A jury recently awarded $42 million to a young couple who suffered major burns and crushing injuries in a car wreck. A Dallas body shop fixed their hail-damaged Honda using a cheaper, but untested, method of roof repair.
Just before Christmas, the couple was headed for a family visit when a truck hydroplaned and hit the Honda head-on.
The roof collapsed. The couple was trapped inside their burning car.
The car’s manufacturer had recommended a specific welding method to fix the Honda’s hail-damaged roof. Instead, the body shop used a glue-like adhesive.
If the repair had been done properly, the couple could have walked away from the car wreck unharmed.
Why we say “car crash”, not “car accident”— and you should, too.
Trial jury sends a message to car repair shops
Vehicle repairs are a part of everyday lives. If you own any kind of vehicle, at some point you will need professional repairs and services.
But, repair shops have been known to cut corners and use repair methods that save money. There can be no tolerance for this practice, as too much is at stake.
The couple who was so severely injured in car wreck with a semi truck had to file a lawsuit against the body shop. At the trial, one of the body shop’s representatives asserted that the shop’s repair procedures are “guided by insurance.”
That may be: insurance companies can try to force body shops to go against manufacturer recommendations. (In this case, the couple filed a separate lawsuit against State Farm for this practice).
It’s a big problem for consumers. We usually don’t know how exactly how vehicle repairs are done.
We just have to accept that body shops and service centers are using recommended practices and making all necessary repairs to keep us all safe. If the threat of their customers being trapped in a burning car isn’t enough incentive, what is?
With a $42 million-dollar verdict, the jury’s message was sent loud and clear: “Fix vehicles properly or pay the price.”
The best and recommended car repair practices must be followed. The price for anything less is simply too high.
Recommended Article: When to get an Attorney for a Car Accident
Attorney Kevin Coluccio has dedicated his entire legal career to helping injured people and their families through the civil justice system. Contact Coluccio Law with questions, or call 206-826-8200.
There are a lot of news pertaining to road accidents and I surely agree that maintenance of the car is an essential. While it is also the driver’s negligence, maintenance for their car must also be followed to at least lessen the possibility of road accidents.
We normally have the customer sign the release of liability because there are so many things that could go wrong with a vehicle, most likely something we didn’t repair, but they would assume it to be our fault. We could repair a windshield wiper, and if the wheel fell off they would try to blame us. Everyone is always looking to blame someone else, but I guess you guys know that one pretty well 😉
Thanks for your comment! In this particular case, the repair shop seemed to be following orders from the insurance company to use an adhesive for the roof repair, instead of the manufacturer-recommended welding. Consumers usually don’t fully understand how repairs are done, which is why it’s so important for folks to have a mechanic they know and trust.