Can Auto Repair Shops Be Held Liable for Damages from Repairs?

Your auto repair shop has the responsibility of customer safety with any repair work you complete. But what happens if a vehicle has an accident due to allegedly negligent auto repair work? Can your auto repair shop be held liable for damages? 

Let’s explore this topic in detail. 

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The risk of repair negligence

As any business owner knows, human error is a big part of the job. When it comes to auto repair shops, providing quality work is paramount because a driver’s safety is in your hands. 

The average automobile owner puts a lot of trust in their local auto mechanic for vehicle maintenance and repairs. However, if your customer has an automobile accident, and the cause is tied to negligent, unauthorized or faulty repair work by your auto repair shop mechanics, you could be held liable. As complicated as damage claims can be, it’s best to know how to avoid putting your auto repair shop in such a position. 

Let’s get to know the best practices for an auto repair shop to ensure your customers’ safety and protect you from potential lawsuits. 

What counts as auto mechanic negligence?

Negligence in the context of personal injury law refers to a failure to exercise the proper or expected standard of care. A person may be held financially liable if their carelessness causes another to suffer an injury, including an automobile accident. When it comes to auto mechanics, documenting your work in detail is imperative to avoid missing anything crucial. 

Some examples of negligence on behalf of the auto mechanic or auto repair shop are:

Ensuring your mechanics adhere to strict guidelines and checklists can make or break your auto repair shop. As the auto repair shop owner, if your employee is held liable for damages caused by  negligence, you might have to rely on your insurance to settle the matter fairly. 

What is an auto mechanic’s duty of care?

Every service comes with a responsibility to the worker to fulfill the expectations of customers. In the auto repair shop business, each business and mechanic has a Duty of Care. This responsibility holds you to a high standard of quality service, establishing that you will inform a customer of any necessary repairs their vehicle requires. 

Adhering to a mechanic’s Duty of Care can directly affect the safety of your customers while also protecting your auto repair business. If an auto repair mechanic/ shop fails to exercise a reasonable level of care or fails to warn their customers about a potential danger, and then an injury occurs, you can be held liable for negligence. 

Here are some common breaches of a mechanic’s Duty of Care:

How to protect your auto repair business

In a perfect world, you wouldn’t have to worry about facing a lawsuit. But in case that does happen, there are some key things to keep in mind. 

After an automobile accident, the reason is often investigated. Two primary parties, the car manufacturer and your shop, will come under scrutiny if it turns out that the accident was actually caused by an issue with the motor vehicle, not the driver. This includes the auto mechanic who most recently serviced the vehicle. 

Victims of the car accident may be entitled to bring lawsuits against the auto mechanic for monetary damages if it is discovered that the mechanic was negligent in any way. 

This is where shop liability insurance comes in. This type of shop insurance protects the mechanic from being held liable for damages arising from their repair work. Make sure the basics are covered by your insurance to keep your auto repair shop protected. 

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Closing thoughts

When it comes to your auto repair shop, running a tight ship around safety and auto repair guidelines can protect your business from negligence lawsuits. 

Providing customers with the very best service and care can make the difference between a reliable business reputation and repeated liability risks. 

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