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Who Is Liable in Car Accidents Caused By Mechanical Failure?

Not all accidents are the fault of one of the drivers. When a car accident occurs because of mechanical failure, many parties may be to blame. Our Miami car accident attorneys explain fault when a car accident occurs because of a mechanical issue.

Car Accident

Are You Legally Liable For Accidents Caused By Mechanical Failures on Your Vehicle?

With car accidents caused by mechanical failure, a vehicle manufacturer, mechanic or driver may be liable. The person or entity that is liable is the one who causes the accident to happen. For a driver or a mechanic, they must act negligently in a way that contributes to the crash. A vehicle manufacturer has strict liability for a car accident caused by a defective vehicle. There are varying legal standards. However, any driver or party who has contact with the car can be liable for a car accident caused by mechanical failure.

You may or may not be legally liable for accidents caused by mechanical failures on your vehicle. If you are negligent in maintaining your vehicle or repairing a known defect, you are legally liable. You could also be legally responsible for failing to get your vehicle fixed if there’s a recall. However, if the mechanical failure occurs because of a failure on the part of the manufacturer to make a safe vehicle, you are not at fault for the accident. Whether you are legally liable for the accident depends on the reasons for mechanical failure.

Who Can Be At Fault for a Car Accident When a Mechanical Fault Occurs?

If a car accident occurs because of a mechanical fault, many different parties may be to blame: the driver, the car manufacturer or a mechanic who performs repairs:

The Car Manufacturer

The first party that can be liable for a car accident caused by mechanical failure is the car manufacturer. Car manufacturers make a product that has the potential to be dangerous. When there are defects in a vehicle, the carmaker may owe the victims compensation. 

  • Strict Liability. The legal standard that applies to the car manufacturer is strict liability. That is the highest legal standard that a party can have. The car accident victims don’t have to show how or why the carmaker made an error in the process of building the car. A defective vehicle being on the roads is enough to put strict legal liability on the car manufacturer. 
  • Defects. A vehicle defect might occur because of a poor vehicle design that affects all of a specific model of vehicle. It might be a manufacturing defect where the car doesn’t perform as intended. A car can have a defect even if there has never been a recall issued. Also, failing to provide consumers with adequate instructions to safely use the vehicle can be a form of a vehicle defect.
  • Malfunctions. The driver of the vehicle that malfunctions can be a victim of a car accident as a result. Even for the ones driving the defective vehicle, they could still be considered one of the victims. Anyone else who gets hurt in an accident in which the car manufacturer is to blame may have a claim against the car manufacturer. 

The victims who claim compensation must gather evidence to show how the vehicle is defective. They must also prove what their damages are. You may have a car accident attorney assist you with these tasks.

A Mechanic Who Performs Repairs

Car MechanicAll car mechanics must be qualified to perform their job. They must do their job with reasonable skill and diligence. If faulty repairs result in a car accident, it’s possible that the mechanic may be to blame. 

  • Faulty Repairs. To sustain a case, there has to be a link between the faulty repairs and the accident. It’s not enough to have a part fail. There must be some negligence that occurs by the mechanic. A car mechanic needs to have reasonable competence and skills. When they fail to do their job, either because of inadequate training, a lack of skill or inattention, they may be liable for an accident.

The Driver

Even a driver may be liable for the car accident when it’s caused by a mechanical failure. Everyone who operates a motor vehicle must take reasonable steps to ensure that the car is in proper working condition. 

  • Maintenance Failure. If a vehicle needs routine maintenance, the driver has to make sure that it’s taken care of properly. When drivers notice a problem with the vehicle, they have to respond appropriately, depending on the nature of the defect. It’s possible that a driver can be liable for an accident caused by a mechanical failure when they don’t take sufficient steps to take care of their vehicle.

Comparative Negligence in Mechanical Failure Car Accidents

There is the possibility that multiple parties may be to blame for an accident that involves mechanical failure. For example, the car manufacturer might have produced a defective vehicle. However, the driver may have failed to have the car fixed even after they knew that there were problems. At the same time, the other driver may contribute to the accident by speeding.

The law can take all of these considerations into account. The law can assign comparative negligence among the responsible parties. Remember that varying standards of legal liability apply. The vehicle manufacturer has a strict liability legal standard. The standard is negligence for others. 

However, all of these standards can still intertwine if multiple parties have engaged in wrongful conduct that caused an accident. Even if multiple parties are to blame, or if you may share some fault for the accident, you may still deserve financial compensation. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that you don’t have a favorable case. The only way to know is to review your case with an experienced car accident attorney.

Miami Attorneys For Car Accidents Caused By Mechanical Failure

Have you been injured in a car accident caused by mechanical failure? Call our Miami personal injury attorneys today for your case review. We are ready to fight for your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.