Can I sue regarding a car repair that has taken months and still isn’t done??

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Can I sue regarding a car repair that has taken months and still isn’t done??

My husband had a car accident with damage to the front of the car. He took the vehicle to a mechanic almost 3 months ago but it still is not fixed. After several attempts to find out about the status of this repair, the mechanic refuses to give out specifics and doesn’t provide a date for pick up. He asked for $2,200 in advance, which we paid. We also provided car parts for a total of $500. My husband has been without a car for almost 3 months and it looks like this is going to drag on forever. What can we do?

Asked on July 19, 2016 under Business Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Your case would be more straightforward if you'd had a repair estimate, proposal, or agreement which stated how long the repair would take (since then, you know precisely when he has gone too long--there is no subjective or judgment element to it), but even without one, when the mechanic has exceeded any reasonable time frame--which he has--you can sue. You would sue for breach of contract (violating the agreement, even if just an oral one, as to him doing the repairs in a reasonable time frame); and also for fraud (lying about what he could or would do in terms of repairs). You can sue for the return of your money and for costs you've incurred (e.g. rental cars, taxes, mass transit) due to the delay, and/or for a court order than he return the car to you.


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