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When mechanical failures happen on the road, who is liable?

On Behalf of | Jul 20, 2023 | Car Accidents

The vast majority of car accidents happen due to nothing more complicated than simple human error. A nearby driver can get distracted, mistake their gas pedal for the brake or just make a poor decision in heavy traffic – and the next thing you know, you’re in a wreck.

But, what happens if you’re injured because another driver’s vehicle had a sudden mechanical failure of some kind? Maybe their brakes completely gave out and they couldn’t stop, or their power steering abruptly failed and they couldn’t take couldn’t take corrective action fast enough to avoid crashing into you. Whatever the cause, you’re seriously hurt – and you’re not sure who to blame. These are some possibilities.

The other driver

Every driver has a certain responsibility to keep their vehicle in good working order – and a lot of “sudden mechanical failures” aren’t really that sudden. Instead, they are the product of years of letting a vehicle’s maintenance go until repairs were absolutely unavoidable. If the driver didn’t keep up with their vehicle’s regular maintenance needs or skipped a recall notice from their vehicle’s dealership, then they should be held responsible for the accident.

The manufacturer or dealer

You only have to look at the news occasionally to know that defective motor vehicles are constantly being recalled – often not until several have suffered major mechanical issues. Manufacturers and dealerships are strictly liable (the highest possible legal standard) for putting a poorly designed, faulty or otherwise defective vehicle on the road in the first place.

The vehicle’s mechanic

Mechanics aren’t immune from mistakes, and those mistakes can end up causing some component of a motor vehicle to fail while the vehicle is in motion. When faulty repair jobs are at the root of a mechanical failure that caused a wreck, it’s entirely possible to pass the liability on to the mechanic’s shop involved.

Serious injuries can leave you with serious medical bills, lost wages and more financial woes, and individual car insurance policies may not be enough to cover all your losses. Therefore, it’s smart to explore all of your options by seeking legal guidance as proactively as possible.