Brake malfunctions can cause a motorist to lose control and collide with another vehicle, structure, or bystanders. Knoxville car accident attorney Mark C. Hartsoe can help you if you were hurt in an accident caused by a brake malfunction. With over 25 years of experience, Mr. Hartsoe can give you the legal guidance and representation you need to fight for your rights in a car accident case. If you were injured in a car wreck due to faulty brakes, contact us today to see how we can help you.Brake Malfunction in Car Accidents
Safe and effective brakes can prevent car accidents, but when a brake malfunctions, the results can be catastrophic. Millions of cars are recalled each year due to faulty brakes. Many are prompted by consumer complaints and investigations by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. By the time an investigation is launched or recall takes place, however, it is too late for some car accident victims.
Brake malfunctions can range from defects in design or manufacture to improper maintenance and repair. Examples of brake malfunctions include:
- Anti-lock system failure or malfunction, such as software settings that lead to longer-than-expected stopping distances
- Hard brake pedals which increase required braking effort
- Fluid build-up in the braking system
- Brake line rupture
Brake malfunctions are particularly dangerous when larger vehicles are involved, such as sport utility vehicles and vans. Because of their weight and size, these vehicles are more likely to cause accidents that result in severe injuries to anyone involved.Liability for Brake Malfunctions
A brake malfunction can be the result of a poor design, faulty manufacture, or improper repair. If brakes fail and cause an accident, Tennessee law allows the victim to seek damages.
A car accident victim can recover in a products liability action under various theories of liability. There may be several at-fault parties, and a different theory may apply based on the source of the malfunction. A brake malfunction may be the result of a defective design or manufacture, in which case the car or brake manufacturer may be liable. In a strict liability claim, the car or brake manufacturer can be held liable for the defective brake regardless of how careful it was in the design or production of the brake. In order to succeed against a manufacturer in Tennessee under this theory, a victim has to show that the brake was defective or dangerous when it left the manufacturer’s control, and that the defect caused the victim’s injuries.
A brake may also fail due to someone else’s negligence. If, for example, the brakes were improperly repaired, the victim may recover from the negligent mechanic. The victim would have to show that:
- He or she was owed a duty of care;
- The defendant breached that duty;
- The breach caused the victim’s injuries; and
- The victim suffered damages.
Since several parties may be responsible for a brake malfunction, it is important to speak with an attorney knowledgeable in car accident cases to ensure that your claim is fully investigated and all the liable parties are identified.Compensation for the Harm You Have Suffered
If a brake malfunction caused a car accident, and you were hurt as a result, you can seek compensation for your injuries from the at-fault parties. You can potentially recover for your medical bills, hospital stay, rehabilitative care, property damage, and pain and suffering. If your loved one succumbed to injuries in a car accident caused by a brake malfunction, you can file a wrongful death suit. You can recover amounts including your relative’s medical expenses, funeral and burial bills, and loss of consortium.Fighting for Your Rights
Knoxville personal injury lawyer Mark C. Hartsoe is committed to providing his clients with the legal representation they need to recover for their injuries. Mr. Hartsoe will investigate your case, consult with experts, review your medical records, and provide you with the comprehensive legal guidance you need. Contact us today at (865) 524-5657 or online for a free, no-obligation consultation.