AmIresponsible for any repair costs incurred prior to my mechanics totalling my car during a test drive?

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AmIresponsible for any repair costs incurred prior to my mechanics totalling my car during a test drive?

My car was in the shop being repaired. On finishing the mechanic took it for a test drive. He was involved in an accident in which my car was totalled. The shop owners want me to pay part of the original repairs, air conditioning and a power brake leak problem. Am I legally responsible for any of the costs ? Their insurance won’t pay for their out-of-pocket expenses.

Asked on June 22, 2011 under Accident Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If the repairs were made, then you have to pay for them, or at least for whatever part or percentage of them were completed. After all, you pay the repair shop for doing work; after the work is done, it doesn't matter what happens next to the car. So once the work is done, whether or not the car is promptly in an accident, who is driving it, etc. is irrelevant.

That's the law. If factually you dispute that the repairs had in fact been done or completed, that's another story. To the extent the repairs were not done, you would not have to pay for them; though you may then find yourself engaged in litigation against the repair shop, so you should factor that potential cost into deciding what to do.


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