Who is at fault when bad brakes cause a car crash?

A Compact Car's Brake System Up CloseThe car that caused your crash failed to brake. You know that the accident wasn’t your fault, but in order to recover damages for your accident injuries, you are going to have to prove who was at fault for the accident and your resulting injuries.

Potential Defendants in a Failure to Brake Car Accident Case

Each case is unique. Some of the potential defendants in a crash caused by a failure to brake include:

  • The driver. A driver who is inattentive, distracted, drowsy, drunk, fails to maintain his car properly, or otherwise fails to stop when the law requires the vehicle to be stopped may be liable for any accident injuries. For example, if a driver fails to stop at a stop sign or stop before rear-ending the car in front him, then the driver could be responsible for any injuries that result from a crash.
  • The car or brake manufacturer. Sometimes brakes have defects that a reasonably prudent driver doesn’t know about until the brakes fail. In these cases, the manufacturer could be responsible for any injuries that result from accidents.
  • The mechanic. If a mechanic was hired to inspect or to fix the brakes and either fails to do so or creates a new problem, then the mechanic may be liable for any injuries that result from his negligence.

One or more of these parties may be the right defendant in your car accident case.

Important Evidence in Your Failure to Brake Car Accident Case

Identifying the right defendant(s) may take some investigation. You, together with your experienced North Carolina car accident lawyer, will need to find out what happened to cause your crash before you pursue a legal recovery. To this end, your lawyer will gather and analyze evidence, such as:

  • Eye witness reports. Other people may have seen the other car fail to stop before it hit you. While they might not know why the car didn’t stop, they may provide valuable evidence about the reason for the crash.
  • Expert witness testimony. Unlike eyewitnesses, expert witnesses may be able to examine the vehicle and determine what caused the brakes to fail.
  • Vehicle maintenance records. This documentation will show when the vehicle was last inspected and fixed. Additionally, it will provide the name and contact information for the maintenance provider and detail any work done.
  • Brake design and manufacturing records. This documentation can show whether there was a brake defect that could have been caused by the brake manufacturer.
  • Police reports. Right after your accident, the police should be called to the scene of the crash. The police will investigate the cause of the accident and write a report about it. While the report will not be the only evidence considered in your car accident case, it might provide important information about the cause of your crash and provide details for your attorney to further investigate.

Other information about your accident and your accident injuries will also be relevant.

After reviewing all of the available evidence, you will be ready to proceed with insurance company settlement negotiations or with filing a case in court.

Protect Your Fair Recovery After a Failure to Brake Car Accident

The driver of the vehicle that failed to stop will almost always be a defendant in your car accident case. The questions are whether the brake manufacturer or maintenance provider should also be named defendants and how much fault should be attributed to each responsible party.

Your accident lawyer can answer these questions for you and help you pursue a fair accident recovery before the statute of limitations expires, and you can no longer pursue justice. If your claim is successful, then you may be able to recover damages for past, current, and future medical costs, lost income, out-of-pocket costs, physical pain, and emotional suffering.

Contact Brent Adams & Associates today to schedule a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation about your rights. We will pursue your fair recovery from the right defendants and protect you from the stress and uncertainty that can follow a car crash.