When you or someone you love experiences a serious injury after a car accident, can you sue your mechanic? Determining who is liable for an auto accident injury can be complicated when fault is not clear. It can be useful to understand some of the basic elements of a negligence claim and some of the situations in which a mechanic might be responsible for the crash. According to a report from NBC News, a mechanic might be liable or at-fault for a collision if your vehicle has problems after it leaves the shop.
Dropping your car off with a mechanic requires that you trust the mechanic to do the work properly and to ensure that your vehicle is safe for the road. However, many consumers realize that their vehicles have additional problems after they recently paid for services at a mechanic or repair shop. Although this work is frequently done well, there are times when mechanics may be negligent, and this can result in a severe auto accident injury.
Each state has its own theory of negligence, but in general, this means:
- Mechanic owed a legal duty to the plaintiff (in a repair shop case, this is usually established when the vehicle owner drops off the car for repairs or other services);
- Mechanic breached the duty to the plaintiff by acting in a negligent, careless or reckless manner, or by failing to act in a reasonably careful way; and
- Mechanic’s breach of the duty of care caused the accident that ultimately resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries.
Types of Auto Repair Shop Negligence
What are some examples of auto repair shop negligence?
- Failing to perform the work that the customer requested;
- Selling a customer a defective product (such as defective brakes);
- Failing to protect a customer’s vehicle from damage while it is in the repair shop;
- Forgetting to put the vehicle together again properly after replacing parts or doing repairs;
- Failing to properly identify auto parts that are broken or worn out during an inspection;
- Failing to identify major structural problems in a vehicle while it is in the shop;
- Accidentally causing damage to a customer’s vehicle in the process of servicing it or making a repair; and/or
- Performing work that negates the customer’s warranty.
These are just a handful of examples of auto repair shop negligence. If you recently took your car in for servicing or other repairs and then found yourself experiencing an injury after a car accident or collision, it could be due to your mechanic’s negligence. You should discuss your case with a car accident injury lawyer to determine your rights.