Car Accidents Caused by Mechanical Failure
There are numerous reasons why car accidents in Boston occur. There are over 6 million accidents each year in the US with nearly half due to impaired driving. Around one-third of accidents are caused by driver negligence, such as speeding, falling asleep, distracted driving, recklessness, or inexperience. If you suffered an injury from any of these causes, contact a car accident lawyer regarding compensation from the responsible party. If you believe your case was mishandled due to legal malpractice we can help.
Accidents as the result of mechanical failure, which can be from normal wear and tear or inadequate service or vehicle maintenance, comprise about 13% of all car accidents.
To avoid mechanical failures, you can follow these simple steps:
• Check your tire pressure
• Check your tire treads and replace them if they are too worn down or have uneven surfaces
• If your brakes are squealing or making metallic scraping noises, or it takes unusual pressure on the pedal to slow or stop, have them checked and immediately replaced or repaired
• Have your wiper blades replaced if they are not working as this can lead to poor visibility during rain or snow
• If your car lists to the side or wanders, have your steering linkage and suspension inspected
• Check for recalled parts from your dealer or on the internet
Mechanical Failure Due to Faulty Maintenance
Checking for wear and tear and having your car inspected if you suspect a problem is essential, but there are accidents caused by faulty service by a mechanic from a garage or dealer or from defectively manufactured or designed parts. Some of these include:
• Tire manufacturing defects
Although accidents can occur from a blowout after running over a sharp object, defective tires can also be the culprit. Tread separation, cracking or bulging are all signs of a manufacturing defect as are leaks and belt failures.
• Faulty brakes
Brake failure is a factor in numerous accidents with legal issues having arisen lately over antilock braking systems failing to work. Other issues concern brake pads that heat up and fade and brake fluids with too low of a boiling point.
• Defective steering mechanisms
Steering defects can cause loss of control of a vehicle. This may happen from a steering ball joint that fails and having the front end fall onto the front tires, or an improperly assembled steering wheel that can detach from the column. Other defects include a snapped steering relay rod that allows a tire to move on its own.
Liability for Mechanical Failures
An auto manufacturing or design defect that causes a mechanical failure might be the basis for a product liability claim if it leads to injuries, but manufacturers and their insurers may claim driver negligence as well, especially if the problem was evident and the driver failed to have the car inspected before the accident. An injured driver who ignored a product recall might also have difficulty recovering compensation.
Massachusetts has a modified comparative liability law whereby you must prove that another party was at least 51% at fault for your accident or you recover no compensation. If a manufacturer or service mechanic claims that you contributed to the accident by your failure to heed signs of mechanical issues or from misuse or improper maintenance, consult with a Boston accident lawyer to discuss your legal options.
Otherwise, proving a product part was defective and was a major factor in your accident and resultant injuries requires an experienced and resourceful car accident lawyer.
Causes of Action in a Mechanical Failure Accident
As indicated, proving that a defective auto part led to a mechanical failure that caused your injury accident can be a very complicated process. Your attorney can show liability by the following causes of action:
• Breach of warranty
This can be brought under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act or breach of implied or express warranties of fitness and merchantability.
A manufacturer or service mechanic has a duty of care to the consumer or car owner in producing a safe product or in servicing a vehicle. You may need expert testimony as to the standard of care for each.
• Strict liability in tort
If your attorney can demonstrate that a product that failed was unreasonably dangerous, the designer or manufacturer can be held strictly liable. If a showing can be made, you need only prove your damages.
Damages in a Mechanical Failure Case
Accident injuries from a vehicle where the motorist loses control as a result of a mechanical failure can be devastating if not fatal in some instances. Injuries range from spinal strains to vertebral fractures, head and brain injuries, broken limbs, burns, disfigurement and emotional trauma.
If negligence or some other theory of liability is proven, then you can collect the following in compensation:
• Past and future medical expenses
• Past and future wage loss
• Property damage
• Psychological trauma
• Pain and suffering
• Loss of consortium in claim by spouse
Pain and suffering is usually the largest component of an injury accident claim and is dependent on the nature and extent of your injuries, how these injuries have impacted your life, and how well your attorney presents your case.
Contact Burns & Jain a law firm well versed in mechanical failure accidents that lead to devastating injuries or fatalities. They will examine the issues in your case and advise you regarding liability issues, medical claims and your damages. Consult Burns & Jain today for a free, confidential assessment of your injury case. Call 617-227-7423 today!