It’s uncommon to come into contact with a personal injury attorney as a car mechanic: you’re more likely to talk to insurance companies who allow direct billing to the customer’s policy. For minor bumps and scratches, a simple picture or invoice is all that’s needed, and the customer submits the information themselves.
However, it occasionally does happen that you’ll come across a lawyer in your line of work, especially as there are 410 collisions throughout Tennessee every day. More than a few of these happen around Hendersonville, and many result in legal involvement to negotiate with auto insurance companies.
Why Might a Car Accident Lawyer Need to Consult With You?
The primary reason that you may get in touch with a lawyer is because they require documentation for a court case. If they do not intend to take the case to trial, it’s typically the consumer who sends evidence of repairs to their insurance agency without your assistance, but you may be required to send evidence over to the attorney yourself should there be a personal injury lawsuit.
This documentation is crucial, as it will be examined to prove the severity of their client’s injuries and, potentially, prove through forensic analysis that the other person was at fault.
There is one more, far more unfortunate, reason you may have to speak to a lawyer: you may be liable if an accident was due to a serious mistake by one of your mechanics. For example, if a mechanic put the brakes on wrong and the customer then got into a major car accident, you may be drawn into a personal injury lawsuit that your business insurance would then have to pay out for.
How to Work With a Personal Injury Attorney
As you never know when a severe accident may become a lawsuit, it’s important to be meticulous with your documentation with every car in the shop. Take before and after pictures of your repair work and note the damage the car has suffered. Many shops now use an app to send pictures and detailed reports to their customers before they approve the repair work, and if you are thorough, this information will usually be enough for the lawsuit to proceed.
You will want to note what was directly related to the crash and what was routine maintenance if the car was due for certain repairs, such as oil changes or tire inflation.
If a personal injury attorney contacts you due to a lawsuit arguing negligence, you must defend yourself using the documentation you have completed at the time of the repair – another important reason why you should always keep careful records of every transaction in your shop. Sometimes, a customer will request that you not perform necessary repairs due to cost; you need to prove that you informed them of the risks, and they declined should these problems cause the accident. Always keep any communication with clients because it may become a crucial element of a potential lawsuit.
Remember That Lawyers Are Consumers Too
On the bright side, lawyers can be valuable resources for you – and potentially loyal customers. Hendersonville, while not tiny, only has a few auto repair shops, and you can prove you’re a cut above the rest by being prompt, courteous, and thorough in any documentation you send to a lawyer. Just as with insurance companies, networking with local personal injury firms can mean getting recommendations when one of their clients gets into a wreck and is looking for a highly qualified mechanic they know does good work.
Of course, lawyers also have a large network of friends and family who may need a mechanic. A positive interaction with your shop, even just in sending over documentation, will stick in their mind, and they might recommend you to their associates who need work done.
While it’s uncommon that you’ll have to interact with a Hendersonville personal injury attorney during the course of your work, it does happen, and you should be aware of what they will require of you. Your thorough documentation isn’t just to ease the customer’s mind but to potentially serve as evidence in a lawsuit – or protect you if a client sues for damages. Be sure to take plenty of pictures and develop a consistent reporting style on every car that comes into your shop so that you are always ready if the unthinkable happens and one of your customers needs this proof for a lawsuit.