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Can I sue an auto repair shop for negligence?

The majority of car owners aren’t the most mechanically inclined. While some people may be able to change their oil and perform other minor maintenance tasks, nearly everyone relies auto repair shops for the majority of car problems. 

The expectation is that your vehicle is in caring and skilled hands, but that isn’t always the case. There are unfortunate times when mechanics are negligent, leading to mechanical or electrical issues. In a worst-case scenario, these mishaps can cause an accident. So, can you sue and auto repair shop for negligence? 

The Law and Negligence

Individuals, business, and organizations can all be held liable for negligence if they fail to provide a certain level of safety or care for others. Negligence can also mean failing to take an action that would have prevented someone else from being injured. 

Negligence often leads to a personal injury claim. In worse cases, it can even result in death. You’ll need legal representation for either, like this law firm for wrongful death claim in San Francisco. While wrongful death is a more obvious, there are criteria you need to meet for a personal injury claim. Those include:

  • The negligent party owed you a particular level of care
  • A person fails to provide that care, is negligent, or careless
  • That negligence results in an accident
  • Damages occur in the form of injuries, property, or otherwise

What About Auto Repair Shops? 

An auto repair shop is a business that hires individuals, which means they can be held liable for negligence like anyone else. You’ll need documentation to prove that a shop performed maintenance or repairs on your car to get the case started, though. 

Having your final price for the visit, guarantees, warranties, and work orders from the shop helps as well. The more documentation you can provide, the better. Keep in mind that an accident in which you were injured as the result of the shop’s negligence must occur. The scenario might look like this:

  • You take your car in to have the brakes changed
  • Afterward, you’re driving down the highway when the car in front of your suddenly hits the brakes
  • You brake as well to avoid a collision, but your new brakes give out
  • This causes you to slam into the other car
  • Your vehicle is now damaged, and perhaps you have been injured as well 

Know Your Rights

You can work to avoid negligence scenarios by only taking your car to state-registered auto repair shops. This ensures that standards of care are met and that the shop retains qualified mechanics. Every business registered with the state will have a sign hanging outside of their shop. 

While that does help protect you and your car, negligence can still happen. If you do find yourself in a scenario where you believe an auto repair shop is the negligent and responsible party, the first thing to do is speak with an attorney who can help you make a case. 

Even with a disclaimer about not being held liable for accidents caused by repairs, you can still seek compensation under the law. The shop must turn over all records and documents pertaining to repairs on your vehicle, as well as turn over any replaced parts at your request. From there, your lawyer will begin to build a solid case.

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