When most people take their vehicles to mechanics or repair shops, their biggest worry is how much it will cost them.
But for some people, the cost of the repair bill pales in comparison to the cost of the medical bills and lost wages they incur due to crashes caused by failed or negligent repairs.
If you took your car to a repair shop or mechanic and later had an accident that may have been due to their negligence, here’s what you need to know.
You Can Sue if You Can Prove Your Crash Was Caused by Negligent Repairs
As with all injury lawsuits, filing a successful lawsuit requires proof of negligence. In the case of negligent repair shops and mechanics, you must have evidence your crash was caused by a technician’s or mechanic’s mistake.
Common repair shop mistakes that can cause crashes include:
- Brake failure—Brake repair and replacement is one of the most common reasons drivers take their vehicles to repair shops, and brake failure is one of the most common reasons they later crash. Mechanics may be liable for crashes caused by installing brakes incorrectly, installing the wrong types of brakes, failing to connect brake lines, or even failing to replace worn brakes, period.
- Tire failure—Tires are another common source of problems for drivers. Like brake failure, tire failure can quickly result in serious crashes. Repair shops can be held liable for crashes when tires fail due to over or underinflation, not fitting a particular wheel size or model, or not being properly attached to the wheel or axle.
- Steering failure—Having accurate and reliable steering is an essential part of every vehicle. When a vehicle’s steering fails, the risk of an accident skyrocket. Mechanics can be sued after crashes if they cut or failed to reconnect power steering lines, replaced steering wheels or components with mismatched or non-working parts, failed to refill drained or empty power steering fluid, and more.
- Engine failure—When your engine fails, your vehicle will seize up and stop running. You won’t be able to accelerate and steering will become difficult, putting you at risk in traffic. Causes of engine failure due to negligence include failure to replace drained engine oil, damaging or blocking the muffler, lack of engine coolant, and even using diesel instead of gasoline (and vice versa).
- Repair failure—Repair shops don’t always properly repair damaged vehicles. They may fix cosmetic issues and make damaged vehicles look like they’re in good condition, but major structural issues may still exist. Severe structural damage can put drivers at risk by making their vehicles unreliable and difficult to maneuver in traffic.
How Can You Tell if a Mechanic or Repair Shop Caused Your Crash?
If your vehicle suddenly experiences a catastrophic brake, tire, steering, or engine failure immediately after leaving a repair shop, it’s probably because of a failed or negligent repair—but not guaranteed!
When we build claims for injured drivers who suspect a repair shop is at fault for their crashes, we look for signs of failed or negligent repairs. Some signs are easy to spot—lack of engine oil and disconnected brake lines, for example—while others may require a deeper investigation.
Vehicle and Part Manufacturers Can Be Held Liable in Some Cases
Sometimes, vehicle components fail shortly after drivers leave repair shops, but the failures aren’t caused by failed or negligent repairs. Instead, they’re caused by defective auto components.
If a repair shop uses a defective or recalled component that they should have known was dangerous, they can be held liable for the crash. But if the recall isn’t issued until after the component was used, its manufacturer (whether it’s the original vehicle manufacturer or a third-party “aftermarket” manufacturer) may be held liable for its failure and any crashes it caused.
Contact Us After Any Crash That Wasn’t Your Fault
At Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers, we work hard to help injured victims get the money they’re owed after a variety of crashes. Whether they’re caused by negligent drivers, negligent mechanics, or negligent vehicle component manufacturers, we know how to build claims that they and their insurers can’t ignore.
Don’t pay out of pocket for a crash that wasn’t your fault. Let our experienced Oklahoma car accident lawyers get you maximum compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact us today for a free consultation.