Duty to Keep Damages down by Repairing in "independent" Car Service?

Being involved in a car accident is already pure stress but when liable person complains that your damages are avoidably too high this takes the cake. The Federal Court of Justice wrote in its judgment of June 22, 2010 (re VI ZR 302/08) whether the liable person is really demanding too much.


Two guys got into a traffic accident on Main Street. Tommy is liable because he did not obey Theresa's right of way when she came out of a side street with her Mercedes (N.B. everybody knows that a Mercedes comes with a built in right of way.) Theresa had her car repaired in a Mercedes' service garage. Tommy however was howling that she ought to have taken out the services from a car repair that does not exclusively service Mercedes cars. She was supposed to keep the damages low as reasonably much as possible (§249 II 1 BGB). She insisted to have her automobile repaired at the correct service center.

The court agreed with Theresa. Persons with damages generally follow the command of efficiency when have their car repaired at a car service that is specialized for certain brands as long as the prices of the service remain in the scope of what an engaged expert accredits in his expertise as usual on the regional market.

The only chance for Tommy to demand from Theresa that she partake the services of an "independent" car repair when he proves 1) the quality of the independent repair matches the quality of a brand repair service, and 2) he can show and / or prove that the individual circumstances of the person damaged do not unreasonably prevent repair in an independent shop. Nobody can be forced to visit an independent car repair when the owner is contractually bound to have the automobile repaired in a branded service station.


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