Car Accidents Caused By Brake Failure

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jan 15, 2020

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If you are involved in a car accident where defective brakes may have been at fault, and if you can prove that the brakes on the other car failed and the brake failure contributed to your injuries, product liability law may entitle you to compensation from an entity other than the driver.

Under product liability law, if the brakes that caused the accident were defective, you may be able to sue the manufacturer as well as the dealer who sold the car. This is true whether the defect was in the manufacturing (i.e. if the car was poorly made) or the design (i.e. the entire line of cars contains the same defective brakes). In order to successfully hold the manufacturer responsible, your attorney must prove that the defect was unreasonably dangerous, that it caused the injury, and that the vehicle had not been substantially changed since it was first sold.

It’s also possible that the brake failure could be used as evidence of the other driver’s negligence. This may be the case if he or she knowingly drove the car in a dangerous condition. For example, if the brake failure occurred due to an issue that could have been resolved before the car was taken on the road, this can be an example of driver negligence and would make the driver liable for damages and subject to a lawsuit.

In some other cases, it’s possible that a mechanic who worked on the car left the brakes in a faulty condition and could be liable. If you’re attempting to hold a driver or mechanic liable for the brake failure, your case can be difficult to prove legally. This is especially true because neither party (the driver nor the mechanic) will necessarily be willing to document their own fault. However, it’s possible that the driver may claim liability on the part of his or her mechanic, car dealership, or another third party; likewise, those third parties may claim liability on the part of the driver.

Any situation involving damaged brakes is going to be complex, and you should be prepared to work with an auto accidents attorney experienced in product liability law. In an ideal situation, a settlement will be reached with any parties associated with the brakes, or their insurance companies, before a trial will be necessary. In any event, you will want to have a lawyer on your side.

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