In most cases, car accidents happen because of driver error or negligence. But in some situations, a driver may have done everything possible in the moments before a crash to prevent it from happening, but the accident occurred anyway because of a mechanical problem. These cases can be complicated because it is difficult to determine who was at fault.
If the wreck happened because of a manufacturing or design defect, you may need to file a product liability claim with the manufacturer. The vehicle owner could be held liable for negligence if they knew of a problem but failed to fix it. If the vehicle owner took the car to a mechanic and the mechanic failed to fix the problem, the mechanic and the auto repair company could be held responsible.
All of these details can impact liability, and it’s best to have an experienced car accident attorney to help you with the investigation.
Common Mechanical Issues That Can Contribute to a Crash
The most common mechanical issues that are reported include the following:
- Brake failures. Faulty or failed brakes are responsible for nearly 25 percent of accidents that are caused by mechanical failure. Even with a safe distance between you and the car ahead, if your brakes are not working properly, you may not be able to stop before getting into a wreck with another vehicle.
- Tire blowouts and other issues. Most blowouts happen with semi-trucks, and because of the size of the tires on 18-wheelers, the aftermath of debris can be dangerous. A blown-out tire can also lead to the driver losing control, causing the semi-truck to collide with another vehicle. Tires that are not properly maintained or are worn can make it difficult to control your vehicle. Bald tires are also dangerous when conditions are rainy or snowy.
- Steering problems. If drivers cannot properly steer their vehicle because of steering or suspension problems, they may run off the road or hit another vehicle. This issue is one of the most difficult to prove because there is a lack of external evidence that indicates a steering problem.
- Burned-out headlights, taillights, brake lights, or turn signals. Operating a vehicle with burned-out lights is dangerous because your external lighting provides valuable information to other drivers. When brake lights are not working, for example, rear-end collisions can occur when the other driver doesn’t know when the car ahead is going to stop. When this happens, the driver in front could be held responsible for a rear-end accident.
- Malfunctioning windshield wipers. Windshield wipers are essential for drivers to maintain a clear view of the road and other vehicles during rainy or snowy weather. When they malfunction or break while the driver is already on the road, this can easily lead to a crash.
Hiring a Virginia Car Accident Attorney
Mechanical issues that cause or contribute to a car accident may not be apparent until the circumstances of the accident have been thoroughly investigated. The owner of the vehicle, the mechanic or vehicle repair company, or even the vehicle manufacturer might be held liable. An experienced attorney can conduct a thorough investigation to uncover every possible factor that might have contributed to a wreck, especially if there is more than one defendant.
Call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to go over the details of your case. We can talk to you about how we can help you negotiate a fair car crash settlement if mechanical failure contributed to your car accident. Because we work on a contingency basis, there is no up-front cost to you, and you will not have to pay a retainer. We don’t get paid until we recover damages on your behalf.