It can be difficult to tell who is responsible when a car malfunctions in some way, leading to an accident. Drivers are responsible for keeping their vehicles in a safe condition. However, even a driver who is careful about maintenance could have an accident if their mechanic made a mistake, or the manufacturer sent their mechanic a defective part. Determining and later proving liability in this type of accident can require significant professional crash reconstruction and investigation.
If you have been in a car accident that you suspect was caused by a mechanical failure of some kind, you will want to speak with a qualified automotive product defect attorney as soon as possible. Jason K. Burress served as trial counsel for General Motors and many other auto and component part manufacturers before dedicating his practice to helping personal injury victims. As Jason says, a prompt crash reconstruction/investigation (before evidence is altered or destroyed) is paramount to presenting a strong automotive product defect claim.
Which 3 Parties Are Most Commonly Responsible for a Vehicle Failure Accident?
Many, if not most, auto accidents caused by a vehicle component failure could have been prevented somewhere along the way if everyone had used the appropriate level of care. In most accidents of this nature, one of three parties made a careless mistake that contributed to the crash. Your attorney may focus his investigation on these three parties:
- Driver – The driver (or the vehicle’s owner) is responsible for making repairs and performing routine maintenance as needed to keep the car safe to be on the road. If the driver knew that his vehicle was unsafe – for example, he saw the signs of impending brake failure – and continued driving without making the needed repair, this is likely to be considered negligent conduct.
- Mechanic – People use mechanics and body shops because they want the job done professionally and correctly. This, unfortunately, backfires sometimes. Not all auto shops are as careful as they should be. Occasionally, the incorrect part is installed, or the right part is incorrectly installed. This can cause a critical failure at an inopportune time, leading to a collision.
- Manufacturer – Even if the driver was careful about maintenance and his mechanic did everything correctly, a vehicular malfunction can still occur if some component of the vehicle itself was defective. Accidents like this can be initially bewildering for all involved when it is not immediately clear what has gone wrong. Identifying the defective part and demonstrating that it was not in working condition when it arrived at the auto shop can be complex, but it can be done. The way this type of claim is handled can look a little bit different because it is based on products liability law.
It is also sometimes the case that a driver who knows he made a mistake will try to blame the accident on mechanical failure. When this happens, the cover story is likely to crumble upon closer investigation. It is best to call an attorney as soon as possible after a collision where mechanical failure is a concern so that evidence can be preserved immediately.
Contact a Collin County Car Accident Attorney
If you were hurt in an accident that may have been caused by mechanical failure, Burress Injury Law may be able to help. Our Frisco car accident lawyers are skilled at investigating these crashes to determine who may be liable. Call us at 214-726-0016 for a free consultation.