What are my rights if I had an oil change and not 10 miles later it fell off?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What are my rights if I had an oil change and not 10 miles later it fell off?

I recently got an oil change from a major chain. When I drove the car less then 10 miles, the oil filter fell off. I was unaware of this. So when I was driving the oil light came on. I was on an interstate so by the time I was able to pull over the engine had ceased. It was maybe on for 1-2 miles. I took it to a garage and the said there was no oil filter. So I was able to find where it fell off my car. I have pictures of the road and where it happen. What should I expect from them? As in me engine, pay for the tow bill, rental car? Or is it safe to just get a lawyer right away?

Asked on August 15, 2016 under Business Law, New York


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

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The oil change establishment is liable for negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable oil change establishment would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).
Prior to filing a lawsuit for negligence, it may be possible to settle the case with the oil change establishment's insurance carrier.  Your compensation should include the items you mentioned; engine, towing, rental car, and any other costs incurred that were caused by the negligence of the oil change establishment.
If the case is settled with the insurance carrier for the oil change place, NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the oil change establishment.
If the case is NOT settled, your lawsuit for negligence must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

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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