Car accidents due to mechanical failure
According to federal government statistics, about 2% of car accidents are caused by mechanical failure. Typically, the failure stems from inadequate maintenance or faulty parts. Regardless of the cause, mechanical failure can cause a motorist to lose control of their vehicle, sending them careening into innocent pedestrians and motorists.
At Khan Law Firm, our number one concern is the well-being of our clients. If you were injured in a car accident caused by mechanical failure, please contact us today. We offer a free consultation where we can discuss what happened and who to hold responsible.
Common Mechanical Failures
Some parts on a vehicle fail more often than others, and when they do, they can lead to collisions. At Khan Law Firm, we have seen mechanical failures with the following car parts:
- Brakes. If brakes fail, then a motorist cannot stop their car in time. Brake failure causes many rear-end and T-bone collisions. Problems include malfunctioning antilock brake systems (ABS), worn brake pads and discs, and faulty or worn brake lines.
- Tires. Tire failure can easily lead to a collision and render a vehicle inoperable. Among the problems are tire blowouts because the tire was worn or had too much pressure. Other problems include tread separation on a defectively designed tire.
- Suspension/steering. The sudden loss of the ability to steer a vehicle is an obvious hazard. Any problems identified with the steering system should be corrected immediately.
- Windshield wipers. When windshield wipers malfunction, a driver’s visibility is reduced to almost zero. Windshield wipers must work properly in rain or snow, and they can fail because they were designed improperly or not replaced in a timely manner.
- Lights. Properly working headlights and taillights serve several functions. They allow a driver to more clearly see the road at night or in inclement weather. They also make the motorist more visible to others. When lights fail, it can become impossible to signal to other drivers that you are turning, which can lead to crashes.
These are only some of the more common malfunctioning parts on an automobile. Other malfunctioning parts can also contribute to an accident.
Identifying Who is to Blame for the Failure
A car that is properly designed and manufactured should operate smoothly if regularly serviced by the owner. However, the following people and entities are usually to blame when something goes wrong:
- Car owner. An owner might know that something is wrong with a car but not get to a mechanic. For example, if the brakes are making a loud noise, they might be on the verge of failure. An owner who ignores this warning sign is to blame for an accident.
- Mechanics. A mechanic might have serviced the vehicle but done a poor job. The mechanic could have overlooked an obvious defect with the car or performed shoddy repair work. In either situation, the mechanic can share some of the blame for an accident.
- Car or parts manufacturer. Defective or poorly constructed cars can also fail to operate properly, injuring occupants and others. If a defective part contributed to the accident, then the car manufacturer and/or the manufacturer of the defective part can be held legally responsible.
In the immediate aftermath of an accident, you might not know who is to blame for your collision. That is okay. Let your car accident lawyer review the circumstances and identify the correct party to sue.
Under Washington law, the person or entity responsible for the crash pays compensation to those who are injured. Identifying who is at fault is an important first step. Once you know who is to blame, you can begin getting badly needed funds to help cover your losses.
If the car’s owner was negligent in maintaining his vehicle, then an injured victim can typically make a claim on the driver’s insurance policy. Washington requires that most people registering a vehicle carry at least $25,000 in bodily injury liability insurance and $10,000 in property damage coverage. These limits might be low, especially if you have serious injuries, but they are a start for receiving some money after an accident.
However, because Washington is a fault state, a negligent owner cannot make a claim on his own liability coverage for injuries he sustains. Because he was negligent, he was at fault.
If a mechanic was negligent in repairing a vehicle, then an injured victim can typically sue the mechanic, who should have a business liability policy as a condition of getting a state license to operate. Many different people can make a claim, including the driver of the vehicle that lost control and caused the crash.
When a defective car crashes, then victims can typically sue the manufacturer of the vehicle or whoever made the defective part. These businesses should have liability policies in place precisely for situations such as these.
Compensation when Injured by Mechanical Failure
Injured victims can receive compensation to cover:
- Medical bills
- Future medical bills
- Lost income or lost wages
- Future lost earnings capacity
- Property damage, including damage to their vehicle
- Pain and suffering
The amount our clients can receive depends on many factors, such as how much insurance the defendant has and the seriousness of our client’s injuries. In general, the more severe or permanent the injuries, the more money a victim can receive.
Other factors include whether the victim is partially to blame for the accident. Washington recognizes comparative negligence, which can reduce the amount of compensation a victim receives by his or her percentage of fault. So a motorist who is 50% to blame for the accident but who suffered $100,000 in losses could receive $50,000.
Call One of Our Lawyers Today
Khan Law Firm is a leader in Washington in car accident law. Our lawyers have aggressively negotiated tough settlements on behalf of our clients, and we are never afraid to go into court and bring a lawsuit to get our clients what they are entitled to.
If you were injured, give us a call. We offer free consultation to members of the public.