Accidents due to brake failure | Steinberg Law Firm

Accidents due to brake failure

In spite of all the technological and design advances in the auto manufacturing industry, the brakes are still the most important component of any vehicle. It is properly functioning brakes that slow or stop a motor vehicle when needed. Not being able to stop, which may be the result of malfunctioning or defective brakes, may result in a devastating accident. In these types of circumstances, you may be able to hold both the car dealer and the vehicle’s manufacturer responsible for any injuries and damages you have sustained.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has the authority to issue vehicle safety standards and mandate manufacturers to recall vehicles with safety-related defects or those that do not meet Federal safety standards. In fact, since 1966, over 390 million different kinds of vehicles, 66 million pieces of equipment, 46 million tires and 42 million child safety seats were recalled.

What is a safety-related defect?
A safety-defect includes “any defect in performance, construction, a component, or material of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment.” Generally, it is defined as a problem existing in a motor vehicle or motor vehicle part that creates a risk to motor vehicle safety and that may be present in a group of motor vehicles of the same manufacture/design or items of equipment of the same type/manufacture.

Common causes of brake malfunctions

  • Oil leaking onto brake discs
  • Improper installation of brake parts
  • Deficient/defective materials/parts
  • Highly concentrated, irregular heating patterns on brake discs
  • Leaking, severed, disconnected brake fluid lines
  • According to the NHTSA there are approximately 10,000 accidents every year caused by brake failure. Brake failure usually results in various types of collisions, such as:

  • Colliding with inanimate objects (light poles, fences, guardrails, buildings)
  • Side impact crashes
  • Rear end crashes
  • Head-on/sideswipe crashes
  • In brake failure accidents it is possible to name the manufacturer and the car dealership as defendants and hold them liable for damages under one or more several legal doctrines:

  • Product liability law — those who sell defective products, new or used, are legally responsible for injuries and/or property damages incurred by the defects the seller did not warn the buyer or did not fix or issue a recall.
  • Personal injury law — if you have been involved in an accident where faulty brakes were cited as the cause, you may be able to file a lawsuit alleging negligence on the seller’s part. A car dealer may be held accountable for not warning the buyer of potential break defects, or for failing to make sure the vehicle was safe before its sale.
  • If you have been involved in a car accident that was caused by faulty brakes, make sure to reach out and get the experienced legal representation you need to settle your claim.

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