Every day, we rely on our cars to get where we need to go. We trust that they will start every time we turn the key and that they will stay in good working order for the duration of our trip. However, sometimes things go wrong. Cars can break down for many reasons, and when they do, it’s important to know your legal rights and responsibilities. This article discusses whether you are liable for accidents caused by mechanical failure on your vehicle.
Generally speaking, you are not liable for accidents caused by mechanical failures on your vehicle. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Hiring an attorney for a car accident case is important to help clarify your legal rights and options.
These exceptions include:
Failure to Properly Maintain Your Vehicle
You may be held liable when the accident was caused by a failure to maintain your vehicle properly. For example, if you failed to change your oil regularly and your engine seized; as a result, you would likely be held liable for any accidents.
Knowingly Drove Your Car With Mechanical Issues
You could also be held liable when you knowingly drove your vehicle with a mechanical issue you were aware of. For example, an accident could occur if you knew your brakes were worn out but chose to drive anyway.
Liability for Commercial Vehicles
When operating a commercial vehicle, you may be held to a higher standard regarding mechanical failures. For example, accidents or injuries would be your responsibility if you are driving a bus and your brakes fail.
Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. You may not be held liable if you can prove that the accident was not your fault.
How Can You Prove Liability
There are a few ways to prove that you are not liable for an accident caused by mechanical failure on your vehicle. These include:
- The Accident was not Your Fault
You will not be held liable when the other driver caused the accident.
- You Were Not Aware of the Mechanical Issue
You will not be held liable if you have no way of knowing about the mechanical issue.
- You Took Steps to Fix the Issue
You will not be held liable when you took steps to fix the mechanical issue before the accident occurred.
Surveillance footage of the accident can be used to prove that you are not liable. The footage can show what happened and who was at fault.
Witnesses’ statements can be used to prove that you are not liable. The witnesses can testify what they saw and who they believe was at fault.
- Sworn Testimony of Medical Providers
Medical providers at the accident can be asked for sworn testimony which can be used to prove that you are not liable. The medical providers can testify to your injuries and how they were caused.
Accidents caused by mechanical failure are not always the driver’s fault. Knowing your legal rights and responsibilities is important in case you are ever involved in such an accident. Researching and consulting an attorney can save you a lot of legal trouble. It is important to identify issues with your car to prevent such occurrences.