Auto Accidents Caused by Brake Failure
While most parts of a vehicle should be expected to function properly at any given time, some parts in particular are vital to a person’s safety. As such, the unexpected failure or malfunction of these parts can result in an accident, injury, or even death. A car’s braking system, for example, can greatly jeopardize the safety of everyone in the car as well as those outside of it.
You might expect a vehicle’s brakes to be the one part that a manufacturer makes fail-proof. Unfortunately, in the last decade alone, many prominent automobile companies were forced to issue recalls due to defective brakes. Dodge, Chrysler, Chevrolet, GMC, Nissan, Honda, Jeep, and Ford were just some of these companies. If you have been in an accident that was caused by faulty brakes, it is only fair that you do not have to pay for the damages. Our Melbourne personal injury attorneys understand just how dangerous failing brakes can be, and we will work to award you full compensation following an accident.
Signs of Failing Brakes
If your brakes are beginning to fail, it is far preferable to catch the problem early on. Although not all failures are detectable ahead of time, some problems may have early warning signs to look for:
- Difficulty slowing down or coming to a complete stop
- A vibrating brake pedal
- Noises while braking, such as grinding or squealing
- A “spongy” brake pedal
- Drifting to the left or right while braking
- A brake pedal that is firmer or softer than normal
- A lit ABS light
If you suspect something may be wrong with your brakes, you should take your vehicle to a mechanic as soon as possible. Before driving, at least test the brakes first by shifting the car into drive and testing the brakes as the car gently rolls forward.
Why Do Brakes Fail?
When part of a vehicle fails, it is often due to issues of maintenance. After enough time and use, it is only natural that parts will need to be replaced or tuned up, and brakes are no exception. However, most brake systems can be expected to last for tens of thousands of miles before exhibiting any problems, during which time a mechanic will almost certainly be able to notice a problem during oil changes or annual inspections. And in the event that brakes fail without any prior warning, there is likely a deeper problem than simple wear. Such reasons include:
- Manufacturing defect: Some of the most infamous cases of brake failures have occurred due to a design in the product or the way in which it was manufactured. Defects may occur in the rotors, drums, pads, hydraulic lines, or anti-lock brake system. If a company has issued a recall on your vehicle’s brakes, it is important to get the problem fixed (at no cost) whenever you can.
- Seller’s negligence: When you buy a car, the seller should be aware of any possible defects and recalls, and whether those problems have been adequately fixed. If a seller is negligent or dishonest regarding the vehicle’s condition, he or she may be held accountable.
- Mechanic’s negligence: Unsafe brakes are usually avoided through the careful eye of a mechanic, who should be checking the vital components of a vehicle’s safety during inspections. Failure to bring these issues to an owner’s attention can result in negligence on the mechanic’s part.
What Can Be Done?
By calling experienced auto accident lawyers, you can begin a full investigation into the cause of your failed brakes. Our team will work closely with other experts in the field to determine what and who is responsible for your accident. Depending on the source of the problem, you may be able to file for negligence or product liability, with the possibility of punitive damages as well. In the event of a fatality, a wrongful death suit may also be appropriate.
Our goal is to reimburse you for all the accident’s financial burdens, including medical expenses, missed wages, vehicular damage, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Contact Our Office
It is best to seek the assistance of a lawyer as soon as you are injured due to the fault of another, and this is doubly true when large automaker companies are involved. Contact us for more information and to schedule an appointment.