Have you ever asked yourself this question, “can I sue a mechanic?” Many may ask this question especially when they drive away from the mechanic shop with a vehicle that is in a more horrible condition than it arrived.
To start, ask yourself these two key questions:
- Have you suffered a loss?
- Can you prove the defendant’s negligence caused your loss?
You have the right to sue your mechanic shop if your car is more damaged or causes greater problems that you have not had before. This article will assist with how one can hold the mechanic shop accountable for any accidental deliberate wrongdoing that has caused damages to your vehicle or sue a mechanic for negligence.
Some mechanics ensure that you have more problems so that further repairs can be done to enhance their business. This may also lead to another related question which is “can you sue a mechanic for lying”? Some mechanics can stoop to unscrupulous and misleading tactics in order to make a profit from your pain. However, you must ensure that you have evidence that will prove the mechanic was lying. Also, if workers of the mechanic shop are not skilled they can cause more harm than good to other parts of the vehicle. Sometimes causing further destruction to the vehicle can be intentionally done by the mechanic. This action can result in new, unrelated problems arising within days after the car has been taken out of the shop. This will keep you returning time and time again and spending more and more money.
It is important to remember, however, that it is illegal in many places to sue a mechanic for overcharging you!
Mechanic Shop Scammers
With car shops, some common types of reasons for bad car repairs are carelessness or replacing parts with other faulty parts. The mechanic may also claim that they fixed the problem but this is not the case. This will lead to further damages and can cause you stress and a huge sum of money.
There are unscrupulous mechanic shops that cause damage on purpose regularly so that you keep returning with more business or eventually sell them your vehicle for a lesser value. When the mechanic shop purchases the vehicle, they will then finally fix the issue and sell it to make a profit.
The mechanic shop is liable for more damages if their negligent actions have been shown to cause greater harm. For example, in some situations, the action of a mechanic may make your car more likely to be in an accident. This can not only cause harm to you but your passengers can be seriously injured as well. Thus, a mechanic could be held liable not only for the costs of repair but also for the potential accident.
If you believe that the mechanic shop is a scam, you should not leave or even carry your vehicle there. Even though you try, many mechanics who are scammers will not even answer a simple request to rectify the problems.
Try Solving the Matter Amicably
If you have not already done so, speak with the auto shop owner and ask them to repair it without any additional charges. Shop owners often agree to work again on a vehicle to avoid any legal proceedings. It is quite useful to communicate one-on-one with the mechanic. If they are not ready, proceed to the next step.
Public Opinion is Helpful when Suing the Mechanic
Sometimes, public opinion is a good defense against a dishonest mechanic shop. You may find the mechanic approaching you to ask how he can fix other areas of your vehicle for a low cost. The reason the mechanic may scam individuals is because they believe they can get away with it. Hence, customers are constantly hit hard. Tell your friends and others about the awful practice by the garage, give them the review they deserve and share it on social media. Remember, word of mouth is very powerful.
Gathering Evidence to Sue a Mechanic Shop
One of the crucial things you need for your case is to collect proof about the incident. The burden of proving that the mechanic was the reason why the damages to the vehicle occurred is necessary to start a legal complaint against the auto shop. The mechanic shop typically believes that they are not the ones who caused the problem, or they may even say that before you brought the vehicle, the problems already existed. It is worth your time to collect solid evidence to prove your case and resolve the matters, if possible, without going to court.
Collect all of the spare mechanical parts that have been used during repair is crucial when the auto mechanic shop has performed repairs on the vehicle, especially in the case of neglect. If you do not receive the used car parts from the garage, you should ask them again by submitting an official letter to them. Request that the shop owner returns the parts to the owner. Your legal team can also use the letter as evidence to show that the garage owner isn’t trustworthy.
To ensure your chances of success, you should get written statements from other mechanics supporting your contention that the mechanic gave bad advice. Having one as a live witness would be even better.
Cost of the Damages to Repair the Vehicle
You can take an auto shop to a small claims court if the total damages you have suffered are $15,000 or less. This cost in total damages may not apply to all countries. For instance, in Texas, small claims courts can have an application amount to be recovered at a minimum of $10,000 since most cars cost less than the amount of $20,000 and the majority of auto repairs are even less. Nevertheless, most small claims courts let you claim for damages if the claim is within the range of $10,000 or less.
The magistrate court of your county will ask you to fill and submit the required forms to file a case with the court. There could be a charge to submit your claims. You can add this as an additional charge that the auto shop should cover if you win. You can have a lawyer too if you decide but this may not be necessary. Most plaintiffs have no lawyer at all, represent themselves, and can win the case with proper facts and evidence collected.
Prepare Yourself and Your Documents
If you still did not get an agreeable response from the garage, you should go ahead and file your legal papers with the small claims court clerk office, in the county in which the garage is located. Officials, in some cases, resolve a complaint against a local company and may even help you get the repair done for your money’s worth. Your paperwork will help the case to be in your favor already.
The Court’s Ruling
You have to be able to demonstrate that the direct action by the mechanic has damaged your vehicle either financially or physically. In some cases, the mechanic or the owner of an auto shop may not attend the court hearing. This is used as a delay tactic by your opponent and is meant to frustrate the process, as well as you. If that occurs, it is likely that the decision made by the court will be in your favor. If no decision is made by the court, simply calm down, persistently follow up with your matter with the court, or even hire a lawyer until the matter is solved. If you win, ensure that there is a way to recover all costs incurred from the mechanic. Ensure that the court stipulates the deadline for recovering the cost from the mechanic shop owner. If you do not, the mechanic could delay paying you and take many months before you can be fully compensated.
When you take your car to the mechanic shop to perform any kind of service or repair work, you have the right to expect that the work will be done right. Unless they use special and technical language to avoid giving you a warranty, in most states, it is automatically guaranteed that they are going to perform professional work on your vehicle. If they don’t, then you have a right to recover damages for what they do wrong or the damage they caused. Even if they don’t return your vehicle at all, the auto shop will need to repay you with the value of the vehicle’s worth. But you first have to give the repair shop a chance to fix it or make it right. You have to be able to show that it was the fault of the mechanic shop and they didn’t fix it after you brought it to their attention. So the first thing to do is ask the repair shop to fix it before you begin suing a mechanic.
Hopefully, this article was able to address the question of “can you sue a mechanic for not fixing your car”? If not, leave your comment below.