Car Accidents Caused by Bad Maintenance
When you take your car into the shop for a tune up for to have extensive work done, you expect a high level of quality work to be done to your vehicle. After all, you are paying for the mechanic’s time, and for the most part, mechanics are usually not inexpensive. If you want good work done to your vehicle, you usually have to pay a little more for a qualified mechanic.
But what happens when your mechanic – high quality or not – does not live up to his or her expectations and puts you at risk?
Car accidents can happen because mechanics are careless when fixing a vehicle or cut corners to make the job easier on themselves. These practices can lead to devastating accidents, so it is important that if your mechanic caused your accident by performing bad maintenance work on your car, you seek legal action immediately.
As a professional, licensed mechanic, a person has several legal duties that are owed to all customers of the mechanic. Each customer should expect the same level of quality care regardless of the make or model of the car in question.
All mechanics have to:
- Handle each car with a “respectable standard of care” from the time they receive to the time they are picked up.
- Complete repairs with careful and skillful manner. It should be assumed that all licensed mechanics have the same knowledge and skill.
- Check over the car to make sure that there are no other glaring dangers that make cause and accident and make any of those repairs if necessary.
- Report back to the client and provide a written estimate, detailing what needs to be done and the cost of it, before starting work.
- Avoid low-balling, fraud, bait and switch, or fraud.
- Avoid completing unnecessary or unauthorized repairs without the customer’s knowledge.
When Is an Auto Mechanic Responsible for an Accident?
Let’s say you take your car in to get the brakes repaired. The mechanic looks over your breaks, provides a written estimate (which you accept), completes the work, and sends it back to you. Two days later, you’re driving and coming up to an intersection. The light turns red so you step on the brakes, but the brakes don’t seem to be stopping the vehicle, no matter how hard you push. The crash is inevitable. You slam into the back of another vehicle.
In this instance, you would have to prove that the mechanic did not do the repair correctly and his or her negligence directly led to your accident. To prove your case, you might have to have another mechanic look at your brakes and show how the faulty repair caused the accident.
Mechanics can also be liable for an auto accident if they use the wrong parts to do a repair or if they misplace a piece of your equipment, and then when you start the car, the engine explodes. Even if you paid the bill and then found a problem soon after, your mechanic can still be found liable for an auto accident
Mechanic Shop Disclaimers
Many mechanic shops post disclaimers around their store, seemingly relinquishing themselves and their employees from any liability. This claim, however, has no merit. If a driver was never told these terms existed, the fault still rests on the auto body shop.
Additionally, if an employee’s negligence in the shop leads to damage to your vehicle, the auto shop is still responsible for the damages.
If you’ve been in an auto accident and recently had your car repaired, take a look at what went wrong with your vehicle and what the mechanic looked at last time he or she had your car. There may have been an error that directly led to your accident.