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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    14

    Default Can You Sue a Property Owner Over a Nail Puncture in your Tire

    My question involves court procedures for the state of: CT


    Hi everyone.

    I pulled into a car wash (self) the other day, and wound up with a nail in my tire. I had not yet pulled into the wash bay. It's a runflat, and all tires have 9k miles on them. Drove to the tire place, and a repair was unsucessful.

    I had to get two new tires, as getting one is not an option due to difference in tread. Bill was $750

    Can I sue the owner of the car wash? I can prove I was there (I had already run my CC, and have the receipt), and I have a pic of the nail (tho it was after I pulled it out). I have a pic of the tire. And of course, the receipt from the repair shop - which is registered with the state. I can match the time I brought the car in to the shop to minutes after my CC was swiped at the wash.

    BUT - the argument from the other side is going to be "how do you know you didnt pick up the nail before you pulled onto the property"? Which is a valid argument, and the answer I have to that, is that it took about a minute before my console started warning me of low tire pressure, which was while I was sitting there waiting for the car in front or me to finish. If I picked up the nail on the road, it would not have taken that long to get the warning. Not sure how much water that holds. Can that argument negate me having a case?

    Any experience here? Thoughts?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,236

    Default Re: Tires Damaged on Private Property - Can I Sue in Smc

    To succeed, even in small claims court, you must prove negligence by a preponderance of the evidence. That means that your evidence would have to be more credible and convincing than the evidence presented by the other party or shows that the fact to be proven is more probable than not.

    Negligence has 4 elements:

    1 - Duty of care. The defendant has a duty to exercise reasonable care.
    2 - Breach. The defendant breaches that duty through an act or omission.
    3 - Damage or injury. As a result of that act or omission, plaintiff suffers damage or injury.
    4 - Causation. The damage or injury to the plaintiff is a reasonably foreseeable consequence of the defendant's act or omission.

    Your case:

    1 - Is it reasonable to expect the car wash owner to minutely examine every inch of his property to search for nails? Of course not. However, the defendant does have a duty to remedy hazardous conditions that he knows of or should know of. Since he has no duty to minutely examine every inch of his property to search for nails then he would not be able to remedy the hazard if he didn't see the nail or didn't get a report of the nail.

    2 - Without a duty, there is no breach.

    Your case fails on elements 1 and 2 even if you did pick up the nail at the car wash. There's no need to discuss elements 3 and 4.

    In addition to failing at the basics of negligence law you also have no evidence of where you picked up the nail.

    The argument from the other side is going to be "how do you know you didnt pick up the nail before you pulled onto the property"? Which is a valid argument, and the answer I have to that, is that it took about a minute before my console started warning me of low tire pressure, which was while I was sitting there waiting for the car in front or me to finish. If I picked up the nail on the road, it would not have taken that long to get the warning. Not sure how much water that holds.
    None. You were sitting for a minute? Maybe two minutes? Maybe three minutes? Maybe you picked up the nail at the street edge of the driveway. Maybe it actually took several minutes before your warning light came on.

    Obviously, you CAN sue if you want to. I just don't think you will win.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    1,756

    Default Re: Tires Damaged on Private Property - Can I Sue in Smc

    [QUOTE=CharWorks;1112119]
    BUT - the argument from the other side is going to be "how do you know you didnt pick up the nail before you pulled onto the property"? Which is a valid argument, and the answer I have to that, is that it took about a minute before my console started warning me of low tire pressure, which was while I was sitting there waiting for the car in front or me to finish. If I picked up the nail on the road, it would not have taken that long to get the warning. Not sure how much water that holds. Can that argument negate me having a case?

    Yes.

    Even if you could convince the court that you picked up the nail at the car wash, you'd also have to prove that the car was owner knew or should have known about the presence of the nail and failed to take reasonable steps to protect customers' cars from it. The chances that you can prove both of these things are, in my opinion, virtually nil.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    3,632

    Default Re: Tires Damaged on Private Property - Can I Sue in Smc

    I have driven around for days with a nail in my tire before my light displayed on my dashboard. Good Luck with that lawsuit...
    I'm not a lawyer, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.......

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Tires Damaged on Private Property - Can I Sue in Smc

    Thank you for the replies. Perhaps it's best to just let this go.

    PS - why was this moved here? It's now in the wrong forum :/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    17,236

    Default Re: Tires Damaged on Private Property - Can I Sue in Smc

    I don't remember where it was, but "premises liability" is the correct place. No harm done with the move since we all read all the forums anyway.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    1,756

    Default Re: Tires Damaged on Private Property - Can I Sue in Smc

    Quote Quoting CharWorks
    View Post
    PS - why was this moved here? It's now in the wrong forum :/
    The moderators here move things around and edit things without leaving any apparent trace or explanation of what they're doing. They edited my prior response and botched my quote of your original post.

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