Mechanical Errors and Car Accidents

One of the most common causes of car accidents is human error, however, that isn’t the only cause. Accidents can also happen because a vehicle owner does not properly maintain their vehicle. There are certain frequent mechanical issues that drivers should be aware of and taking care of these issues can help decrease the risk of a car crash. Properly maintained vehicles can also help you avoid an accident, as well.

Common Mechanical Failures

  • Tires and wheels. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), issues with vehicle tires are the cause of 35 percent of the accidents that happen because of some type of vehicle failure. Worn tire treads and tire blowouts can hinder a driver from keeping control of the vehicle. This is especially dangerous in large tractor-trailers.
  • Another common cause of mechanical failure that results in crashes is brakes. Issues with brakes are responsible for 22 percent of accidents where vehicle failure was cited as the crash cause. Brake issues include worn brake pads, faulty or worn brake lines, and Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) malfunctions.
  • Brake lights, headlights, and taillights. Issues with the vehicle’s lighting can hamper other vehicles’ visibility and lead to a crash. For example, if a car’s taillights are not working, and it is at night on a poorly lit road, how will another vehicle know there is a vehicle in front of them? The same is true for brake lights, although this issue can cause a crash any time of day or night and in any type of weather. If your brake lights are not working, there is no way for the driver behind you to know you are slowing down or stopping.

Who Is Liable?

When a mechanical failure occurs and causes an accident, there are three potential liable parties for the crash – the vehicle manufacturer, the repair shop that works on the vehicle, or the owner of the vehicle:

  • Manufacturer – There are millions of vehicles recalled each year because of defective or dangerous vehicle parts or designs. If a manufacturer failed to adhere to the stringent standards put in place, they can be held liable.
  • Repair shop – Another potential at-fault party is the mechanic or repair shop where the vehicle is serviced. If the vehicle had recently been in for repairs but the shop made low-quality or faulty repairs that resulted in the crash, the victim may be able to pursue legal action against the shop.
  • Vehicle owner – The vehicle owner is responsible for maintaining a vehicle that is in good working order. If they failed to adhere to a necessary maintenance schedule or ignored recall notices, they could be held liable.

Contact a Virginia Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been in a car accident, contact a seasoned Virginia car accident attorney for legal help. Most Virginia personal injury firms represent car accident victims on a contingency fee bases, which means there are no upfront attorney fees. The attorney only gets paid when they recover financial damages for your injuries. Our personal injury firm has successfully represented many injured victims in getting them the compensation they were entitled to for their injuries, like a $235,000 personal injury insurance settlement for one client who suffered a concussion, soft tissue injuries to her back and neck, and a laceration to her face when another driver negligently failed to yield the right of way when attempting to cross a busy highway.

Call Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp today to schedule a free consultation. We will evaluate your case and let you know what type of legal options you may have.