Taking care of your vehicle helps to maintain its value while making it safer on the road. Proper maintenance is also your duty of care and may help to prevent a crash due to failed brakes. At Goldberg Finnegan, we are dedicated to helping crash victims harmed by the negligence of others. Call our firm today if you were injured in a crash due to brake failure or other poor vehicle maintenance. We are prepared to help and can schedule a free, no-risk case review with one of the qualified attorneys at our firm.
Who May Be Liable if Failed Brakes Caused Your Crash?
As with many types of crashes, there are various parties that could be liable. This is why fault is determined on a case-by-case basis. For a crash caused by failed brakes, those liable for your damages could include a:
- Driver or owner of the vehicle if negligent maintenance led to brake failure and the resulting crash
- Vehicle manufacturer if the brakes were found to be defective and that helped to cause the accident
- Retailer or manufacturer of auto parts if the brakes were replaced, but the part was found to be defective
- Mechanic if the failed brakes and resulting crash was caused by a faulty installation
If you were in a crash caused by failed brakes, it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Waiting to seek help could result in vital evidence being lost. Your attorney will fully investigate what happened and determine who may be negligent for your auto accident. In some cases, liability may fall on more than one party.
Could I Be Assessed With Fault for a Crash Caused by Another’s Failed Brakes?
It is possible that you could share fault for a crash, even if the other driver’s brakes failed. For instance, say you ran through a red light as the other driver proceeded on a green. The other driver’s failed brakes may have caused him or her to be unable to avoid hitting you. However, you will likely share more blame for running the red light. Under Maryland’s contributory negligence law, which does not allow drivers to be even one percent liable, you would not have a case in this situation.
What if My Failed Brakes Caused the Crash?
If your failed brakes are found to be the cause of the crash, you may have no case. This is especially likely if the brake failure happened because you did not get them serviced or repaired. However, before giving up on any possibility of a claim, you may still want to talk to an attorney. You may not be liable if your failed brakes were the result of a recall, defective part or faulty repair.
How Can I Make Sure My Brakes Do Not Fail and Cause a Crash?
There are a few tips for maintaining your braking system and doing your part to keep them in good working order, including:
Regular Brake Maintenance
Take good care of your vehicle and get it serviced regularly. If your vehicle is a newer model, the manufacturer often provides a schedule to help car owners know when to get their vehicle serviced. Some vehicles have warning lights to remind you about maintenance or tell you when something is not working right.
For older vehicles, it may seem harder to know when to get them checked. However, your mechanic should check them when you bring your car in for other routine maintenance checks. Additionally, these are some signs your brakes are going and should be checked immediately:
- Brake light goes on – getting your car checked immediately could mean less damage and a cheaper repair
- Grinding, squeaking, squealing or screeching sounds all may indicate your brake pads and shoes are worn
- Brakes that feel “spongy” or soft are another sign your brake pads are wearing down
- Your vehicle pulls to one side when you apply the brakes
- Any wobbling or vibration you feel while braking could mean that your rotors have become warped
- Leaking brake fluid is another sign that something could be wrong with your braking system
- Burning smells – any unusual mechanical or burning odors from your car should be checked immediately
Checking Your Vehicle for Recalls
Regardless of the age of your car, you are responsible for staying informed about any recalls for your vehicle. Once you find out about a recall, it is your responsibility to get it repaired. There is typically no cost to you for repairs resulting from a recall.
Using Reputable Service Centers
You can often avoid faulty repairs by finding a reputable service center or mechanic to take care of your vehicle. Friends and family are often a good place to start if you have not yet found a mechanic you trust.
Injured in a Crash Due to Brake Failure? Call Our Firm for Legal Help Today
At Goldberg Finnegan, we understand it can be overwhelming after any crash. When an accident is due to brake failure, trying to figure out who is at fault and how to file a claim is complex. Our Silver Spring vehicle collision lawyers are experienced and prepared to help. Call our firm anytime, night or day, to learn if you may have a claim. You can discuss your situation with a licensed attorney at no cost to you. There is no obligation to file a claim. If we represent you, there is nothing to pay up front or while we handle your case. We only get paid if you do.