Suing a Mechanic or Auto Shop for Negligence

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If a mechanic has worked on your car recently, only to have it break down or have further issues following the so-called repair, you may wonder: can I sue the mechanic or auto shop that potentially ruined the fix? As with most personal injury cases, it depends on the situation. Talk to one of the experienced car accident attorneys in Fort Lauderdale at Kelley/Uustal for help. In the meantime, here are something to consider.

Whether it is because of a breakdown or just for a routine oil change, we all want to know that the mechanic works on our vehicle with the utmost quality of care and that we aren’t being up-charged or scammed. For this reason, many people will visit multiple mechanics or auto shops before deciding on one. Some may have a mechanic they know and trust. However, most people end up visiting a local auto shop out of convenience or necessity.

Understanding Negligence

If you’ve had a faulty repair that results in more damage to your car, you may question the auto shop or technician’s ability, skill-level, or wonder if negligence occurred.

While many lawsuits involving negligent behaviors are successful, negligence in auto repair lawsuits is more challenging to prove. If the car doesn’t work as well as before the repair, shop owners or mechanics might claim the vehicle needs additional labor and that their initial work was correct.

Proving Negligence in Court

Proving to a judge that the shop’s work was not up to standard involves many legal steps, including:

  • Collecting evidence

    • Gathering used parts is critical anytime a person has significant car work done, but especially so in the case of a negligence suit. If the garage does not give you back the used car parts, you should ask the shop again through a letter and keep a copy for records. Either the shop owner will send the person the parts back or the legal team may use the letter as evidence that the owners aren’t properly running the garage or are hiding something.
  • Get a second opinion

    • Get an expert mechanic’s assessment of the vehicle as soon as possible after the faulty repair and record his or her findings.
  • Attempt to settle

    • Often, shop owners will agree to work on a vehicle again to avoid a lawsuit. In this case, ensure to get, in writing, a detailed explanation of the work you expect the mechanic to do and the time it will take. Talking to the mechanic one-on-one is also beneficial.
  • Write an official letter

    • If the shop doesn’t want to work on the car again, a person should write a letter to the company. The letter should include promises made, and broken, by the auto shop.
  • File through the courts

    • Most faulty repair cases go to small claims court. File papers with the mechanic shop’s county court.
  • Prepare a case and appear in court

    • You can choose to contact an experienced lawyer or do the legal work yourself. Understanding what damages occurred during the repair, and being able to explain it in simple terms to a judge is absolutely necessary. When appearing in court, a person should be well prepared and organized. Bring with you visual imagery such as drawings and photos to help lead to a more favorable outcome.

Filing a lawsuit against your auto mechanic is sometimes the only possible route for recovering full damages from a negligent repair job. An experienced attorney in Florida, like those at Kelley/Uustal, can help you navigate the claims process and get the money you deserve from your auto shop negligence claim.