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Who’s Responsible for a Car Accident Caused by Mechanical Failure?
Posted in Car Accidents on July 20, 2020
Modern cars contain a number of different parts and networks, from the basic engine and brake mechanisms to complex GPS systems and smart car features. Manufacturers must ensure these vehicle mechanics meet certain safety standards and all drivers must keep their vehicles in safe conditions — but not everyone upholds these duties of care.
If you are in a car accident and mechanical defects played a role, you may be eligible for compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. You can hold multiple parties liable in your claim, including the manufacturer, mechanic, or at-fault driver. For more information about your injury case, contact a Seattle car accident lawyer at Colburn Law today.
Top Mechanical Failures That Cause Car Accidents
Mechanical failures can occur for a number of reasons, and proper maintenance is key to ensure these defects do not happen. Some of the most common causes of vehicle malfunction include the following.
- Brake defects: Brakes are important to ensure we do not drive into an intersection during a red light, or collide with a car that suddenly stops. Faulty or worn brake lines, worn pads or discs, and other system malfunctions can cause serious damage.
- Steering and suspension failures: Any damage to the steering system in your vehicle can make it difficult to control your vehicle, and lead to serious accidents.
- Tire issues: Blowouts, worn tires, and other tire damage can cause you to lose control of your vehicle, causing you to crash into other cars on the road.
- Broken headlights or taillights: Vehicle lights are important for warnings and driver awareness, especially during low-visibility conditions. Broken lights make it difficult for other cars to spot you, increasing the chances of a collision.
Can You File a Lawsuit for a Mechanical Failure?
If someone else’s negligence leads to a mechanical failure in a vehicle and you suffer injuries as a result of that negligence, you can file a lawsuit against the at-fault party for your damages. Identifying the cause of the failure is the first step to filing your claim.
For example, if faulty brake lines caused your accident, you can file a claim against the manufacturer of those brake lines for your injuries. If a negligent driver had balding tires that caused him or her to skid on the road and crash into your vehicle, you will name him or her in your claim.
Another scenario would involve the negligence of a mechanic. If you take your car in for maintenance, for example, and the mechanic fails to notice damage to your brake line or causes damage to your vehicle, you could hold him or her liable for your injuries.
Compensation Available in Mechanical Failure Lawsuits
Under Washington law, anyone who causes injury to another person due to negligence must pay for his or her physical, financial, and emotional losses. In mechanical failure lawsuits, you can collect compensation for both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are your out of pocket losses, such as repairs to your vehicle and other property. You can claim compensation for past and future medical expenses, including medications, surgeries, and therapies. You can also recover lost wages, loss of future earnings, and even disability accommodations.
Non-economic damages are your physical and emotional losses that are difficult to quantify. Common forms of non-economic damages include the following.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Emotional distress
- Chronic pain
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of enjoyment of life
When it comes to mechanical failure lawsuits, identifying your damages, the cause of the accident, and the liable parties can be difficult without an attorney on your side. For best results, contact a Washington personal injury attorney as soon as possible to begin the filing process.