Personal injury claims arise in a wide variety of different scenarios. The basic premise of a personal injury claim is holding a negligent party liable for the damages he or she causes. Thus, if your mechanic acted negligently, he or she can be held liable for damages through a personal injury claim.
Why would you sue your mechanic? If you suffered vehicle damage in a car accident, you would likely take your vehicle to a repair shop to be fixed. There is always a possibility that your vehicle will not be repaired in the manner that is required, costing you additional money to have the vehicle repaired elsewhere. Alternatively, consider that after repairing your brakes, the mechanic gives you a guarantee that the vehicle is functioning properly. After leaving the mechanic’s shop, your brakes malfunction, resulting in another collision. In both of these situations, the mechanic acted negligently in repairing your vehicle.
If you suffered injuries in an accident as a result of negligence by a mechanic, a personal injury claim provides an avenue to hold the mechanic accountable.
How Do I Prove My Mechanic Was Negligent?
Establishing a personal injury claim hinges on negligence. Negligence claims require proof of four elements.
Duty of Care
First, you must show that the mechanic owed you a legal duty. This element is often the easiest to prove. Mechanics assume a duty to properly inspect, maintain, and repair vehicles that they have agreed to service. Mechanics must meet the standard of care that is reasonably expected of an experienced mechanic.
Breach of Duty
Second, you must show that your mechanic violated his or her duty by failing to use the standard of care reasonably expected of mechanics.
Third, the mechanic’s negligence must have been the cause of the injury. For example, say you took your car to a mechanic to have new brakes installed, but the mechanic failed to install the new brakes. Right after leaving the mechanic’s shop, you rear-end another vehicle because you do not have brakes on your car. The mechanic’s failure to install the brakes was a direct cause of the accident. This element presents challenges in court because mechanics often claim that the accident was not a foreseeable consequence of their faulty repair.
Modified Comparative Negligence
Some states subscribe to the theory of modified comparative negligence, meaning that a mechanic does not have to be 100% responsible to be held liable. This theory allows plaintiffs who were partially responsible for their injuries to still recover damages. The jury assigns the plaintiff a percentage of fault for the injuries. Certain state law requires plaintiffs to be 49% or less responsible to recover.
Lastly, you must show that you suffered damages because of the mechanic’s negligence. Damages arise in the form of costs to get additional repairs or medical costs in the event of injuries. They may also include intangible losses like pain and suffering.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney to Discuss Your Case
Negligence claims present significant challenges in personal injury cases. In most situations, mechanics deny all liability, leaving it up to you to prove every required element. A qualified injury lawyer can help establish the elements necessary for proving your claim.