Faulty brakes or tires or another mechanical error could have caused you to be in a car accident. In that case, yes, it is possible to sue a mechanic or repair shop for negligence in Texas.
A lawyer can help you develop your case and identify the at-fault party’s error that caused the crash. From there, they will pursue compensation on your behalf.
What You Have to Prove to Hold the Mechanic Liable for Causing a Car Accident
You will have to prove all four elements of negligence to hold a mechanic or auto repair shop liable for substandard repairs that caused a car accident. The four factors include:
- Duty of care. Mechanics have a legal obligation to perform their work correctly and not release a vehicle to the owner in an unsafe condition unless they clearly disclose the problem to the owner.
- Breach of duty. If the auto repair shop employed people with inadequate training and one of them damaged the braking system, the repair shop can be liable. Failure to live up to a legal standard is negligence.
- Causation. The negligent conduct must be the act that caused the car accident. Let’s say that the damaged braking system kept the driver from stopping at a red light. As a result, he drove through the intersection and crashed into oncoming traffic.
- Quantifiable damages. The driver of the car with the damaged braking system and others suffered severe injuries. Physical injuries satisfy the requirement of measurable losses.
When you can present credible evidence that establishes all four of these factors, you can pursue damages for your losses.
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Types of Damages You Might Pursue After a Car Accident
Some common types of compensation people seek after getting injured in a collision include their medical bills to treat their wounds, lost wages for paychecks they missed when they could not work because of their injuries, and property damage.
Also, injured people can seek money damages for intangible losses like pain and suffering, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life because of long-term impairment.
How Comparative Negligence Works in Texas
Sometimes, more than one person causes a car accident. In the example of the damaged braking system, let’s say that the driver of that car was speeding and might not have been able to stop in time even if the mechanic did not damage the braking system.
In situations like that, a person who was partially at fault does not get to recover 100 percent of his losses. His negligence will reduce the amount of his financial recovery from the other at-fault party. For example, if the driver was 40 percent at fault and the mechanic was 60 percent at fault, the mechanic will only have to pay 60 percent of the driver’s losses.
Under Texas law, Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 33.001, any party whose negligence is more than 50 percent of the total fault in the accident may not get any damages.
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Three Things to Do After a Collision That Involved Negligent Car Repairs
Here are three things you might want to consider doing if you think that a mechanic’s negligence caused or contributed to your car accident:
Secure Your Vehicle
If the car got “totaled,” do not let the wrecked vehicle get towed away to the salvage yard. Have your personal injury lawyer secure the vehicle and get it stored in a safe place.
The car will be one of the most important pieces of evidence in your case. Even if the vehicle was not totaled, you will want to have an expert document the negligent repair work before getting it fixed.
Get Prompt Medical Care for Your Related Injuries
If you have not already gotten medical attention for your injuries, you will want to do so at once. Assuming that you have gone to the doctor or emergency room, be sure to complete your prescribed treatment.
Don’t Wait to Hold the Negligent Mechanic or Auto Repair Shop Accountable
Do not wait too long to take legal action against the negligent party who caused the collision. In most cases, Texas only gives people two years, according to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003, to seek compensation for their injuries and other losses in a personal injury case. If you miss the filing deadline, the law will forever bar you from holding the negligent party accountable.
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Our Firm Can Help You After a Mechanic or Auto Repaired Shop Was Negligent
The personal injury attorneys at Loncar Lyon Jenkins have helped thousands of families with their personal injury or wrongful death claims. Call in the Strong Arm at Loncar Lyon Jenkins today at (800) 285-4878.
We offer free initial consultations with no obligation. Also, we take all car accident cases for a contingency fee, so we only get paid if you do.