Am I responsible for a mechanic breaking my car?

UPDATED: Jun 30, 2012

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Am I responsible for a mechanic breaking my car?

I took my car in for an oil change and when I went to pick it up, the key wouldn’t turn in the ignition I had to push my car out of their garage and into the parking lot. The mechanic admitted that he fought with the key for about 10 minutes before getting it to start. And because it’s saturday, I have to wait until monday to get the part. When I dropped it off, it was working fine. I have had issues in the past with the ignition but all it took was turning the key over and retrying. Can I hold them financially responsible for the repairs? Or at least for the labor for fixing the problem?

Asked on June 30, 2012 under General Practice, Pennsylvania


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The mechanic is liable for negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable mechanic would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm). 

If the mechanic/mechanic's employer does not pay for the repairs, you can sue for negligence.  You may be able to file your lawsuit in Small Claims Court.  Your damages (the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit would be the cost of repairs (parts and labor) plus court costs.  Court costs would include the court filing fee and process server fee.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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