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Who is At Fault When a Mechanical Failure Causes a Car Accident?

Who is At Fault When a Mechanical Failure Causes a Car Accident?

shapiro.admin July 22, 2021 Car Accidents

Vehicle accidents are not uncommon in Scottsdale and throughout Arizona. In most cases, crashes are caused by the careless or negligent actions of one or more drivers on the roadway. However, there are times when accidents are caused by the mechanical failure of one of the vehicles involved. Here, we want to discuss who could be at fault in the event mechanical failure is responsible for a vehicle collision. This is important because victims need to be able to secure compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, property damage expenses, and more.

What Type of Mechanical Failures Cause Car Accidents in Scottsdale?

Data available from the Arizona Department of Transportation shows us that there were nearly 130,000 vehicle accidents across the state during the latest reporting year. However, while we know that the vast majority of these accidents were caused by human error, many of them were caused by mechanical error.

There are various types of mechanical failures that can lead to vehicle accidents in Arizona. Some of the most common malfunctions include:

  • Tire defects
  • Faulty brakes
  • Problems with steering
  • Faulty headlights
  • Faulty windshield wipers

When one of these issues, or a host of other mechanical errors that can occur, cause a vehicle accident, investigators will look to see whether or not the vehicle had been properly maintained. Depending on whether or not a vehicle has been cared for and whether or not the vehicle owner knew about a hazardous condition, liability could fall in a few different places.

Determining Liability After a Mechanical Failure Causes a Crash

There are a few different parties that could be at fault in the event a mechanical failure causes a crash. This includes:

  • The vehicle owner. The reality is that vehicle owners often fail to regularly inspect and maintain their vehicles. Vehicles come with recommended maintenance requirements depending on how many miles have been put on them. Additionally, anytime a vehicle owner notices something may be wrong, they are responsible for getting the vehicle to a mechanic to fix the problem. If a vehicle owner fails to regularly get their vehicle checked out, or if they know about a problem and do not take steps to promptly fix it, they could be held liable if the mechanical error causes a vehicle accident.
  • The vehicle mechanic. Vehicle mechanics could also be held liable in the event the vehicle recently underwent maintenance and repair, and a newly replaced part failed and caused a crash. Licensed vehicle mechanics have a duty to uphold an appropriate level of care when inspecting and maintaining vehicles.
  • The manufacturer of the vehicle. If a vehicle experienced some sort of failure and had not recently undergone maintenance, the problem could fall back to a defect caused by the company or manufacturer. For example, think back to when Toyota was forced to recall millions of vehicles after an investigation discovered that the accelerator pedal could get stuck. Several accidents occurred due to this issue, some leading to injuries. In this case, and in other similar cases, the vehicle manufacturer could be held liable for any accident that occurs.

If you or somebody you care about has been injured in an accident caused by a vehicle defect, you need to work with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. These cases can become incredibly challenging, but a skilled lawyer will be able to investigate the claim, determine liability, and help their client recover full compensation for their losses.

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