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

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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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


Asked on August 20, 2016 under Accident Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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