- Legal Articles
- Ask Elhais
July 07, 2017|
Whether it's at a mall or a hotel, at some point, most drivers in the UAE will have handed over their keys to get their automotive pride and joy valet parked. The majority of us do so without thinking, but what happens if things go wrong? And what are your rights? We asked Hassan Elhais, legal consultant at Al Rowaad Advocates & Legal Consultants, to explain.
Most valet tickets have a disclaimer stating that the valet company isn't responsible for any damages to the car, is this legally binding?
In law, valet parking is a contract between the car owner and the valet company, which is represented by their driver. Terms and condition of their contract are written on the valet ticket itself. Whether the car owner would like to deliver the car under these conditions or not, he or she is free to take that decision and accept the terms and conditions. So unless the valet card waives the company's liability, they shall be liable to cover any damages according to Article 243 of Law No 5 of 1985 and Article 338 of Law No 5 of 1987. However, such clauses do not cover any damages caused intentionally as perArticle No 246/1 of Civil Law No 5 of 1985 indicates: "The contract shall be implemented, according to the provisions contained therein and in a manner consistent with the requirements of good faith."
What steps should you take if your car is returned damaged?
The car owner has to file a police complaint, immediately. The reason for the complaint could be to file a criminal case against the valet driver for breach of trust and damage of property (the car), if the damage was done with intention. In case it was not intended, the owner will need the police report to prove that there was an accident and to use it for insurance purposes.
It is important to note here that many valet-parking companies have an insurance policy for such scenarios, so it is important to ask if they are covered by such insurance.
And what should you do if your car is returned with significantly more kilometres on the clock?
If the car has been returned with significantly more kilometres on the clock than when the owner left it with the valet, that is a big sign that the car might have been taken for a joyride or illegal use, more than just being parked. Such acts can never be interpreted as an act of good faith. The car owner has the right to file a criminal case for breach of trust under Article No 404 of Criminal Law No 3 of 1987 and its amendments, which states: "Whoever embezzles, uses or wastes funds, securities or any other movable property with the intention to prejudice the interest of the due right's owners, if it is delivered to him as a deposit, rent, pledge, loan for use, or proxy, shall be punished by detention or by a fine. In application of this provision, the partner in a joint property, and the owner's property, and whoever receives anything to use in a certain manner for the benefit of its owner or for the benefit of another, shall be considered as an agent."
Is there a "burden of proof" in either of these circumstances?
The burden of proof in such cases falls on the owner. Unquestionably, they shall be requested to show the car parking ticket to prove the relationship with the valet-parking company. Moreover, it would be better if they can provide some more evidence, such as witnesses (for example, witnesses who noticed the total kilometres odometer value, before and after, or somehow has knowledge about the misuse of the car). If it is about car damage, the owner will be requested to indicate where the damage is.
I owe the success of my case to Dr. Hassan's diligent approach. He remained focused, put me at ease and always went the extra mile. Dr. Hassan tirelessly put my case in the best possible light and I cannot thank him enough. I would highly recommend Dr. Hassan - I am grateful to him from the bottom of my heart.
Dr. Hassan Elhais is among the best legal consultants I have ever worked with. He has an amazing ability to reduce complex issues into a simple concept that non-legal people can understand. He consistently develops innovative litigation strategies that help us to achieve our ultimate legal goals.
...the extraordinary effort that has been exerted by the staff, and we specially thank Dr. Hassan Mohsen Alhais. Wishing your continues success & excellence...
I believe everyone should recognize what a difference Dr. Hassan Elhais work has made to people's lives; and especially to our family's life, because we will remain forever grateful to each and every one of his team.
Dr. Hassan Elhais never fears cases that involve exposure and he always gives me his honest assessment of our chances of success, which is invaluable to me.
He aided us not only in providing legal advice but also in all legal issues that required a long term strategic approach to achieve most favorable and optimum outcomes he provided us with high level of professional service.
Dr. Hassan Elhais is a responsible, reputable counsel who operates to high levels of service.
Dr Hassan Elhais is responsive, thorough and creative with his advice, and is a valued advisor and legal consultant.
Regardless of the complexity of the matter I know Dr. Hassan Elhais will consider not only legal strategy but also business practicalities in providing advice and litigation options.
I recommend Dr. Hassan Elhais to anyone who says 'I'm in legal trouble'. I was extremely satisfied with the high standard of his work. He has always been there when I have needed him and I refer all my clients, family and friends to him/his firm.
Dr. Hassan Elhais was very professional and he listened to my needs. He was very prompt, efficient and always kept me informed. Dr. Hassan Elhais's service was excellent and I would definitely recommend him to friends and colleagues.