21st January 2023
You might assume that the other driver will be at fault if you suffered severe injuries in a car accident. That will be the case in most instances, but some accidents are beyond the driver’s control. Their vehicle could have failed due to a defective tire, braking system, or another critical component. Then again, that driver could be to blame. Not because they made a mistake behind the wheel, but because they neglected regular maintenance.
Defective Parts and Maintenance Issues in Single-Car and Two-Car Accidents
Defective parts and maintenance issues can be contributing factors to car accidents. If a vehicle part is defective, it can cause the vehicle to malfunction and potentially lead to an accident. Similarly, if a vehicle isn’t maintained correctly and a problem arises, it can also contribute to an accident.
In such cases, the manufacturer of the defective part or the party responsible for the vehicle’s maintenance can be held liable for any injuries or damages. If a car accident occurs due to defective parts or maintenance issues, it will be essential for your attorney to investigate the cause and determine who is at fault.
Defective Parts that Can Cause Accidents
These are just some examples of defective parts that can cause accidents.
- Tires – Defective tires can cause a blowout or loss of traction, leading to an accident.
- Brakes – If the brake system is defective, it can fail to stop the vehicle or take longer than usual to stop.
- Steering – A defect in the steering system can cause the vehicle to lose control and crash.
- Airbags – Airbags that do not deploy properly or at all can increase the risk of injury.
- Fuel system – Defects in the fuel system can cause leaks or fires.
- Suspension – A defective suspension can make it difficult to control the vehicle, increasing the risk of rollover accidents.
- Electrical systems – Defects in the electrical system can cause lights to fail.
Maintenance Issues that Can Cause Accidents
When a car owner fails to take care of regular maintenance, they may be liable for an accident resulting from that neglect. Examples include the following:
- Tires – Failing to replace worn tires can lead to a blowout or loss of traction, increasing the risk of an accident.
- Brakes – Not regularly inspecting and replacing worn brake pads can lead to decreased braking power and an increased risk of an accident.
- Steering and suspension – Neglecting to inspect and maintain the steering and suspension systems can cause wear and tear on the parts, leading to a loss of control and an increased risk of an accident.
- Lights – When a driver doesn’t replace burnt-out lights, that can make it difficult to see at night and make it harder for other drivers to see their vehicle.
- Engine – Not checking and changing the oil, air filter, and other fluid levels can cause the engine to overheat or seize, leading to a loss of power at the worst time.
- Battery – Failure to replace the battery when necessary can also result in a loss of power and make it difficult to start the engine.
- Wipers – Worn or damaged wipers can make it difficult to see in inclement weather.
- Alignment – Not checking the wheel alignment regularly can cause uneven tire wear and reduce the vehicle’s handling and stability.
Who’s Liable for Your Injuries if a Malfunction Caused the Accident?
Several parties may be liable for your injuries if a malfunction caused an accident and resulted in injuries. The liable parties can be:
- The part manufacturer – If the accident occurred due to a defective part or product, the manufacturer might be liable for your injuries.
- The vehicle manufacturer – A defect in the design or production of the vehicle could expose the vehicle manufacturer to liability.
- The mechanic – If the mechanic failed to address a maintenance issue, the repair shop might be liable.
It’s important to note that determining liability in these cases can be complex. It requires a thorough investigation of the cause of the accident. An attorney can help you navigate the legal process and determine who is liable for your injuries.
How to File a Defective Part Lawsuit
Filing a lawsuit for injuries caused by a defective part can be a complex process, and it would help if you had an attorney with experience in product liability law. Here are some general steps for filing a defective part lawsuit:
- Gather evidence – Collect all the evidence related to the accident, such as photographs, police reports, and any documentation of the defective part.
- Hire an attorney – Consult with an attorney who specializes in product liability law. Provide them with the evidence you have collected. Your attorney can also work to obtain the evidence you might not be able to access. Footage from surveillance cameras near the accident scene can be extremely helpful.
- File a complaint – Your attorney will file a complaint, also known as a “petition” or “complaint,” in court. This document will outline the facts of the case, the legal basis for the lawsuit, and the damages you seek.
- Serve the defendant – The defendant, which could be the manufacturer, the vehicle manufacturer, the car owner, or the mechanic, will need to be served with the complaint and given notice of the lawsuit.
- Discovery process – Both parties will have the opportunity to gather evidence and information through the discovery process. This includes taking depositions, issuing subpoenas, and exchanging documents.
- Trial – If the case is not settled, it will go to trial, where a judge or jury will hear the evidence and decide on liability and damages.
Contact Sand Law if Your Accident Occurred Because of a Defective Part or Maintenance Issue
Get in touch with Sand Law for more information on how our attorneys can determine if a product defect or lack of maintenance caused the car accident that led to your injury. Schedule a free review of your case by calling 701-609-1510 or using our online contact form.