When you drop your car at the mechanic’s garage, you are placing your trust in the employees to do a thorough job, and to repair your vehicle so that it works properly and is safe to drive. But what happens when a mechanic is negligent and fails to make the proper repairs, or uses shoddy equipment, or misses a critical safety issue? Can a mechanic be held responsible if you get into an accident caused by a poorly-repaired auto part?
What your mechanic owes you, as his or her customer
A car mechanic owes a duty of care to their customers to repair the vehicle so that it is in a safe condition to drive. When a mechanic is negligent in carrying out that duty, he or she can be held responsible if the customer gets into a crash. The mechanic may also be liable if he or she hires an employee who lacks the training and qualifications to do the work properly.
Examples of negligent repairs that could lead to a car crash
Recently, a 17-year-old girl was killed, and her 15-year-old brother was seriously injured, when the car she was driving slid off the road and crashed into a tree. The young woman’s parents have filed a lawsuit against Walmart, alleging the improper installation of the tires on the vehicle. The lawsuit alleges that the mechanic was negligent when it installed two new tires on the front of the vehicle instead of the rear, which caused a tread imbalance, causing the car to spin out and crash into the tree.
The tragic story above is a real-world example of what happens when mechanics are negligent. Other examples of negligent car repair work include:
- Installing the wrong part
- Failing to recognize needed repairs
- Allowing unqualified mechanics to do repair work
- Failing to complete required repairs
In order to make a successful claim, we must prove that the mechanic owed you a duty of care, that he or she breached this duty by negligent conduct regarding the repair of your vehicle, and that you suffered damages or losses as a result.
We would first review the contract you had with the original mechanic in order to establish the customer/service provider relationship. We would also need to review the damage done to the vehicle, and perhaps the assessments of other mechanics in regard to the vehicle. Once we have this information, we can begin to build a case. If the part which was installed was defective, we may be able to pursue compensation from the manufacturer, as well.
What damages are available for a car crash claim in North Dakota?
When another person’s negligence causes you to sustain an injury, you may be able to recover compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Burial costs
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Emotional distress
- Loss of companionship
At the Larson Law Firm, P.C., we are ready to protect your right to recover compensation when you have been injured. Our North Dakota car crash attorneys are ready to fight for your rights when your injury was because of someone else’s negligence. To schedule a free consultation at our office in Minot, please call 701-484-4878, or fill out our contact form now.
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Mark Larson is a Certified Civil Trial Specialist and Certified Civil Pre-Trial Specialist focusing on personal injury, motor vehicle, wrongful death, and oil field claims. Since 1979, Larson Law Firm has served the injured throughout North Dakota. Read more about Mark V. Larson