Who bears the “workshop risk” in the event of improper or uneconomical repair of accident damage?

If the injured party delivers the damaged vehicle to a specialist workshop for repair without fault (in particular selection or supervision), the resulting repair costs in relation to the injured party are fully compensable, even if they are due to incorrect or uneconomical working methods on the workshop are inappropriate compared to what is otherwise customary for a similar repair (Federal Court of Justice: judgment of 26 April 2022 – VI ZR 147/21).

The workshop risk remains – as with § 249, subsection 1 BGB – also within the framework of § 249, subsection 2, § 1 BGB in the relationship between the injured party and the injured party with the injured party.

The plaintiff’s vehicle was damaged in a traffic accident. The full liability of the defendants as motor vehicle liability insurance companies for the accident defendant is not contested in the instant case.

An expert report was obtained which showed the expected gross repair costs of €12,574.40. The claimant then had the vehicle repaired at the workshop, which they invoiced him for a total of €14,457.36. The defendant then paid an amount of €13,372.08. The remaining amount of €1,085.28 is still open. The parallel problem of the transfer of the requirements to the executing workshop shall not be discussed here.

In particular, alleging that the services invoiced by the workshop in connection with the repairs were necessary and actually provided by them, the plaintiff claimed against the defendant that he should be reimbursed the remaining repair costs of €1,085.28 (due to the assignment). that have taken place) to be released from the workshop.

As a result, the injured party’s insurer cannot reject the injured party’s claim for reimbursement of the costs corresponding to the difference between the expert damage assessment and the costs that the workshop has actually invoiced due to the costs incurred.

It is true that the assessment of the amount of the claim for damages is primarily a matter for the trier of fact, who is also sometimes entitled to exercise discretion, and can only be reviewed under the appellate court to determine whether the trier of fact has misjudged the legal principles for the damage assessment, ignored significant assessment factors or applied incorrect standards in its assessment. However, such mistakes are made here.

In summary, it can be stated that the injured party’s claim within the compensation authority is aimed at satisfying his financing needs in the form of the amount of money objectively necessary for the restoration and not e.g. settlement of invoices. The funds that must be made available to the injured party must be measured in such a way that, if he alone acts in an economically reasonable manner, he will not become richer by exercising the power of compensation, but also not poorer than, if any, the tortfeasor compensated the damage in accordance with section 249, subsection 1, BGB eliminated.

According to the principle of subject-related damage assessment, the “necessary” production effort is not only determined by the nature and extent of the damage and the local and temporal conditions for its remedy, but also by the special situation of the injured party. in particular his knowledge and possibilities of influence and the possibly just difficulties that exist for him (Federal Court of 17 December 2019 – VI ZR 315/18).

The injured party’s dependence on specialists whom he must call to repair the accident vehicle must also be taken into account, for example the Federal Supreme Court of 29 October 1974 – VI ZR 42/73).

If the injured party delivers the damaged vehicle to a specialist workshop for repair, the resulting repair costs incurred in relation to the injured party and injured party are also fully compensable if they are due to inappropriate or uneconomical working methods per the workshop compared to what would otherwise be necessary for a similar repair are usually inappropriate (Federal Court of 29 October 1974 – VI ZR 42/73).

The objection is therefore not upheld – can this also be expertly documented – the work was partially objectively unnecessary to the injured party.

As a result, the injured party experienced no added value from the inappropriate and uneconomical repair, and the size of the repair also eluded him or his ability to influence it, which is why the injured party’s liability insurance must compensate the damage in the full amount of the workshop invoice.

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