Is there a law that can protect me from damage done to my car while in the possession of a mechanic?

UPDATED: Sep 21, 2011

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Is there a law that can protect me from damage done to my car while in the possession of a mechanic?

Today I took my convertible car to a local mechanic to have my rear window, which was off track, fixed. Only 1 window was messed up. About 2 hours after leaving my car I got a call from the mechanic saying that my other window, which was not broken when I took it in, was broken. I believe he should have to fix or pay for this window since it was not broken when I brought it in but he is refusing. He is telling me it will cost me $850 for both windows to be fixed, which is ridiculous. Is there a law or some kind of grounds that can protect me from this mechanic and his unwillingness to fix the window he broke?

Asked on September 21, 2011 under Business Law, Georgia


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You would have to sue the mechanic for the damages done under a theory of law known as a "bailment."  A bailment is a devery of property from one person to another in trust for the execution of a special project to be performed.  You left the car in his care and in his care it was damaged.  You are going to need proof that the car window that you say was okay when you left it at the mechanics was broken by the mechanic.  That may be difficult to do.  Had you had the car looked at by any one else prior to bringing it in?  Your testimony and the testimony of witnesses to the condition of the car prior would also work.  Good luck to you.

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