First read your paperwork for the ball joint work. See if there is a warranty that covered the work. See if the repair shop excluded or disclaimed liability for the ball joint failure.
Consult with another repair shop to see what they think caused the ball joint failure and how much it would cost to repair it. Get a written estimate with an explanation as to why the failure happened. See how much it will cost to repair the paint damage. Get a written estimate. Make sure that you take photos using a digital camera that puts the date on the image to document the ball joint failure and paint damage.
Based on what you find out, you should consider writing a letter by certified mail to Meineke to complain about the ball joint repair and demand that they repair the problem and pay for your out of pocket costs. Include a copy of the repair estimates. If they refuse, you can use the letter in a small claims court suit to recover the costs.
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You best bet may be small claims court. I am not sure of the rules in your jurisdiction, but I would check on-line or call the county clerk in your area and see if this is a case that can be filed in small claims court. If so, you may want to just file against the mechanic shop and let them add any other party they believe may be responsible.
I suggest you contact a general practicioner attorney in your area for information and advice on how to proceed.
If you want to do it on your own, the Justice of the Peace or Small Claims court has a maximum jurisdiction of $10,000.00 that you can sue for and is very inexpensive to file the lawsuit yourself. Check our your county websites and look under the Justice Court tabs for alot of good information on how to proceed.
Also, contact the business and any insurance company that it uses for its coverage. You may be able to get your problem resolved through the insurance carrier without the need for court.
I am licensed to practice law in Texas. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. You are always urged to contact an attorney in your locale familiar with the facts and circumstances of your case before making any legal decision for yourself.
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