Can I get compensation for work not being finished?

I hired an individual to fix my car. It has been over a year since repairs started. He rarely comes over to work on it and I have already given him $1000 of the $1400 he requested. Since working on my car he has messed up or broken a number of pieces he has not replaced. If I had other parties witness the verbal agreement and me paying him. Do I have a right to sue for parts and labor so that someone else may fix my car?

Asked on September 20, 2017 under Accident Law, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You could sue for both breach of contract and negligence.
Breach of contract would be based on failure to complete repairs and replace the parts that he damaged.
Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable auto mechanic would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).  The negligence claim would be based on the damaged parts and failure to take precautions such as protecting the new engine from rain, etc.
Damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) for breach of contract would include the cost of repairs and the cost of hiring someone else to complete the job.
Damages for negligence would also include the cost of repairs.
As for hiring someone else to complete the job, you will need to mitigate (minimize) damages by hiring a mechanic whose fees are comparable to other mechanics in the area.  If you were to hire the most expensive mechanic you could find, you have failed to mitigate damages and your damages will be reduced accordingly.


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