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When is a Car Driver Responsible for a Mechanical Malfunction in an Accident?

Written by Ankin Law Office

Some auto accidents tied to vehicle malfunction might be the fault of the manufacturer or mechanic. Drivers too might be at fault for poor maintenance.

By far, the number one cause of car accidents in Illinois are drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Other common causes are when one or more operators of vehicles in a crash fail to yield the right of way, are driving recklessly or above the posted speed limit, are distracted from an electronic devise (texting and phone calls) and unsafe lane changing.

But accidents caused by a vehicle malfunction do happen, and when they do the fault very often falls on the manufacturer or a car mechanic who overlooked a problem or was negligent in making a repair. For example, catastrophic accidents can happen when brake systems fail. Famously, Toyota agreed to pay out $1.2 billion as a means to avoid prosecution for covering up two mechanical issues that both led to unintended acceleration accidents in thousands of vehicles – and several deaths.

That said, Chicago car accident attorneys often encounter cases where the owner of the vehicle failed to maintain it in properly working condition. This then becomes a case of owner negligence and can place full liability on that motorist if proven true.

What’s important to consider is how vehicular maintenance and mechanical malfunctioning are often not readily apparent or visible factors. These are found only through a forensic investigation of the vehicles involved matched against what is found at the accident site. When an accident victim, someone with significant injuries and economic losses, works with a Chicago auto accident lawyer there may be a warranted reason for conducting such an investigation. This is necessary to tie fault to the accident.

Determining what caused the accident might also uncover the degree to which that mechanical malfunction caused physical injuries to other drivers and other passengers. The principle of comparative negligence in Illinois holds that more than one party might have made a negligent mistake, therefore some of the responsibility (and liability for injuries and losses) might be shared between two or more drivers.

Other factors that a car wreck attorney would investigate would be the condition of the highway, including safety features (lights, signs, highway construction barriers, etc.) that are provided by the state, county or city responsible for road maintenance. A poorly designed or maintained road might contribute to the danger and injuries in an accident.

These are the reasons why anyone injured in an accident in Illinois needs to work with a Chicago injury attorney. The causes are not always apparent but can be found with effective investigations on behalf of the injured.

Categories: Personal Injury