Do I have legal rightsagainstan oil change company for an improper servicing which caused damage to my car?

UPDATED: Aug 27, 2011

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Do I have legal rightsagainstan oil change company for an improper servicing which caused damage to my car?

I had an oil change a couple weeks ago and my car broke down the other day. The mechanic said I need a new engine because whoever did my oil change didn’t put my oil filter on right which caused my oil to drain and engine to seize.

Asked on August 27, 2011 Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If the service center or oil change company was at fault in someway--that is, for example, they did not put the oil filter back on correctly--then they may be liable, or responsible to pay, for the damage to your vehicle. When a car is brought in for any kind of servicing, the mechanic, etc. has an obligation to use reasonable care in doing the work and handling the vehcile generally; if that person or business fails to use reasonable care and causes damage, they can be sued for the damage or costs they cause the car owner to incur. So if the situation is as you describe--that is, that the damage occured because of an improperly replaced oil filter--then you would have a good chance of recovering money from them if you sue them; and hopefully, they would either settle before you sue, or at least shortly after you file a lawsuit, which would save legal fees.

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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