Can I sue a tire shop for damages to my car?

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Can I sue a tire shop for damages to my car?

I purchased Two new tires yesterday and they
rotated all of them as well. Today I was driving
back from school and my front drivers side tire
just flew off. The police officer said it was
because the lug nuts were not tightened. I had
to get it towed and now Ill be missing work due
to this accident. Do I have any legal options?

Asked on June 20, 2018 under Accident Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Assuming the officer is correct--as they likely are, under the circumstances you describe--then yes, you can sue for the cost to repair your car, for the towing cost, and possibly some mixed work (the work you *had* to unavoidably miss, such as the day the tire flew off; once you *could* get to work by taking mass transit, renting a car, etc. you cannot hold them liable for mixed labor). You could also sue for rental or mass transit cost while your car is in the shop. When someone causes damage to your car (or any property) due to their "negligence" or unreasonable carelessness (like not tightening lugs correctly), they are liable for the damage and costs they cause. You would need someone with expertise about tires to testify in court as to why this occured--e.g. someone from a different tire or repair shop to which you bring the car for repairs, or an insurance adjuster, etc. The law requires expert testimony as to the cause of accidents like this, when you claim a repair or tire shop, etc. did not do its job right and the led to the accident.


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