What can I do if I took my car to an autoshop to do oil change a month ago and it failed to fasten a screw so all of the oil drained out?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What can I do if I took my car to an autoshop to do oil change a month ago and it failed to fasten a screw so all of the oil drained out?

Yesterday, my car wouldn’t start and I found out that there was no oil in the tank. I called the shop, they said it might be because of the engine burns oil fast. I put a new oil can in and it all poured out to the floor. I found that the screw beneath wasn’t there. I think it was the autoshop worker’s mistake because they didn’t fasten the screw good enough. Now that my engine is damaged, its age reduced and the value dropped dramatically. I believe that I shouldn’t be suffer such a loss.

Asked on February 5, 2016 under Business Law, California


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the auto shop for negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable auto shop would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).
Your damages (the amount of monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit for negligence) would include the damage to your engine (cost of repairs or replacement if it can't be repaired) and diminution in value of your car.

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