When you hire a professional to repair your car, most people put their full trust in that shop’s expertise and skills. But do you know what to do if the auto body shop does not fix your vehicle properly?
One minute you’re on your way to work on your usual route. The next minute, your car is t-boned after another vehicle runs a red-light. You suffer minor injuries, but your car suffers a bit worse. A tow truck hauls it away, and you pick a repair shop. Work starts. And a few weeks later you’ve filed your claims with your insurance provider and you’re back on the road. Only to discover that the auto body shop did not fix your vehicle properly.
What do you do next? Who is responsible for fixing the damage? Should you take it back to the same repair shop, or go somewhere else with a better reputation? Will you need to file another claim with your insurance provider, or will you be left paying for the repairs?
Keep reading to learn what to do if the auto body shop does not fix your vehicle properly the first time.
Start by Contacting the Auto Body Repair Shop
The first thing that you should do after discovering that the auto body shop did not fix your vehicle properly is to contact them. Either by calling or stopping by the shop, ask to speak to a manager. Explain the situation to them calmly and politely. There is a good chance that if the lack of proper repairs is obvious, the repair shop will offer to fix the problem right away. And that they will do so without any additional costs to you or the insurance company.
After all, many repair shops rely on good relationships with insurance companies, and on good word-of-mouth reviews. If the repair shop was one that was recommended by your insurance provider, but they refuse to right the situation when they are clearly at fault, the provider may no longer use them for repairs.
Check for Repair Warranties
Sometimes it isn’t immediately clear that proper repairs were not made to your vehicle. It may take weeks or even months of driving, or hundreds of miles driven before you realize that something is wrong or a problem arises. In this case, going straight back to the repair shop might not be an option. After all, they may claim that the damage was a result of something that happened after they returned your vehicle to you.
In this instance, the first thing that you should do is check to see whether your repairs come with any warranties. Certain car parts and services may carry warranties. These warranties typically guarantee repairs will last a set number of miles or for a set time period. You may have also had the opportunity to purchase an additional repair warranty.
Did you find that you do have a repair warranty? If so, you’ll need to follow the instructions outlined in your warranty paperwork. Sometimes you will need to take your vehicle to a dealership to get the repairs done, or to the shop that originally installed them. Other times, the warranty may be linked to a car part and backed by that part’s manufacturer. In this case, you may be able to take your vehicle to a different repair shop.
Make sure that you communicate with the repair shop that you are seeking repairs that should be warrantied. Waiting until after the repairs to mention this is a big mistake. In some cases, it may cause you to void the warranty and wind up having to pay for your repairs out of pocket.
What to Do if the Auto Body Shop Does Not Fix Your Vehicle Properly
Heading to the repair shop to discuss your problem with a manager is easy. But do you know what to do if the auto body shop does not fix your vehicle properly and then denies it? Unfortunately, if this is the case, things will quickly get a bit more complicated.
If you find that your car was not properly repaired the first time, but the repair shop that performed the service refuses to take responsibility, your next step may need to be to take legal action.
You may need to take the repair shop to court in order to force them to cover the costs of the necessary repairs. Of course, this isn’t necessarily an easy task. You’ll need to provide ample proof of the repairs that were needed, and that they weren’t properly performed. Otherwise, it will be your word versus the word of the repair shop, and you’ll likely leave the courtroom empty-handed.
What to Do if the Auto Body Shop Does Not Fix Your Vehicle Properly: Hiring an Attorney
Understanding what to do if the auto body shop does not fix your vehicle properly can be confusing. If you’ve spoken with the shop or the mechanic and they refuse to take the blame or to rectify the situation, you’ll have to decide between paying for any necessary repairs yourself or taking them to court.
If you decide to do the latter, it’s a good idea to get a little help. An attorney can help you build the best possible case to prove to the courts why the repair shop needs to pay. They’ll gather evidence from the initial crash and accident or incident report that proves what repairs were needed. Then, they’ll use photographic evidence to prove that the repairs were not done properly the first time. They may also get inspections and testimonies from other mechanics to provide further proof.
Having an attorney on your side will help you get the repairs that you need. And get them without having to pay for them out of pocket. It will also help relieve you of the stress of preparing your case on your own. If your car needed repairs and the auto body shop that you chose failed to deliver, contact an attorney today.