Can I sue if a car care center broke my engine?

I took my car in to a car care center to get a basic oil change. I drove it up and waited about an hour before one of the employees came up asked if I had a kill switch in my car. I

responded

Asked on August 20, 2016 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

There is the legal answer, and there is the practical answer. 
Legally, if they carelessly damaged your car--as they apparently did--they are liable for all costs provably and foreseeably (basically, logically) flowing directly therefrom, like lost wages for missing a day of work. 
Practically, if they paid for the repairs, etc. as you seem to indicate, all you could sue for is, potentially, one lost day of wages. While you know your wages and I don't (i.e. you know the money at stake; and also whether and how much PTO you have available for court time, and whether you are willing to use it for that purpose), is that worth missing *another* day of wages, for which you can't get compensation? A lawsuit, even a small claims suit, can easily take a full day (sometimes more!) and the law does NOT give you compensation for the time you spend suing. So you could sue for a day's wages and lose a day (plus the filing fee) doing that.


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