Most car owners often have to take in their cars to a mechanic for regular maintenance, or for repairs when the car exhibits mechanical problems. The car owners trust that the mechanic fixing their cars will do the best job and repair any major damage that with the car owners’ permission. When a mechanic fails to make agreed repairs to the car, or fails to identify a major issue during a diagnostic check, the mechanic may be held responsible if the car owner gets injured in a car accident.
A mechanic who fails to make repairs to a car or makes substandard repairs to a car can be held liable for negligent auto repair. However, the mechanic cannot be held liable for everything that could be wrong with the car and that may have caused an accident. The mechanic would be liable for the repairs he did and for other repairs he may have been responsible for doing under the contract between the mechanic and the car owner.
However, there is more to proving the mechanic’s liability for a car accident. The car owner has to prove that the mechanic’s failure to repair an issue, or his substandard repair, led to the accident. This can happen for example if the car owner took his car to a mechanic in order for the mechanic to repair the brakes, which had been failing. The car owner enters into a contract with the mechanic for the mechanic to repair the brakes at a set price. After picking up his car from the mechanic, the car owner hits another car because the car owner cannot stop as his brakes fail to work. If the mechanic failed to repair the brakes, or did a poor quality repair on the brakes, the mechanic can be held liable for the car owner’s accident.
There are other factors that could affect a claim for mechanics’ negligence. For example if the car owner did something else that caused the accident. If in addition to the faulty brakes the car owner was driving under the influence of alcohol when he caused the accident, any amount the car owner recovers in his negligence claim will be reduced by the percentage of fault caused by the drunk driving.
In order to determine if the accident was really caused by negligent repairs, it will be necessary to have the car examined by another mechanic. This kind of check can pinpoint the cause of the accident and ensure that it really was a result of the negligent repairs. This can be valuable information at trial or in a settlement negotiation.
Some mechanical issues that lead to a car accident may not be caused by negligent repair. In some cases, there is something wrong with the car as a result of a manufacturing defect. If this is the case, the car owner may be able to seek compensation from the car manufacturer instead of the mechanic.
Reach Out to Our Office for Help with Your Case
For more information on mechanics’ liability for negligent auto repair, and manufacturer liability for faulty car part, you need to consult an experienced car accident injury attorney. Our team will handle all the necessary investigation into your claim. Contact us at Vocelle & Berg, LLP, in Vero Beach, Florida.