What to do when a Mechanic has Damaged Your Vehicle

Car Mechanic Repair Automobile Shield RetroThe ability to get from place to place, such as from your home to work or to the grocery store, is a key component of your daily life.  Therefore, when your car breaks down, it is a major inconvenience, and you trust in a mechanic to fix your vehicle the right way the first time.  So what happens if you leave your vehicle with a mechanic and it is returned with issues that weren’t present before you dropped it off?

There are two types of claims that you may be able to pursue.  First, if there was a contract in place for the mechanic’s work, you may be able to sue for breach of contract, as the contract implies the mechanic will perform his or her work in a skillful manner.  Similarly, if the mechanic was working on a part of your vehicle covered under warranty, you may have a breach of warranty case.  Additionally, you could potentially sue for negligence, as by the mechanic causing harm to your vehicle, he or she breached their duty of care to properly conduct the repair work.

However, in order for either type of claim to be awarded, you would need to be able to prove what is legally known as causation.  In other words, you need to demonstrate that the mechanic is the person who did the damage to your vehicle.  If you have no actual proof other than your belief that the mechanic is responsible for the damage, it will simply be your word against theirs, and it may not hold up in a court of law.  An example of more solid evidence would be having another mechanic inspect the vehicle, put their opinion of what caused the damage in writing, and be willing to testify with their expert opinion in court.  A case like this has many complexities, so it is best to consult with an attorney for advice before moving forward.

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