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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    1

    Default What is Your Recourse if Your Car is Stolen from Valet Parking

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: Texas

    Hotel valet parked our vehicle 3 weeks ago at a hotel in downtown Dallas. The next morning the valet was unable to find the keys or the car. Police were called. While we were looking for our vehicle the valet employee told myself and the officer that when he arrived to work that night, the valet stand was not secure. No employee was there and all the keys were left unlocked. This is the timeframe when my keys were in there. I have this on video from my phone and also the police body cam.
    My insurance company has now offered us the value of the vehicle.... approximately 15K. We owe approximately 25K and have NO gap insurance. Since the valet company employee informed me on video that they did not secure my keys can I sue them for the remaining 10k that I will owe the finance company after my insurance pays the 15k? They say I will have 30 days to pay them the remaining 10k. Am I screwed??? I am not trying to take advantage of anything. I just want to be made whole. If not for their negligence, I would not be left standing with a bill to the finance company for 10K with no more car. HELP!!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,367

    Default Re: Car Stolen from Valet

    The most the valet service would owe you would be the fair market value of the vehicle. They would not be required to pay you what you owe if it is more than fmv.

    Being made whole would be returning you to the condition prior to the incident. Before the incident you were in debt $10,000 more than the value of the car. If the valet paid you $15,000, you could replace the car and you would be $10,000 in debt; exactly where you were prior,to the theft of your car

    if you were in no debt after the valet paid you you would be getting a windfall gain of $10,000. Not going to happen

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    16,760

    Default Re: Car Stolen from Valet

    Quote Quoting Elkaholic
    View Post
    I just want to be made whole.
    You are being made whole. You are only entitled to the market value of the car.

    Which would be the defense for the defendant and would make a lawsuit a waste of time and money.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    1,186

    Default Re: Car Stolen from Valet

    The valet company's negligence apparently resulted in the loss of a $15k asset. You don't get anything more than that just because you unwisely were upside down on your loan without appropriate insurance coverage. If you were to sue the valet company and win, the money would go to your insurance company pursuant to the subrogation clause in your policy, and you'd still owe the balance of the loan.

    Before this incident occurred, you were in the red by $10k: you had a $15k asset and a $25k debt. You're in the same position now: you have no asset, but your $25k debt has been reduced to $10k. For the valet company to give you $10k to pay off the loan would be to put you in a better position than before this happened.

    I suggest you talk with the finance company about a payment plan or look into a loan from somewhere else. And next time, spend the pittance that it costs to obtain gap coverage.

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