In Georgia, a car accident victim can legally sue the person or party responsible for causing their accident and injuries. Sometimes that negligent party is an auto repair shop or mechanic who worked on a vehicle involved in the accident. If their negligence led to your accident, then yes, you have a legal right to seek compensation for your costs.
How Can a Mechanic Be Negligent in Georgia?
Auto repair shops and mechanics have a duty of care to their customers. They must be careful not to cause more damage to a vehicle or return it in a dangerous condition. If they fail to uphold this duty of care and it leads to an accident, they have been negligent. Negligence is basically a legal term for carelessness that results in harm to another.
Examples of a mechanic or auto shop acting negligently can include:
- An auto shop sold an old tire that they claimed was new. The damaged tired blew on a freeway and led to a collision.
- A mechanic repaired a flat tire but didn’t tighten it enough, resulting in a tire malfunction that caused an accident.
- The repair shop claimed to fix an issue with your car, but it led to further internal or external damage.
Sometimes a driver is initially blamed for an accident, but further investigation reveals a repair shop or mechanic recently worked on the vehicle and failed to repair it properly. This would give the accident victim grounds to sue for damages—whether they were the driver or not.
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How to Prove an Auto Repair Shop was Negligent in Your Accident
There’s one main roadblock to proving a repair shop or mechanic’s negligence: most people don’t know much about cars or vehicle repairs. This unfortunately makes it easier for shops to get away with poor repair jobs or claim they didn’t cause the extra damage. But if you hire a car accident lawyer, they can help you investigate further and discover the truth.
For example, John Foy & Associates has a team of investigators who access the vehicle’s repair records and see exactly what actions were performed. They can find out:
- The specific mechanic who worked on the vehicle
- What they claimed to do
- Why the vehicle was brought in in the first place
- Whether the repairs were actually performed correctly
- Damage the vehicle had or experienced after it was returned to the driver
- How that damage led to an accident
If a mechanic or repair shop caused your accident, they should be held responsible for their negligence and the costs you now face. Our team will work to dig up any evidence of faulty service and prove the accident was not your fault.
How Can You Get Damages from the Repair Shop?
Most shops will carry liability insurance for cases like this. You would bring a personal injury claim against their insurer for your injuries, property damage, and other costs of the accident.
If your car accident lawyer and the insurance company can’t reach a fair settlement amount, your attorney may recommend suing.
Can You Sue if You Weren’t in an Accident?
Yes, you can likely bring a claim even if an accident wasn’t involved. If you took your vehicle in for repairs and it was damaged when you got it back, the mechanic may have been negligent in their duties. In this situation, it may be harder to prove the mechanic or auto repair shop’s negligence—but it can be done.
Once you notice the additional damage, you might have another mechanic inspect your vehicle for mistakes in the first mechanic’s work. This is a good first course of action because, in some cases, you can work out a deal with the mechanic. But if they continue to claim they didn’t make a mistake or fail to work with you, you can bring a claim against them in small claims court. You typically don’t need a lawyer’s representation for this, although you can certainly work with one.
However, if the vehicle damage results in a car accident, you will want to contact a Georgia car accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. They can do the best job investigating the details of the accident and the repair shop or mechanic’s negligence.
Should You Get an Attorney to Help You Sue?
It is always a good idea to contact an attorney if you’re considering suing another party. Plaintiffs who have attorneys by their side are often taken more seriously than plaintiffs who don’t. Not only that, but an attorney can help you gather the strong evidence you need to prove the other party’s liability led to your crash.
Types of Damages You Can Claim
In addition to suing the mechanic for negligence, you can also include the following as damages in your claim:
- Loss of income, if the accident led to you missing work to recover from your injuries
- Cost of repairs to your vehicle
- Pain and suffering
- Medical costs for treating your injuries from the crash
- Wrongful death damages, if the accident resulted in the death of a loved one
Our Attorneys Can Help You File for Compensation from the At-Fault Mechanic or Repair Shop
Car repair mistakes are dangerous, even deadly. If a mechanic failed to ensure a vehicle was safe to drive, they should be held accountable for their negligence. If repair issues led to an accident, you need a good car accident lawyer.
John Foy & Associates can help. We have more than 20 years of experience working with car accident victims, and we’re always on the side of the victim. For a FREE consultation with one of our experienced and compassionate attorneys, call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form on this page to get started today.