Defective equipment and malfunctioning systems can sometimes be the cause of motor vehicle accidents in Indiana and elsewhere across the country. So, who is to blame for a crash when the vehicle itself seems to be at fault?
Can the driver be liable?
The short answer is yes. Drivers are responsible for ensuring their vehicle is properly maintained. If they failed in the upkeep of their car or truck, they may be responsible if this improper maintenance led to malfunctioning equipment. Following an accident, investigators will attempt to determine what caused the accident and why the mechanical error occurred. If the car’s performance failed due to a lack of owner maintenance on any specific part of the vehicle, they could be at fault.
Who else can be liable?
In some cases, the manufacturer of the vehicle can be liable for an accident. Recalls are commonplace in many industries and car manufacturing is no exception. They may be at fault if there is an operating system that has broken due to faulty construction. Part manufacturers may also be responsible if their products are defective.
Another less common but not unheard-of possibility is the liability of the mechanic. Did a newly-serviced part or system perform improperly? If the vehicle recently had the brakes replaced, for example, and brake failure was the cause of the crash, the mechanic could be at fault.
There are many possible answers to the question of fault in collisions, but regular maintenance and staying alert while driving are always good ideas.