What can I do about a car repair that was never done?

UPDATED: Oct 26, 2014

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What can I do about a car repair that was never done?

I paid my girlfriend’s cousin to fix my car, which should have only taken a weekend. Instead it took several months. After he took the car I was told that something else had broken and that he’d need more money to fix it, which we paid. He informed me later he couldnt fix it. I told him fine but it was taking too long and to just bring it back. More months went by, and I repeatedly told them to bring it back. I had to threaten to report it to the police as a stolen vehicle. When I finally get the car back, I was told while it was there someone cut the gasline. What can I do? I’d like to get money to fix the damages done while in his possession and to get back the money paid for the horn that wasn’t fixed. Any advice or should I just let this go?

Asked on October 26, 2014 under Accident Law, New York


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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the mechanic for breach of contract for failure to make the repairs and failure to refund your money.  Your lawsuit should also include a separate cause of action (claim) for negligence for the gas line being cut while your car was at the mechanic's shop.

Your damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) should include the refund of your money and the cost of repairs for the gas line and the other repairs by another mechanic.  If you need a rental car while your car is being repaired, your damages should also include the cost of the rental.

You will need to mitigate (minimize) damages by selecting another mechanic whose fees are comparable to other mechanics in the area.  If you were to select the most expensive mechanic you could find, you have failed to mitigate damages and your damages will be reduced accordingly. 

You will also need to mitigate damages by selecting a rental car with a reasonable rate.  If you were to select the most expensive rental car you could find, you have failed to mitigate damages and your damages will be reduced accordingly.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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