Cars make our day-to-day lives significantly convenient, and we trust mechanics and auto repair shops when the car is due for service or needs repair. However, if they fail to detect an issue, improperly install a part, or make another type of error and you get in an accident because of it, they should be held accountable.
Mechanics and auto repair shops can be liable if their negligence directly caused personal injuries to you or a loved one. A car accident lawyer in South Carolina can help you establish fault and go after compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.
How Do You Prove a Mechanic or Auto Ship’s Negligence?
You must apply the four elements of negligence to prove your case:
- Duty of care: Duty of care demonstrates legal responsibility. In auto repair faults, you’ll need to prove that the mechanic or the shop was responsible for repairing the car to the best standards.
- Breach of duty: You will then need to show that the other party failed to uphold their duty of care.
- Causation: You need to directly relate your accident to the faulty repairs, showing that you would not have gotten into the accident if it was not for the mechanic’s negligence.
- Damages: As a result of the accident, you have suffered financially and non-financially.
Proving a mechanic or auto repair shop’s mistake is straightforward. All you’ve got to do is compare the job they performed to industry standards or what they promised to do. Proving the direct cause, on the other hand, requires evidence and expert evaluation.
Knowing this information, auto repair shops may try to deny responsibility and allege that your own mistakes led to the accident. That is why it is important to hire a car accident lawyer to handle all the communication, collect evidence, and leverage their knowledge of the law to prove that the mechanic’s fault was the cause of your accident.
Which Evidence Do You Need to Show a Mechanic’s Liability?
Each case is unique from the other. As such, determining the cause of an accident may follow different steps. A car accident attorney in South Carolina may first hire an independent mechanic to evaluate the car. After the mechanical evaluation, the lawyer may do the following to prove fault and liability:
- Collect eye-witness testimonies
- Examine photos and videos from the crash scene
- Hire accident reconstruction experts to find out what happened
- Review the official police report
- Access your medical records and speak to your doctors
Forms of Damages You Can Recover in an Auto Accident Case
Car accident damages can be classified into two categories: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are any losses that you can put a dollar figure on. They include:
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Past and future medical bills
- Property damage expenses
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are unquantifiable, as they relate to how the accident has affected you physically and mentally. They may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Reduced quality of life
- Mental anguish
- Scarring and disfigurement
If your family member passed away from their car accident injuries, you could seek wrongful death damages.
Should You Sue the Mechanic or the Auto Repair Shop in South Carolina?
To answer this comprehensively, you need to understand the doctrine of respondeat superior. Respondeat superior holds an employer legally responsible for the wrongful acts of an employee if such acts occur within the scope of their employment.
Say you took your car to an auto repair shop in South Carolina to have your brake fluid replaced. If the mechanic used the wrong brake fluid and as a result, you were involved in an accident, you can sue the shop for the mechanic’s negligent acts. To employ the doctrine of respondeat superior, you will need to prove:
- The mechanic’s wrongful acts occurred within their scope of work, that they work in the auto repair shop in question, and changing brake fluids is part of their scope of work.
- The owner of the shop could control the acts of the mechanic.
If you can prove these elements were present, you can pursue compensation from the liable party.
George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers Can Help you Prove Negligence
George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers has handled various personal injury cases in South Carolina. We are standing by to assess your case after a mechanic or auto repair shop acted negligently, causing your car accident.
Discuss your legal options and explore the next possible course of action today during a free consultation. Reach out to us today. You won’t pay us unless and until we recover damages for you.