What to do about an accident due to a mechanic’s negligence?

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What to do about an accident due to a mechanic’s negligence?

I had all 4 tires replaced by my mechanic. One mile out my rear left tire completely came off as I was driving. The tire hit another car which received minor damage. The mechanic initially promised to cover all damages to mine and the other cars. By the time I left, he was renagaing on some already. Thank god, nobody was killed or hurt, on the outside. However, I’m still emotionally a mess and scared to drive. I received a call from his insurance agency an need to return the call tomorrow. Should I think of hiring a lawyer before I talk or wait for the outcome?

Asked on October 22, 2012 under Personal Injury, Massachusetts

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If your claim is only property damage, the mechanic's insurance carrier should pay for the cost of repairs to your car.  The insurance carrier should also pay for the damage to the car your tire struck, but that would be between that vehicle owner and the mechanic's insurance company.  Property damage is usually resolved without an attorney so as not to end up with attorney's fees which may come out of the cost of repairs to your car.  Speak with the insurance carrier regarding property damage only.

You may have a separate personal injury claim for your mental state regarding a fear of driving.  If you want to pursue that aspect of the case, it would be advisable to speak with a personal injury attorney, who could send you to a psychologist or psychiatrist.  When you complete that medical treatment and are released by the doctor, your personal injury claim will include your medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of any wage loss.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills, which is based on the medical reports which document the nature and extent of your injury/ psychological trauma.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  If your personal injury claim is settled with the mechanic's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the mechanic.  If your case is NOT settled with the mechanic's insurance carrier, you will need to file your lawsuit for negligence against the mechanic prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

 


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