An agreement must contain four essential elements to be regarded as a contract. If any one of them is missing, the agreement will not be legally binding. The contract can be oral, or written. With oral contracts, the only problem is proof, but generally that can be proven by money exchanging hands, work performed, etc. These are the required elements:
3. Intention (meeting of the minds)
4. Consideration (fair value exchanged)
For breach of a contract, there is a material breach (goes to the very heart of the matter) and an immaterial breach (money damages will help compensate the plaintiff).
In cases of material breach, the party not in breach may revoke their acceptance, so goods/payment are returned.
For immaterial breach, the plaintiff is compensated by the defendant paying for the damages (ie cost of repair).
So for auto repair, it is generally the cost to rectify the situation-ie to hire a third party mechanic to do it properly.
Fortunately, for issues under $5,000, the small claims court is the simplified process- that information is here
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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.