Can I sue an auto shop for releasing my car after repairs even though it was unsafe to drive?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I sue an auto shop for releasing my car after repairs even though it was unsafe to drive?

I was in a car accident in November and was hit from the rear, the other drive
was at fault and went through his issuance to have repairs done. I put my car
in the shop and began repairs which took about two months. I was told my
car was repaired and ready for pickup. I was driving home from work a
couple days later and my car broke down in the middle of the highway. I had
it towed to another body shop the dealership they looked at the car and
found many things that were done incorrectly or not at all. Main issue was
my gas take was not put in correctly causing me to break down that day. I
have not had my car for a total of four months now. Is there anyway to sue
the first body shop because they gave back my 1 year old car unfinished and
unsafe to drive?

Asked on April 6, 2017 under Accident Law, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can sue them for negligently--or unprofessionally carelessly--causing damage and/or failing to make repairs (people and businesses are responsible for when the carelessly damage items or leave obvious damaging conditions uncorrected); or if you (not the insurer) was the one to contract with them, for breach of contract--for violating their agreement to repair the vehicle. You can sue for the cost to repair whatever still needs to be repaired, including for the cost to fix any new issues they caused, as well as for any other out of pocket (not paid by insurance) costs resulting from this, like towing, renting a car to drive while your car is fixed again; etc. You cannot sue for any stress, fright, concern, etc. this caused you--in cases like this, you can only recover compensation for costs, damage, and physical injuries.

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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