Bailment is indeed one of the theories that you can sue upon in addition to breach of contract and negligence. In Pennsylvania, bailment is a form of strict liability. A Bailment arises when a bailor (such as a vehicle owner) delivers property to a bailee (e.g. a mechanic) for the purposes of performing some task with the understanding that the property will be returned to the bailor when that task is completed. A cause of action for breach of a bailment agreement arises if the bailor can establish that property has been delivered to the bailee, a demand for return of the bailed goods has been made, and the bailee has failed to return the property or has returned it in an unanticipated condition. Price v. Brown, 680 A.2d 1149, 1151-52 (Pa. 1996).
If the service station does not accept responsibility for the damages, explore whether or not your insurance carrier will cover those damages. Although you might have to absorb the deductible, litigating against service stations in these situations can sometimes be problematic, they often claim that the mechanic was an independent contractor performing side jobs or that the damages were pre-existing. Your carrier might wind up fighting that battle for you.
Stew Crawford, Jr., Esq.
Crawford Law Firm
A Full Service Law Firm Serving Pennsylvania & New Jersey
223 North Monroe Street
Media, PA 19063 (Philadelphia Area)
All information provided in this comment is intended for informational purposes only and does not, by itself, create an attorney client relationship. If you wish to consult with an attorney, or have any questions concerning this comment, please feel free to contact our offices through any of the above contact sources.
Service station is liable for damage while in their possession and the other driver who caused original damage is responsible for the damage they caused. Hire an attorney ASAP.
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