Car accidents caused by mechanical failure in New York and surrounding states are a common concern. When driving a vehicle, safety is critical. Mechanical failure can be just as dangerous as distracted driving or even intoxicated driving – especially when you lose control of your vehicle. Drivers have a duty to maintain their vehicle, including maintenance of all parts and components. A tire blowout or broken turn signal are not unforeseeable; most drivers can prevent these just by inspecting their cars or taking care of their vehicles with proper maintenance. Commercial drivers, as well as companies, have a responsibility for maintaining their vehicles and keeping them safe. A motorist who fails to do so can be held responsible for any injuries and damages caused.
What the Statistics Show
Federal statistics have shown that 12 percent of all accidents are caused by mechanical failure. A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation found that brake issues are especially common – mostly among larger trucks and vehicles. In fact, brake failure or improper brake maintenance caused nearly one-third of all semi-truck accidents.
Some of the common mechanical issues found in car accidents include:
- Defective parts and equipment,
- Faulty or weak tires,
- Improperly inflated tires,
- Broken tail lights or turn signals,
- Worn steering mechanisms,
- Improper loading or shifting of cargo, and
- Damaged or defective brakes.
Safety Checklists and Vehicle Inspections
Safety inspections are done regularly to prevent most of these incidents from occurring – unfortunately, too many motorists ignore the importance of a safety check. You cannot rely on the annual checks performed by your own mechanic, either; it is your responsibility to check the overall safety of your vehicle before driving it. If you notice that there is a safety defect, you must correct it.
If, for example, you are aware of a broken taillight, it is your responsibility to correct it. Otherwise, you could be considered negligent and held liable for any injuries or accidents that occur because of your failure to fix the broken taillight.
When You Are Injured by Another Vehicle’s Mechanical Failure
If you are injured by another vehicle’s mechanical failure, you must prove several things in order to receive compensation from that driver. These include:
- Proving that the driver had a responsibility to maintain the equipment. If it is a company-owned vehicle, you must prove that the company was responsible for maintaining the safety of the vehicle.
- Establishing that the duty to keep the vehicle safe was breached, a pre-trip inspection was not performed, or the driver/owner failed to perform regular maintenance.
- Showing that the defendant’s actions or inactions directly led to the accident, and your injuries.
Speak with a New York Car Accident Attorney
If you were injured in a car accident because of a motorist’s failure to maintain a safe vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the expert attorneys at Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. today about your claim by calling 1-877-737-4806. You can also fill out our online contact form with your legal questions.