When a vehicle’s mechanical failures cause an accident that causes serious injuries or death, who is at fault? Depending on the type of malfunction that occurs with the vehicle, the driver, the manufacturing companies, mechanics who worked on the vehicle, or even the local government could be held responsible for causing a crash.
Depending on the state where the accident occurs, the company or owner of the vehicle in addition to the driver could be held liable for the crash.
Types of Vehicle Failures that Commonly Lead to Accidents
When a commercial vehicle is not properly maintained and is involved in an accident that causes death or injury, the owner is most often held responsible for damages. If an owner knew that their vehicle had issues that were not having fixed, then they can be directly liable, but if they took a vehicle to get fixed and it was not done properly by a mechanic, then the repair shop or the mechanic who incorrectly fixed the vehicle, whether intentional or not, can be held liable for the damages.
Underinflation is one of the quickest ways a tire’s integrity can be destroyed. Each of the internal components including the steel, rubber, composite, and fabric structures of the tire flex beyond their normal limits when a tire is underinflated, leading to potentially significant reductions in the tire’s lifespan.
Sometimes, tires can receive critical damage that they do not show for miles until they give out. Under certain conditions such as high speeds, high ambient temperatures, or under heavy load, a previously damaged tire may not be able to sustain under the increased stress caused by these conditions.
Over 75,000 tires give out on cars in motion every year. These situations are caused by a number of factors including: low tire pressure, dangerous road conditions, defective tires, and overweight truck loads.
For tire pressure, whoever is responsible for maintaining the vehicle’s conditions, such as the trucker or their trucking company, are often held responsible for causing the crash.
Dangerous road conditions, such as potholes or foliage present on the roads, may be a fault of the local government or road maintenance teams who are responsible for keeping the roadways safe. However, if the road conditions are made dangerous by the presence of weather catastrophes such as hurricanes or tornadoes, it may be the driver’s responsibility for choosing to drive through these conditions.
Overweight trucking loads are typically the fault of the driver or the company who may have pressured them into taking on more than their vehicle could handle.
When it comes to tire defects, a number of different parties could be at fault for causing the crash. If the tire was defective upon leaving the factory, the manufacture may be able to be held liable. If the tires were improperly stored by the tire shop, the distributor may be able to be held liable. If a tire was fitted incorrectly or inflated properly before installation, the mechanic who changed the tire could be held liable for the accident.