An at-fault motorist can make up all kinds of excuses to escape liability after a car accident, so whenever the other driver tells you that he rear-ended your vehicle because of his malfunctioning brakes, you will most likely laugh it off and then say with a straight face, “Yeah, right… Now do me a favor and give me your insurance information.”
But what if the tables have turned and now you are the one whose brake failure caused a car accident and you have a hard time trying to convince the other party that your brakes were faulty or defective? Yes, saying that they could not control their car because of faulty brakes is a very common lie motorists tell one another after a collision, but in some cases, defective brakes can actually become the cause of a motor vehicle accident.
And today, our Pittsburgh brake failure accident attorney from SMT Legal is going to discuss how you can (a) convince the other motorist that your brakes unexpectedly ceased to operate properly, (b) convince your insurance company and the insurer of the other driver that you were not negligent, and (c) sue the manufacturer of your automobile for the defect sue or the mechanic who failed to properly inspect and maintain your vehicle and its parts and components.
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In Pennsylvania, you are responsible for the damage that you cause as a result of being negligent, careless, or reckless while driving a motor vehicle. If the other party can prove that your actions fell below the standard of reasonable care while operating your vehicle, you will be responsible for any damages and losses caused to the other party.
But if your car crash was caused by brake failure, you cannot be held responsible for the car accident and any damages and losses it caused to the other party, right? “Well, yes and no,” says our experienced brake failure attorney Pittsburgh.
Yes, you may be able to get off the hook for liability since you could not control your vehicle at the time of the collision (you did your best to operate your vehicle in a way that meets the standard of reasonable care). However, the mere fact that you had a brake failure prior to the collision is not enough to prove that you were not negligent.
Our Pittsburgh faulty brakes accident lawyer explains that you will also have to prove that you were not negligent in the maintenance of your vehicle. To do that, you will have to demonstrate evidence that you regularly inspected and maintained your vehicle. You will also have to prove that during the most recent inspection by a mechanic, you were not warned or notified of any defects or that something needed to be replaced. Or even if you were warned, proper maintenance was conducted accordingly.
Statements from witnesses also matter when it comes to determining fault in a car crash caused by faulty or defective brakes. The same can be said about a police report after the car accident. For example, if you never mention to the police that you had problems with your brakes, do not be surprised if the other party or their insurance company refuse to not believe you when you begin to shift the blame on the auto manufacturer or your mechanic later on.
Here at SMT Legal, our skilled car accident lawyers have helped our clients to establish all of the following elements after their motor vehicle collisions caused by brake failure: