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I think I'm going to sue someone, advice needed (long, sorry)

(2 Posts)
IvorHughJangova Tue 02-Apr-13 14:53:14

Took my car for a service last Thursday to my normal garage (small, local). They charged me £145 for a full service. Took the car home for an hour or so, loaded it up then drove to Lincolnshire from Kent (about 4 hours). 1 1/2 hours into the journey the car started to make a weird noise. We couldn't work out if the road surface was rough and causing the noise or if it was the car itself. Then the car began to judder. I'd just joined the M11 from the M25. I went to brake and they didn't work properly and the car was veering to the left. I had to swerve in front of someone and put my hazards on then keep braking and fighting with the steering until I could get it safely on the hard shoulder.

We called AA. We're not members, it cost us £224 to join for a year and get someone to come out. (We had to join to get them to come out). We waited for an hour in the dark. My 2 year old was in the back. AA man checked car and said the front left side wheel hadn't been properly put back on after the service. One of the bolts was hanging out and the rest were loose. He said if we'd not stopped when we had we would have had a 'catastrophic accident'. He was pretty angry and said mistakes like this kill people. He tightened wheel and wrote a short report which states the wheel was loose which he said we must give to the garage. We went on our way.

Have since come home and today DH and DF went to the garage to show them the report and tell them what happened. Bloke there (who has always worked on my car, who I've always been friendly with) said No, Not us, nothing to do with us, get lost. They said, but it is - we took car home, never left it, took it on journey, this happened. It couldn't be down to anyone but you. He said he's never made a mistake like that in his life and basically told them to piss off.

I am so angry. I am so so angry. I spent Thursday night vomitting over a barrier on the hard shoulder into a ditch the other side having bloody visions of what could have happened if I hadn't stopped in time or if this had happened ten minutes earlier when I was on the outside lane of a packed M25. This is how pile-ups happen. It's human error; I recognised it as such and counted my blessings that the worse hadn't happened. All we wanted was an apology and an offer to reimburse us the cost of the service. But we've had nothing, he won't even acknowledge his mistake. He refused to even look at the AA report.

Can anyone advise, is there anything I can do? I want to instruct a solicitor, but can I do that? Do I have a case?!

I'm sorry this is so long. I'm so upset

babybarrister Tue 02-Apr-13 17:31:04

Sounds dreadful but to be honest you personally do not really have a civil claim as thankfully nothing happened save for a breakdown. your compensation would be limited to the breakdown costs - your emotions are rarely taken into account
However, there is another issue here in relation to gross negligence - IMO it should be reported to your local trading standards and also to HSE (I am not sure who would bring this type of prosecution). Good luck and stick at it!

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