Brake Failure Accidents: Who Can You Sue?

Few things in life genuinely scare people, and brake failure is one of them. One moment you’re driving down the road — whether traveling top or moderate speed — and the next, you can’t stop when you want to. At that moment, you realize that a crash is inevitable, and you can do nothing to prevent it. In the event of a crash like this, the services of an Atlanta car accident lawyer would be required.

This is because the victim of such an accident will need legal representation if they want to collect compensation from the party at fault. On the other hand, if it’s a single-vehicle accident, the driver would be terrified, and afterward, may not know who to get compensation from. This article considers both scenarios and sheds light on who to sue after an accident caused by a brake failure.

Why Do Car Brakes Fail?

Brake failure is something avoidable, but most people do not know what to do to prevent it. Generally, your vehicle’s light should show you when your brake is becoming faulty before they entirely fail. Other signs of possible brake failure are:

  • A grinding sound when you press the pedal down indicates worn brake discs.
  • Having to use more pressure than necessary to the brake pedal when trying to stop the vehicle.
  • A vibrating sensation when using the brakes
  • Your vehicle shifting to one side when braking
  • A burning odor
  • A puddle on the driveway from brake fluid leakage

Now, having seen signs that warn you of an imminent brake failure, let’s look at the causes. The first reason why brakes fail is the loss of brake fluids. The fluid transfers the force exerted when you push down the brake pedal to the brake disks that slow and stop the car. Usually, you can detect a leak because it flows beneath your vehicle.

The second cause of brake failure is a bad brake cylinder. The latter is the part of the braking system where fluid gets compressed. A faulty brake cylinder causes your braking system to lose power.

The third cause is a faulty brake booster. The brake booster takes the force generated when you press down on the pedal and amplifies it. If this part is defective, the full force to slow down and stop the vehicle will not be generated.

When driving and you experience any of the signs of brake failure discussed above, you should move to the slow lane and stop the vehicle. If you don’t, your vehicle is a potential missile on wheels. Once you stop, ensure you call for help.

Who Can You Sue if Brake Failure Causes an Accident?

In car accident cases arising from a defective brake, there are two primary possible fault parties. They are the manufacturer of the vehicle and the mechanic.

The Manufacturer

It is possible to file a claim against the vehicle manufacturer or the part manufacturer if your brakes fail. This would likely come under a product liability claim as manufacturers are held to a strict liability standard on the products they place in the market.

Thus, once your Atlanta personal injury lawyer can prove that the brake was defective and the defect was unreasonably dangerous, they’ll be able to recover compensation for you. However, note that the brake’s part must not have been substantially altered since you bought the vehicle or was installed for your claim to succeed.

The Mechanic 

A mechanic would be liable for a brake failure accident if they failed to install the brake part of the component correctly or did so in a negligent way. However, proving liability, in this case, would be difficult as the mechanic would not explicitly admit fault. The only way to establish a mechanic’s liability is by eliminating the manufacturer’s error and calling an expert witness to show the mechanic left the brake in a faulty condition.

Who Else Can Be Liable? 

Suppose you didn’t suffer a brake failure, but the driver who struck you did. The driver who hit you will be liable if there is evidence that they should have known their brake was about to fail. For example, if every time the driver tries to apply the brake, their car tilts to the side, it is a sign of brake failure. If the motorist keeps driving, rather than stopping the vehicle and getting help, they will compensate you for injuries from any accident that occurs.

Contact Bethune Law Firm Today!

If brake failure caused an accident you were involved in, an Atlanta auto accident lawyer can help you get compensation. Contact us at Bethune Law Firm to learn how we can help you. We offer free initial consultations.