Can You Sue a Repair Shop for Auto Accident Injuries in New Jersey?
Your Rights When a Mechanic’s Carelessness Causes an Accident
Motor vehicle accidents can have many causes. Often, it’s operator error, as the driver of another vehicle simply fails to stop at a sign or turns left into your right of way. Another common cause of motor vehicle accidents is distracted driving, where another motorist is looking at a handheld device instead of the road or eating a sandwich while behind the wheel. But what if the collision was caused by the negligence or wrongful act of a mechanic? What if you can show that the vehicle was taken in for a brake job, but the brakes subsequently failed, causing a collision? Can you file a lawsuit against the repair shop and/or the mechanic to recover for your losses? Absolutely, but it can often be a challenge.
The Requirement that You Prove Negligence
While you can always seek damages for injuries caused by the intentional acts of another person, most personal injury lawsuits are based on a legal theory of negligence. To recover compensation from any defendant based on a legal theory of negligence, you must show three things:
- That the defendant did not exercise reasonable care when engaged in some action
- That the failure by the defendant to use reasonable care caused an accident or event
- That, as a result of that failure to use reasonable care, you sustained actual losses.
When you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident, there can be a tendency to look only at the actions of another driver. In reality, though, virtually any party can be liable for your losses, provided you can prove the three elements above.
That, of course, may be the problem. To recover from a mechanic or a repair shop for injury or loss suffered in a car accident, you have to show, by the weight of the evidence, that the mechanic/repair shop failed to meet the standard of care, causing the accident that led to your losses. The court won’t simply assume that, because the brakes failed, the mechanic was careless. For example, the brake failure may have been the result of a defective part.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t recover from the mechanic or the shop. You’ll want an attorney who knows how to establish liability, who can demonstrate the mechanic’s breach of duty to the jury.
Contact Our Office
At the Lee Law Firm, we have extensive knowledge and experience successfully handling personal injury claims, including motor vehicle accident lawsuits. We take all personal injury cases on a contingency basis—you won’t pay any attorney fees unless we recover compensation for your losses.
¡Nosotros hablamos español!