We spend a lot of time on this blog talking about motorists whose actions cause otherwise preventable motor vehicle accidents. Oftentimes these drivers act negligently by driving while distracted, drunk, or tired, or by failing to obey traffic laws. However, negligence can go further than a driver’s actions. In fact, inactions on the part of a motorist can lead to a serious car accident that results in significant harm to innocent individuals.
One way this occurs is by negligently maintaining a vehicle. While failing to keep up with oil and air filter changes can cause wear and tear to a car, failing to upkeep other parts of a vehicle can create a dangerous situation. For example, tire-related crashes claimed more than 700 lives in 2017. Surely a number of these accidents are caused by blowouts that result in vehicles swerving uncontrollably on the roadway. These blowouts may be caused by under-inflation or excessive wear.
Of course, proving that a car accident was caused by poor vehicle maintenance can be a difficult task. A motorist may be able to claim that the part that caused the accident was defective, and therefore the product’s manufacturer should be held responsible. Yet, he or she may also be able to claim that a motorist failed to adequately maintain his or her vehicle, such as by changing overly worn tires. Fortunately, many accidents that are caused by improperly maintained cars have some element of dangerous driving associated with them, too. For example, a driver who neglects to change his windshield wipers may lose a significant amount of driving vision, which may then cause that driver to swerve into oncoming traffic or fail to slow for stopped traffic.
Although all car accidents may seem the same to the untrained eye, they are, in fact, quite unique in nature. Therefore, it is crucial that car wreck victims fully understand the facts at hand and how the law applies to them. Only then can they fully assess whether legal action is warranted. Competent and experienced legal professionals may be able to help with this process.