Can My Mechanic Be Held Liable For My Auto Accident?

According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, around 2% of all auto accidents are caused by mechanical failure. Mechanical failure includes issues like acceleration malfunctions, brakes sticking, or the steering wheel locking. When these failures happen, drivers lose control of the vehicle and that can often result in an accident. Accidents as a result of mechanical failures are very legally complex because the liability for the accident is not always straightforward and often falls on parties that were not present for the accident like an auto mechanic.

Auto Mechanics And The Duty Of Care

When you take your car to a mechanic and pay for their services, you are trusting them to take good care of your vehicle. Further, they are obligated to do so by law. The legal term for this is “duty of care.” Duty of care is basically the responsibility people have to exercise a reasonable standard of care when performing an act that could potentially harm others. It is very reasonable to expect that when you pay a mechanic for their services, they will return your vehicle in a condition that is safe to drive. If they do not, they are negligent in their duty of care.

Understanding Mechanic Negligence

If you believe that your accident was the result of your mechanic’s negligence, you will have to prove so in court. In order to do so you have to prove the following:

● Your mechanic worked on your vehicle and thus has a duty of care
● You had an accident as the result of mechanical failure
● Your accident lead to damage like injuries or damage to your vehicle
● Your mechanic was responsible for the mechanical failure and breached their duty

If you can prove these things you can prove they were negligent. The most important aspect of proving negligence is proving they breached their duty of care. If they know that your vehicle was not safe to drive, then they did not breach their duty of care. However, if they performed the wrong repair, installed the wrong part, or made modifications to the vehicle that are illegal, they would be in breach of the duty of care. Then you will have to prove their breach of duty lead to damages.

Proving Your Mechanic Was Negligent

Proving your mechanic was negligent is legally tricky. You have to first prove that mechanical failure was at least partially responsible for the accident. This may require documentation on police reports, service records, and a vehicle inspection. Even with all this information, it may require expert testimony to prove the mechanical failure and connect it to the accident. Fortunately, a skilled attorney can help with all of this. They can gather all the necessary documentation and work with an expert witness to help prove the mechanical failure. Once they prove negligence, they will connect it to the damages. Then they will negotiate with your mechanic’s insurance company to pay for the damages as a result of their negligence.

A mechanic can be held liable for a car accident if they breached their duty of care and acted negligently. However, proving a mechanic is liable is very legally challenging and you will need the help of a skilled attorney. Michael Babboni, the St. Pete’s Lawyer, has been helping accident injury victims prove negligence and fighting to protect their rights to a full settlement. If you’ve been in an accident, give us a call at 1-727-381-9200 for a free case review. We’ll happily answer any questions you have and go over your options.