What can I do if my mechanic drove my car for 500-700 miles while he had it?

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What can I do if my mechanic drove my car for 500-700 miles while he had it?

There were also toll charges and he smoked in the car. Additionally, the body work he was supposed to do was terrible. He did a lot of new damage to my car such as chips, cracks, etc. while not taking things a part carefully while doing work. He even broke the key fob. Even if the company fixes everything, he still put miles on my car. Can I sue?

Asked on December 15, 2014 under Business Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you may sue. You have several grounds to sue:

1) If the work he did was not commercially acceptable, you can sue for breach of contract to recover either the cost to correct or redo the work or for the return of anything paid him.

2) If he did additional damage to your car, you can sue him in negligence (carelessness) for the cost to repair that damage. Similarly, you could sue him for the cost to replace the key fob and for the cost to professionally clean the interior and remove the cigarrette smoke (the claim vs. the smoke could also be stated as an intentional tort or wrong: intentionally damaging your property with the cigarrtte smell.

3) You can include in the suit a claim for any toll charges, based on an intentional wrong.

4) And you could sue him, based on either intentional property damage or for "theft of service" (the use of your care) for the reduction in your car's value for the extra mileage.

If some of the above is voluntarily repaired or paid you, you could sue him for any part not paid; for smaller amounts, you might want to sue in small claims court, acting as your own attorney.


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