Can Auto Repair Shops Be Held Liable for a Car Accident

Can Auto Repair Shops Be Held Liable for a Car Accident?

The average consumer does not know a whole lot about how their vehicle works, and they rely on mechanics to repair them when something goes wrong. But as happens sometimes in the medical field, mechanics and auto repair shops do not always perform quality work, and substandard work on a vehicle can make it unsafe to drive.

If an accident occurs because of the failure of a mechanic or auto repair shop to provide a reasonable level of quality work, it may be possible to bring a legal claim against them for damages. Car accident cases involving the negligence of third parties such as auto repair shops can be very complicated, however, and it is always advisable to work with a personal injury firm that has the depth of experience and proven ability to hold these parties fully accountable.

If you or someone you love has been injured in an auto accident in West Virginia, time is of the essence. Although the statute of limitations to bring a personal injury claim in the Mountain State is generally two years, the sooner you get an experienced attorney involved, the better your chances of being able to obtain the evidence needed to recover maximum compensation.

The attorneys at Bailey, Javins, and Carter L.C. have successfully represented personal injury claimants in WV for over five decades, and we are ready to go to work for you. Call us today at (800) 497-0234 or (800) 296-6979 for a free consultation and case assessment.

The Mechanic or Repair Shop’s Responsibility to Customers

In order to file a legal claim against an auto mechanic, repair shop, dealership, or whatever party was in charge of fixing your car, you will not only need to prove that this party was negligent, but you also need to establish a causal link between their negligence and your auto accident. It might not be necessary to prove that what they did was the sole cause of the accident, but you will at least need to show that their actions contributed to it.

To prove that the mechanic and/or auto shop was negligent, you will need to show the following:

  • The auto repair person or entity owed a duty of care to take reasonable steps to prevent the vehicle owner from being injured.
  • This duty was breached by their negligent or reckless actions or omissions.
  • This breach caused harm to the vehicle owner.
  • The harm that was caused to the owner resulted in compensable losses (i.e., damages).

Duty of care is established by the law and professional standards. A licensed auto mechanic or repair shop is assumed to have the required training, qualifications, and expertise to perform to a minimum standard of workmanship compared with other auto repair professionals in the area.

If your car was repaired by someone who is not licensed but does auto repairs on the side, for example, then things could get more complicated. In a situation like this, this person would not necessarily be expected to perform the same level of quality work, unless it can be shown in ways other than licensing that they have extensive occupational experience.

Assuming that a duty of care can be established, you will need to show a breach in that duty. Examples of breaches by a mechanic or auto shop when doing inspections, maintenance or repairs include:

  • Failure to uncover a problem during inspection that makes the car unsafe to drive.
  • Installing the wrong part.
  • Performing the wrong repair or doing a repair that is unnecessary.
  • Failure to remove tools or other objects that got into the vehicle during a repair.
  • Causing damage to parts of the car that were unrelated to the inspection or repair.
  • Making illegal modifications to the vehicle.

Once a breach is uncovered, you will need to show a link between the breach and your injuries. This is often one of the most difficult parts of a personal injury claim, and it is why accident injury victims need an experienced law firm working on their behalf. Your attorney will perform a thorough investigation to examine the faulty work performed by the mechanic or repair shop and the specific circumstances of the accident in order to identify any potential links between the two.

Get in Touch with the Seasoned West Virginia Auto Accident Attorneys at Bailey, Javins, and Carter L.C.

Get started on your legal claim today by calling Bailey, Javins, and Carter L.C. at (800) 497-0234 or (800) 296-6979 or sending us an online message to speak with a member of our legal team.