If a mechanic failed to properly repair your vehicle or detect a problem with it, they could be liable for an accident caused by negligent vehicle maintenance. Any act of negligence that results in your injury could constitute a personal injury case, meaning that you could hold the mechanic or repair shop responsible for your damages.
The process of motor vehicle repairs is foreign to many people, which can make it difficult to determine if a mechanic was negligent when repairing your vehicle. Thankfully, a car collision lawyer serving Long Island could review the records from the mechanic and help you determine if their negligence played a role in your crash.
You Could Pursue Legal Action Against a Mechanic After a Collision
You have the right to seek compensation when another person’s negligence leads to your injuries. This commonly occurs following motor vehicle crashes when one driver is responsible for the crash. However, not all accidents are the result of another driver’s negligence or carelessness.
In some situations, faulty vehicle repairs could be the cause. Improperly repaired brakes could prevent a driver from stopping in time to avoid a crash. Mistakes with headlight repairs could lead to a crash at night. If you were injured in a collision that stems from a faulty vehicle repair, you could be entitled to a monetary award.
An injury case against a negligent mechanic or repair shop could result in an array of financial compensation. Your damages will vary depending on the nature of your injuries. Still, you may be entitled to recover lost wages, pain and suffering, and medical bills, among other expenses. What’s more, you could also secure compensation for any additional repair costs related to your vehicle.
Establishing Negligence After a Crash Caused by Poor Vehicle Maintenance
There are four elements that every plaintiff must establish in order to secure compensation through a personal injury claim or lawsuit. These elements apply in cases where your mechanic’s work has resulted in a motor vehicle crash.
You must establish each of these elements in order to obtain compensation for your injuries. The elements of a negligence case include the duty of care, breach of the duty, causation, and damages.
A Mechanic Owed You a Duty of Care
Every negligence case is based on a duty of care. If the defendant in a negligence case did not owe a duty of care to the plaintiff, they would not be responsible for their damages.
Typically, a mechanic owes a duty to take reasonable care during all repair work. This duty requires that they perform work that meets industry standards.
The Mechanic Breached Their Duty of Care
Proving that the mechanic who repaired your vehicle owed you a duty of care is only part of the equation. You must also show that they breached this duty of care as well. Breaching the duty of care could involve using the wrong part or performing a repair in an inadequate manner.
Another example could involve a repair shop hiring a mechanic it knew lacked the skill to meet industry standards. If one of these acts resulted in your vehicle collision, the mechanic or repair shop could face liability for your injuries.
A Causal Link Between the Faulty Repairs and Your Injuries Must be Present
The third element of proving negligence is referred to as causation. There must be some sort of causal link between the careless repair made by the mechanic and the injuries you sustained.
Damages that are not directly linked to the negligence of the repair shop may not result in a case for compensation against them.
You Must Sustain Compensable Damages to Obtain Financial Compensation
The final element of a negligence case is damages. You must suffer compensable damages in order to recover any monetary compensation from the mechanic.
You can use medical bills and records, expert testimony, wage statements, and auto repair invoices, and other related receipts to prove the extent of your damages.
You Have Rights Related to Your Auto Repairs
It is helpful to understand your rights related to auto repairs, as enforcing these rights could be an important part of your negligence case. Although there are multiple rights available to you, some are more relevant to a potential negligent repair case than others.
For example, according to the New York Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV), the repair shop must give you an itemized invoice that details the repairs done to your vehicle. Having this kind of documentation and evidence may be essential for your case. Without it, it could be impossible to establish whether your repair shop was negligent in its effort to repair your vehicle.
Some of your other rights associated with auto repair include:
Inspecting Replaced Parts
If the repair shop replaces any parts in your vehicle, you have the right to inspect the parts that were removed. This request can be verbal or written. Investigating these parts could be useful in a negligence claim when determining if the repair shop correctly identified the problem with your vehicle.
There are certain guarantees and warranties that repair shops can make. However, not every shop will guarantee their work. You have the right to a copy of any guarantee made regarding your repair. If the repair shop breached a warranty made to you, it could leave you with additional legal options other than a negligence case.
Our Team Can Advise You on Pursuing Legal Action Against a Negligent Mechanic
If you are unsure who might be liable for a crash caused by negligent vehicle maintenance, a car crash attorney with our firm can advise you on the potential target of a negligence claim, including the mechanic who repaired your vehicle.
Rosenberg & Glick, L.L.P. will gather evidence and negotiate a settlement with the liable insurance company while you focus on healing from your injuries. We work on contingency, so there are no payments due unless we win. Our team can also assist you in Spanish if you prefer. Call our firm today at (631) 451-7900 for your free consultation.