Last Monday, I paid $562 to have garage repair an oil leak in my car. Later at 8PM, when the car was finally ready, I drove off in the car, but at the first stop light there was still something wrong, as the vehicle kept "lurching" as if it were about to stall. It was necessary for me to then drive 40-miles to my home, while feeling very nervous that the car would become disabled before I could arrive at home.
The next day when I attempted to drive the car to a near-by repair franchise, the car's brakes did not work. I had a tow truck take it to the repair place near my home.
After five days at the second repair place here, the car was today towed to the original repair shop.
The manager there says that because he repaired the oil leak, I will not be receiving any reimbursement for all of the money I paid him.
My argument is that he needs to be accountable for creating a worse problem than the one he was fixing, and give me back some of what I paid him.
Do you think that I have a small claims case for this situation?
1 Answer from Attorneys
You left out a very important detail: what was the opinion of the second mechanic? In order to have a case, you will have to prove that the first mechanic created additional problems while he was fixing the first problem, and that you should not have to pay for him (or someone else) to fix his mistake. If he fixed the oil leak, then you should pay for that. What your claim would be is that you do not have to pay for additional repair to fix what he broke. For this, you need statements from at least one or more mechanics regarding 1. the initial condition of your car (from another mechanic who knew the car before the oil leak/ botched repair) 2. opinion that the parts which are now broken appear to have been broken through negligent repair. If you can prove-up such a case, you could also add in any costs you incurred for towing, lost time from work, having someone else fix the mistake, etc.
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