Can a car dealer be sued due to negligence on a repair?

Our company truck was stolen from our shop in Dallas,Texas in late January. The truck was recovered in Louisiana at the end of February and taken to the Ford dealer in Shreveport to have an estimate to repair all the undercarriage damage performed, per my insurance company part of theft claim. I accepted the estimate as written. Once the vehicle was completed, I made arrangements to pick it up. The truck was driven my me about 100 miles before the transfer case blew up, locking the rear wheels, causing the truck to skid and careen backwards into a guardrail, totalling the vehicle. I was not injured somehow, thankfully. The accident happened in Lindale Texas, on my way back to Dallas. The truck is now back at the Shreveport Ford dealer. They do not accept any responsibility for the mishap and I have had to involve my insurance company at this point. The repair order clearly states that the dealer replaced the transfer case crossmember, so they were in the area that the failure occurred.

Asked on March 19, 2018 under Accident Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The car dealer can be sued for negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable car dealer would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).
Your damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) would be the property damage (cost of repairs to the truck) since you said the truck was back at the auto dealer.
If the truck was totalled as you also mentioned, your damages would be the value of the vehicle.


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