Anyone who owns a car in California is likely to need the vehicle repaired from time to time. In Texas, a jury awarded $42 million to a couple injured in a car crash caused by a negligent driver and an auto repair shop after the plaintiffs alleged that the negligent repairs contributed to the plaintiffs’ injuries.
The repair shop used glue instead of welds to repair damage to a Honda Fit, despite the instructions in the vehicle’s repair manual. The jury found the driver that struck the Honda 25 percent liable and the auto repair shop 75 percent liable.
The repair was allegedly done to save costs due to pressure from the vehicle owner’s insurance company. The insurance company has also been sued in a separate action based on negligence, deceptive trade practices and breach of warranty but has not yet filed an answer. Other similar cases have been filed in Texas alleging that insurance companies should be held liable if an accident occurs after pressuring auto repair companies to cut costs when repairing vehicles to save the insurance company money.
A personal injury lawyer may be able to help injured crash victims demonstrate who was at fault for the accident by reviewing evidence such as crash site photos and witness statements and consulting accident reconstruction experts. In some cases, this can make a significant difference in the amount of compensation that a crash victim receives, either via a settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurance company or through a civil lawsuit filed against the negligent driver.