Poorly Maintained Vehicles And Accidents — Who Is Held Liable?

The risk of being involved in an accident exists whenever you get into a motor vehicle. Accidents can be caused by a wide range of factors, and each of these factors plays a role in determining who is financially responsible for any damages that are sustained during the accident.

One of the many potential causes of a car accident is a poorly maintained vehicle. Vehicle malfunctions can put the safety of all drivers on the road at risk.

Figuring out liability in an accident caused by a poorly maintained vehicle can be challenging, so it's critical that you have the help of a car accident lawyer to sort through the facts of your case and file a lawsuit on your behalf.

Owner Liability

A poorly maintained vehicle's owner could be held liable for damages in a car accident. Drivers have a responsibility to ensure that their vehicles are maintained and in good working condition.

If a driver overlooks routine maintenance tasks that contribute to the malfunctioning of the vehicle, the driver is liable for any damages that occur during an accident involving the vehicle.

Some of the common maintenance issues that can be attributed to driver negligence include improper tire inflation, worn brakes, and broken signal lights.

An attorney will be able to review all of the evidence in your car accident to determine if a vehicle's owner is liable for damages. Your attorney may subpoena maintenance records and other documents that can help prove negligence on the part of a poorly maintained vehicle's owner.

Repair Shop Liability

Most modern drivers don't have the knowledge and experience needed to repair their own vehicles. Instead, drivers entrust repair shops with restoring the safety and reliability of their vehicles.

All vehicle repair shops have an obligation to ensure that repairs are done correctly and that the right replacement parts are used during the repair process. Failure to complete any repair properly could cause a vehicle to malfunction, contributing to a serious accident.

Your attorney will be able to gather evidence on repairs made to a vehicle involved in your accident and determine if the repairs were done right. Any negligence uncovered on the part of the mechanic could place liability on the repair shop as a whole.

Dealership Liability

A dealership could be held liable for damages in a car accident that involves one of the vehicles they sold from their lot.

Dealers must correct any problems they uncover during a pre-sale inspection. If repairs are not going to be made, the problem must be disclosed to the buyer so that he or she is aware of the fact that the vehicle may not be safe to drive.

Failing to disclose or repair known issues means that a dealership is allowing an unsafe vehicle on the road. An attorney can be a valuable ally when you are trying to prove a dealership's negligence after a car accident with a poorly maintained vehicle.

Manufacturer Liability

There are rare instances when a defect that was created during the manufacturing process is to blame for causing a serious car accident.

Car manufacturers are required to alert drivers of these defects as soon as they are discovered by sending out a safety recall notice. Drivers can take their vehicle to an authorized dealership and have the defect repaired at no charge.

Your attorney can work with an expert to inspect all of the vehicles involved in an accident and determine if a manufacturer defect contributed to the crash. If a defect is detected, the manufacturer may be held financially responsible for damages that occurred during the car accident.