How to File a Claim After a Car Accident Caused by Brake Failure
In many cases, car accidents are caused by tailgating, distracted driving, and other types of negligence. But what happens when an accident is caused by faulty brakes? These types of accidents can be complicated, so it’s best to contact an experienced Nevada personal injury lawyer right away for advice.
What to do After an Accident Caused by a Brake Malfunction
As with any other accident, call 911 right away to report the crash to law enforcement and request an ambulance if one is needed. If you believe faulty brakes contributed to the collision, you’ll want to follow three steps immediately:
- Stay on the scene: Not only would it be dangerous to continue driving withfaulty brakes, but drivers are obligated by law to remain on the scene until law enforcement clears you to leave.
- Explain the situation: If you think that your brakes weren’t working properly and caused the accident, be sure to explain your perspective clearly to the police officer on the scene, the other driver, and any witnesses.
- Get your brakes inspected: Ideally, your vehicle should be towed from the accident straight to a qualified mechanic. To maintain the strength of your brake failure narrative, you don’t want the vehicle being brought anywhere else where it could be suspected that the brakes were tampered with to fit your narrative.
Who is at Fault After an Accident Caused by a Brake Malfunction?
If you suspect that an accident was caused by a brake malfunction, consult with your Las Vegas personal injury attorney for guidance and advice. The insurance companies who are involved, law enforcement, and attorneys will investigate the circumstances of the accident in order to determine who is at fault for the collision. According to the law of comparative negligence in Nevada, the driver who is deemed to be at least 51% responsible for the collision will be liable for paying for the damages and losses of the other driver(s).
In order to prove that an accident was caused by brake failure, two important factors will need to be determined:
What Caused The Brake Failure?
If the brake failure was the result of a lack of maintenance, the driver who failed to maintain the vehicle properly will likely be liable for the collision. Drivers have a duty to maintain their vehicles for the safety of others on the road, which includes getting the brakes serviced, repaired, or replaced as needed.
Sometimes brake failure is due to a bad replacement or improper servicing. Maybe a mechanic made a mistake while they were replacing a component of the braking system or caused unintentional damage during a repair. If this happens, the mechanic or their employer may be deemed partially liable for the accident.
In other cases, a manufacturing or design defect may have led to the accident, which means that the manufacturer or engineering company may be held responsible. If any of these circumstances occurs, your Las Vegas car accident lawyer will provide guidance and representation throughout the process.
Proving That The Brakes Malfunctioned
The second major factor in a brake malfunction case is proving that there was a problem with the brakes. Unless the problem is very obvious and easy to identify, it can be difficult to prove beyond reasonable doubt that brake failure, rather than negligence, caused the accident. This is why a clear chain of vehicle possession and inspection after your accident is crucial.
Can I Sue an At-Fault Driver for Damages if Their Brakes Failed?
In most cases, your Las Vegas car accident law firm will be able to work with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to maximize your settlement and ensure you receive a fair amount that covers all of your damages, which can include:
- Medical bills, including ambulance transportation, surgeries, imaging, medication, hospital stays, therapy, and medical equipment
- Vehicle repair or replacement
- Loss of income, if your injuries forced you to take time off of work
- Anticipated medical bills, if your injuries or medical needs are ongoing
- Pain and suffering
- Disfigurement or wrongful death, in extreme circumstances
Insurance companies naturally want to pay out as little as possible after an accident and will try to settle quickly with a low offer. Never agree to a settlement or sign paperwork without the advice of your attorney.
Occasionally, insurance companies will refuse to settle fairly or won’t pay for damages that resulted from the accident. In these cases, your Las Vegas personal injury attorney may advise taking the insurance company to court or pursuing damages from the manufacturer or mechanic company. You’ll need to be able to prove that the brakes were faulty, that the accident was caused by brake malfunction, and that your injuries and damages directly resulted from the accident.
If you were the driver with the faulty brakes, you may have the option to file a bad faith lawsuit if your insurance company refuses to settle your claim or if there was some negligence from the other driver that partially contributed to the accident, such as tailgating or cutting you off. Your attorney can provide advice and guidance to help maximize your damages in these situations.
Get the Help You Need after a Car Accident Caused by Brake Malfunction
If you’ve been involved in a collision in Nevada caused by faulty brakes, you might be wondering what to do and how you can get the situation resolved as quickly as possible. You need guidance and advice from Nevada’s leading personal injury lawyers, Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC. Our firm specializes in assisting victims of car accidents and are ready to help you make sense of your situation so you know what steps to take next. Don’t try to face the aftermath of a car accident alone; our attorneys are ready to guide you through the process and maximize your settlement. Contact us today to schedule your confidential consultation.