Who Is Liable for Damage to My Car in a Repair Shop?
We trust mechanics in auto body shops to repair our vehicles, but sometimes, the result is completely different. If you take your vehicle to one of these businesses and it ends up with more damage than repair work, it becomes a major problem. Who is liable for car damage in repair shops, and how can they be held responsible?
Many car repairs can be completed at home, but today’s high-tech vehicles are much more complicated, with computers, cameras, and other modern features. Most people have to rely on mechanics and repair shops and hope they will perform good work.
Car repair shop customers expect the maintenance or repair to be done properly, but it is still important to ask questions and ensure that they complete the job satisfactorily. These companies and their employees should fulfill your expectations, with a duty of care for a high standard of quality service.
Unfortunately, car repair shop employees can make mistakes or be negligent, causing customers serious problems. In some cases, poor work even leads to car accidents – for example, if the brakes are not repaired properly, they could fail at the worst possible moment.
Examples of Negligent Car Repairs
Forgetting to change the oil probably will not lead to a car accident, but the following situations might:
- Fraudulent repair. What happens when you pay for a major repair that the shop charges you for but does not complete? That is one example of allegedly fraudulent repair that could lead to a serious crash.
- Making an illegal modification you did not ask for.
- Using the wrong parts or using defective parts.
- Using untrained or unqualified mechanics to work on your vehicle.
- Wrong repair. Mechanics can make the wrong repairs that make the original problems worse.
How Can I Prove That My Car Repair Shop Was Negligent?
These cases can be challenging, but there are ways to prove negligence. One is a trespass to chattel claim. That requires you to prove that the mechanic purposefully wanted to harm your vehicle. Another option might be a breach of contract claim if they did not perform the work according to the work contract.
For a negligence claim, you need to show that the mechanic lacked the skill and knowledge to perform the work or otherwise breached their duty of care. Then, as a result, your vehicle was harmed because of their conduct.
It is essential to save all your estimates and receipts whenever you have work done on your vehicles. You should read the vehicle manual before agreeing to repairs to ensure that the work follows the manufacturer’s guidelines. That information could also be used to support your claim.
Our Alexandria Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Can Help You Today
If you have been injured in a crash, our skilled Alexandria car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King can help. Call us at 202-331-1963 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation. Located in Washington, D.C., Alexandria, and Falls Church, Virginia, we serve clients in Prince George’s County, including Laurel, Beltsville, Adelphi, College Park, Greenbelt, Mitchellville, Woodmore, Greater Upper Marlboro, Springdale, Largo, Bowie, Capitol Heights, District Heights, Forestville, Suitland, Seat Pleasant, Clinton, Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, and Fort Washington.