Can I sue an auto body shop for poor quality repair and causing additional damage to the car?

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Can I sue an auto body shop for poor quality repair and causing additional damage to the car?

Took the shop 3 months to repair the car. After one month in the shop the estimate was updated but on the end I was charged for additional parts and labor. They did very poor quality job ,and damage other parts which they denied to do so including damage to the ABS system.

Asked on September 25, 2011 under Business Law, Washington

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the auto body shop for negligence for the poor repairs and damage to the ABS system.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that in this case a reasonable auto body shop would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).

In order to prove negligence, you will need to prove duty (of due care mentioned above), breach of duty (failure to exercise due care by the poor quality of repairs and/or damage to the ABS system), actual cause, proximate cause, and damages.  Actual cause means but for the repairs, would the ABS system have been damaged?  If the answer is no, actual cause has been established.  Proximate cause means were there any unforeseeable intervening events which would relieve the auto body shop of liability?  If the answer is no, proximate cause has been established.  Damages means the amount of compensation you are seeking to recover in your lawsuit.  Your damages would be the cost of repairs.  You will need to mitigate (minimize) damages by selecting another repair shop to repair your car whose fees are comparable to other repair shops in the area.  If you were to select the most expensive repair shop you could find, your damages would be reduced accordingly. You will need to file your lawsuit prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter. 


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