Who Is Responsible For Auto Accidents Due To Mechanical Malfunctions?

Posted on: 11 May 2018

Resolving an auto accident usually involves finding out who was at fault out of all the parties involved, but the situation can become complicated when it turns out the at-fault car had a mechanical malfunction that led to the accident. You would think this would be a rather cut-and-dried situation in terms of who pays for the damages and medical bills. However, there are so many contributing factors that it can take a while to finish a case like this.

The Parties Involved

In a typical auto accident, the only parties involved are those who hit and were hit. But if you bring a mechanical malfunction into play, you suddenly involve the manufacturer, repair shops the car might have been at, and a bunch of related issues. For example, maybe the person in the car in question had trouble controlling the car due to a malfunction—or maybe the person in the car in question wasn't really paying attention to the odd sounds the car started making and didn't pull over when the car started to act up, and then the full malfunction occurred.

In the first case, the accident wouldn't necessarily be that person's fault if he or she were paying attention, driving a reasonable speed, and so on. In the second case, investigators have to figure out just how much of the problem was due to the driver not pulling over when the car first acted up. Did the person not pull over because he or she had just had the car checked out, and the repair shop said it was fine? In that case, some of the fault might lie with the repair shop.

Recall and Maintenance Neglect

Investigators also need to figure out if there was a well-publicized recall for that very mechanical problem. If not—imagine there was a recall but the news never really got out—the driver might not be at fault. But if the driver knew and neglected to bring the car in, or if the malfunction was due to the driver ignoring basic maintenance to begin with, then fault may fall squarely on the driver's shoulders.

Where That Leaves You

All of that is fine for court cases and insurance adjustors, but what about you, the person with injuries or property damage? Who do you go after? This is where an auto accident attorney comes in. Your insurance company will help you as much as it can, but if there comes a point where you have bills due or need to get another car and the other companies are still puzzling over the accident, you have to get some compensation.

Work with an attorney to get your side of the case completed and closed with adequate payment for your needs. You should not have to suffer further because of such a complicated situation that was not your fault.