The short answer is yes, a repair shop or mechanic could be found liable for damages from a car accident. However, it is important to remember this is rare. Drivers are usually the ones who are found at fault for crashes, as their negligence directly led to the accident.
If a mechanic is found to bear liability, it may be partial liability. The other driver may still bear most of the fault because of his or her negligent actions.
As this is a complex scenario, our experienced Lafayette-based car accident lawyers discuss how a repair shop could be found at fault. We also explain how a mechanic or repair shop’s negligence might lead to a dangerous crash.
If you were injured in a car accident, give us a call today to schedule your free legal consultation. Our legal services are provided on contingency, so there is no upfront fee if you hire us.
Have legal questions following a crash? Call today: (337) 984-8020.
Why it May be Difficult to Hold a Repair Shop at Fault
Oftentimes drivers ignore problems with their vehicles. Many people continue to use their cars like normal for months after a check engine light comes on. They may hear funny noises when they hit the brakes or turn the steering wheel and ignore it.
Sometimes problems with the brakes, engine or other vehicle components are the fault of a mechanic In cases like this you may need to prove whether the problem existed when the mechanic looked at the car or if it came up afterward.
If you think a mechanic did poor work or ignored a problem he or she should have fixed and it caused your crash, you should contact a licensed attorney.
Reasons Mechanics/Repair Shops May Bear Liability
Repair shops have a responsibility to ensure the vehicles they work on are safe to drive when they are returned to customers. They need to use the appropriate parts and make sure they are functioning properly. If belts and hoses are not installed correctly, it can make a car unsafe to drive. Mechanics need to ensure the parts they are installing are not faulty.
If they notice a problem, they need to inform the customer about it. For example, if they are doing an inspection and they do not notice a potential safety issue, they could be found liable if a crash happens.
Repair shops need to perform the correct repairs. If they do the wrong repair and the issue the customer came there to address is not resolved, the repair shop may bear liability for damages if a crash happens.
Another reason a repair shop could be held liable is damage to other parts of the car that were not related to the repair or inspection. Doing unnecessary work could also expose a mechanic or repair shop to liability for a car crash.
Repair shops should only allow trained technicians to work on cars. This may help ensure quality work.
It is vital to understand a mechanic or repair shop cannot be held liable for damages from a crash unless you can link their actions to the cause of the crash. In other words, you need to show a direct link between negligent repairs and the reason for the crash. This is where proving a case may be challenging, and why you need an experienced lawyer assisting you.
Our attorneys know how to obtain maintenance logs and other evidence to help determine what work was done and where negligence may have occurred.
How Poor Work Could Lead to a Crash
There are various mechanical issues with a vehicle that could cause drivers to lose control and get into a crash. Some of these mechanical issues could be caused by poor repair work or a lack of repairs, even though the mechanics who worked on the car should have noticed the issues and made repairs or at least informed the driver of the vehicle.
If a driver’s brakes were recently serviced and brake failure or poor brake performance contributed to the crash, the shop that serviced the vehicle could bear liability. Mechanics need to identify problems with brakes if they are being serviced, which may include:
- Defective rotors
- Old, worn-down brake pads
- Brake fluid leaks
- Low brake fluid levels
- Low or nonexistent hydraulic oil pressure
- Defective brake cylinder
Power Steering Problems
Power steering systems need to have precise amounts of oil running through them. However, sometimes leaks develop, which can cause the system to not work as intended.
Some potential problems with a power steering system include:
- Malfunctioning power steering pump
- Break in the steering belt
- Blocked valves
- Damaged seals
- Low fluid levels
Sometimes there are steering problems because of poor wheel alignment. This can put intense strain on the steering system, which could result in some parts failing, making it much harder to control the vehicle.
There are a variety of problems that could result in unintended acceleration. For example, leaving things under the hood could potentially cause a problem. Other issues may include:
- Problems with the fuel pump
- Gearbox malfunction
- Gas pedal getting attached to the brakes
- Jammed accelerator linkages
Fires could be caused by a variety of things, like defects in the electrical system, oil leaks, and loose or exposed wiring.
Need Legal Assistance With Seeking Compensation? Call Us Today
Galloway Jefcoat is an experienced law firm that has been fighting for compensation for Louisiana residents for decades. We have obtained hundreds of millions on behalf of our clients, many of whom were injured in motor vehicle accidents.
There are many benefits to working with an experienced attorney after a motor vehicle crash. Give us a call to discuss the advantages of legal representation.
Licensed Attorneys. Proven Results. Contact: (337) 984-8020.