Cars these days are complicated machines with all kinds of parts, including their own little computer system. With just one glitch, your car could stop working. It could even stop working while you’re driving (scary to think about, I know). So what happens if you are driving down the road one day in your one-year-old minivan and the breaks suddenly fail causing you to rear-end a little sports car at full speed? You might think, “It’s not my fault; my car is defective,” and you may be right.
What to do
In a situation like the one just described, in order to determine liability, the first thing the insurance company is going to want to know is if you have maintained the brakes on the minivan. Say, for example, you are not required to have the brakes serviced in the first year, but you have had them checked just to be safe. Great! The insurance company will also want to know if the brakes have ever failed before the day of the crash. If it has happened even once, and you kept driving the minivan without having it repaired, the insurance company will very likely place the blame on you, because you were aware of the problem and didn’t fix it. The insurance company may also investigate whether there is a recall on the minivan’s brake system. This is important because a recall shows that the brakes are defective. Next, the insurance company may look to see if you were given notice of the defect. Usually a notice is sent from the car manufacturer to the car owner by snail mail. If you knew of the defect, and kept driving, then the insurance company may try to place some of the blame on you.
How it works
All of the above-factors will be taken into consideration by an insurance company in determining who is liable in the car crash involving a potentially defective vehicle. If you are found to be even partially at fault, and the other driver is injured, then you will liable for some or all of the sports car driver’s damages. However, if it is ultimately determined that the car defect was the sole cause of the crash and damages and/or injuries resulted from that defect, then the parties (including you) may have a products liability claim against the manufacturer of the minivan.
If you were involved in a car accident and have injuries, call the attorneys at Dennis Hernandez & Associates, P.A. We are here to listen to your story and answer any questions that you have. As always, there are no upfront fees or costs.