in a Focus RS?

 

Another point worth bearing in mind is the layout of most multi-storey car parks - it's entirely possible that the OP had no way to safely avoid the ridge. I certainly wouldn't be able to reverse through my local multi-storey on a saturday, for example. It's certainly worth sending them a letter of complaint.

fix (vb.):

1. to paper over, obscure, hide from public view;

2. to work around, in a way that produces unintended consequences that are worse than the original problem.

Usage: "Vista fixes many of the shortcomings of Windows XP".

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Following that logic, all vehicles would be the same - height weight length and colour! Just because something meets safety 'standards' does not mean a level playing field for all.

 

In just the same way that a small car can pass between safety bollards, and a large car cannot, does this mean whoever erected the bollards is in error because the spacing for the car that tried (and field) to get through was in error?

 

The driver is meant to exercise judgement - but having seen the nutters blindly following GPS direction because 'it told me to' does not negate their responsibility behind the wheel.

 

In the case in point, some car types because of their style or design cannot use the same ramps (either to exit an islands ferry or multi-storey car park. Whilst the operators will do their best to minimise problems of entry and egress, the decision to proceed remains with the drives, as does the risk of paying for the repair.

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Following that logic, all vehicles would be the same - height weight length and colour! Just because something meets safety 'standards' does not mean a level playing field for all.

 

Not at all - my point was that you shouldn't automatically imply that the car was 'incapable' of negotiating the car park because it 'probably' had 'low profile alloys'. The OP hasn't stated what they drive, and how high the ridge was.

 

In just the same way that a small car can pass between safety bollards, and a large car cannot, does this mean whoever erected the bollards is in error because the spacing for the car that tried (and field) to get through was in error?

 

I struggle to think of a real-life situation in which this would occur. Nevertheless, knowing the width of your car is a much simpler bit of mental arithmetic than working out the ground clearance of a car over a change of gradient. I don't doubt that a driver getting their car stuck between bollards would be seen as responsible.

 

The driver is meant to exercise judgement - but having seen the nutters blindly following GPS direction because 'it told me to' does not negate their responsibility behind the wheel.

 

I don't see how that's even related. Not knowing the car park in question, you have no idea of knowing how much traffic was sitting behind the OP, or whether they could have seen the height of the ridge before getting to the top of the ramp. Getting back down may well have been impossible.

 

In the case in point, some car types because of their style or design cannot use the same ramps (either to exit an islands ferry or multi-storey car park. Whilst the operators will do their best to minimise problems of entry and egress, the decision to proceed remains with the drives, as does the risk of paying for the repair.

 

...unless the design of the car park is not apparent before entering. Seeing as the ridge was on the roof of the car park, i'd wager that there was no way to see the height of any ridges or speed bumps before entering. However, expecting a road-legal car to be able to negotiate a car park is not an unreasonable expectation.

fix (vb.):

1. to paper over, obscure, hide from public view;

2. to work around, in a way that produces unintended consequences that are worse than the original problem.

Usage: "Vista fixes many of the shortcomings of Windows XP".

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Not at all - my point was that you shouldn't automatically imply that the car was 'incapable' of negotiating the car park because it 'probably' had 'low profile alloys'. The OP hasn't stated what they drive, and how high the ridge was.

 

The OP has asked whether the car park was negligent. I'm pointing out that it cuts both ways, and, irrespective of the duty of care the CP has to the driver, a driver blindly following an arrow on the ground towards or through an obstruction that would cause them damage is not a sustainable position

 

, knowing the width of your car is a much simpler bit of mental arithmetic than working out the ground clearance of a car over a change of gradient. I don't doubt that a driver getting their car stuck between bollards would be seen as responsible.

 

There are streets in my city that have been gouged due to front spoilers and sumps of vehicles making contact. The fitting of low-profile tyres, and the splitting of alloys is no accident (pun intended). Trying to assert blame, when the pragmatic approach would be to have a vehicle that can make it over urban obstacles, isn't going to be successful.

 

I don't see how that's even related. Not knowing the car park in question, you have no idea of knowing how much traffic was sitting behind the OP, or whether they could have seen the height of the ridge before getting to the top of the ramp. Getting back down may well have been impossible.

 

So the OP could have been 'bullied' into following the route and damaging his vehicle? That wouldn't work either. I recall taking my (rather large) vehicle to park at a supermarket Car Park at Crystal Palace. The signs advised the CP was at the rear, and I followed the signs of the one way system until I arrived at a height barrier I could not pass under. There was no 'escape' route, and no advance warning of the 6.6" restriction - I don't park in multi-storey's and the signage did not state in advance of the problem (for me). I stopped. When the queue behind me backed up to the street, the management came to my rescue - by opening a gate that allowed me into the service bay and out. Subsequently, they improved the signage, but if I proceeded and damaged my roof or stripped off my roof aerials, I'd still have to take the blame.

 

...unless the design of the car park is not apparent before entering. Seeing as the ridge was on the roof of the car park, I'd wager that there was no way to see the height of any ridges or speed bumps before entering. However, expecting a road-legal car to be able to negotiate a car park is not an unreasonable expectation.

 

As I noted above - this would be irrelevant. Expectations are one thing, but proceeding blindly in the absence of common sense does not provide a safety net.

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It does beg the question of just how high the ridges are, how low the car is, and how fast was the driver going.?

 

I did hear of this in a Scottish CP - the rubber strip was at the bottom of the UP ramp, and the driver it it at speed, this lifted the car somewhat and he hit the bottom Max Headroom sign!. It was agreed this sign was mis-placed and should have been before the ramp and not actually ON it. Still no idea if he got paid for the damage... I would have thought not.

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As it appears there have been other incidents then there should have been a warning sign either giving dimensions or stating 'risk of grounding' & without those you have a good case to claim against the CP as they have failed in their duty of care

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The OP has asked whether the car park was negligent. I'm pointing out that it cuts both ways, and, irrespective of the duty of care the CP has to the driver, a driver blindly following an arrow on the ground towards or through an obstruction that would cause them damage is not a sustainable position

 

Fair point, but you are making an assumption that the driver was indeed negligent through having an unsuitable car, or that they weren't paying attention.

 

There are streets in my city that have been gouged due to front spoilers and sumps of vehicles making contact. The fitting of low-profile tyres, and the splitting of alloys is no accident (pun intended). Trying to assert blame, when the pragmatic approach would be to have a vehicle that can make it over urban obstacles, isn't going to be successful.

 

...and again here. Why the assumption that the OP is driving such an unsuitable car?

 

So the OP could have been 'bullied' into following the route and damaging his vehicle? That wouldn't work either. I recall taking my (rather large) vehicle to park at a supermarket Car Park at Crystal Palace. The signs advised the CP was at the rear, and I followed the signs of the one way system until I arrived at a height barrier I could not pass under. There was no 'escape' route, and no advance warning of the 6.6" restriction - I don't park in multi-storey's and the signage did not state in advance of the problem (for me). I stopped. When the queue behind me backed up to the street, the management came to my rescue - by opening a gate that allowed me into the service bay and out. Subsequently, they improved the signage, but if I proceeded and damaged my roof or stripped off my roof aerials, I'd still have to take the blame.

 

Ok, so we've established that you don't park in multi-storey car parks. Even taking that into account, surely you realise that a car park on the roof of a building is much less likely to have such an escape route?

 

As I noted above - this would be irrelevant. Expectations are one thing, but proceeding blindly in the absence of common sense does not provide a safety net.

 

I think you might be assuming unrealistic expectations here. As i mentioned previously, no-one but the OP currently knows how suitable the car was, or how the car park is designed. Therefore, your apparent assumption that the car was unsuitable, or that the OP was negligent, are probably a little unfair.

 

OP (if you're still about), you mentioned that you took photos - any chance of posting one, or at least confirming what kind of car was involved? I agree with Buzby that a massively-lowered car might skew the liability, but we're all just guessing at the moment.

fix (vb.):

1. to paper over, obscure, hide from public view;

2. to work around, in a way that produces unintended consequences that are worse than the original problem.

Usage: "Vista fixes many of the shortcomings of Windows XP".

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Fair point, but you are making an assumption that the driver was indeed negligent through having an unsuitable car, or that they weren't paying attention.

 

No I'm not - you are making this assumption. I'm pointing out that just because something g untoward happens to you outside the home, you cannot assume in this blame culture world we live in, you will successfully prove negligence, the action of the driver play a major contributory factor in deciding blame.

 

...and again here. Why the assumption that the OP is driving such an unsuitable car?

 

Not so - I'm simply underlining that the drivers responsibility is still an important element. From the limited information given, low and high mounted vehicles have problems with car park ramps. It isn't rocket science - just physics.

 

Ok, so we've established that you don't park in multi-storey car parks. Even taking that into account, surely you realise that a car park on the roof of a building is much less likely to have such an escape route?

 

Logically to reach the roof, I would have come across some physical limitation before arriving there - like the spiral ramp? This would have made progress impossible - and to be honest, there's seldom a height restriction on the roof itself (for obvious reasons). Just entering and leaving.

 

I think you might be assuming unrealistic expectations here. As i mentioned previously, no-one but the OP currently knows how suitable the car was, or how the car park is designed. Therefore, your apparent assumption that the car was unsuitable, or that the OP was negligent, are probably a little unfair.

 

The OP was enquiring on the success (or otherwise) of claiming on the CP insurers. It was this I was commenting on. I was making no judgement on whether he had any possibility of a successful claim.

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First off many thanks for getting back to me guys.

 

My car is a Fiat Bravo 2001 it is a standard hatchback, no modifications, it hasn't been lowered, the Exhaust (the part that went wrong) was replaced last year. I drive over road bumps on my way to work an on my way home and have never had a scrap or bump.

The roof top car park is flat apart from these rubber bumps, I wasn't going up a ramp at the time just driving slowly (because other cars in front of me were going in and out of parking spaces) The rubber Bump stretches the length of this one way part of the car park (no other way around it) and I have driven over this bump many times before with out a problem.

 

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th_25754_DSC00476_122_377lo.JPGth_25761_DSC00477_122_434lo.JPG

 

 

IF you look closely at the last picture you can see where the lump of heavy duty rubber has come from in the top left of the picture.

 

Again thanks for the help guys.

Edited by sakenomido
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Write a letter explaining what happened, that you feel they are liable, why you feel they are liable and what you would like them to do about it (i.e. pay for the repairs).

 

Give them a deadline to reply by (usually 14 days).

 

Depending on the response you get, you will then need to think about sending a letter before action which tells them that you will take legal action should they not reach an agreement with you.

 

And finally you may need to then submit a claim from moneyclaimonline, which basically starts the small claims case against them.

 

However, you should only do this if you feel you have a case against them.

 

1st step - write a letter as detailed above.

 

Some other members may be along to provide further advice.

Warning: Freemen of the Land Operate here. Think twice before accepting 'legal advice'.

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