In Moreno Valley, as in the rest of the country, driver error is responsible for most of the car accidents. However, with cars becoming more and more technologically advanced, mechanical malfunctions are becoming more common. It’s difficult to go a month without hearing of a vehicle recall or a vehicle malfunction resulting in front page news. In a best-case scenario, a mechanical failure is a minor but annoying issue such as a car not starting. However, many malfunctions are more serious and can cause accidents resulting in serious harm to people and property.
Though there may be many reasons for the malfunction, ultimately someone’s negligence usually contributes to the failure, a subsequent accident, and any resulting injuries. For example, in 2009 and 2010, manufacturing giant Toyota recalled millions of vehicles and settled class action lawsuits after an accelerator pedal defect caused the accelerator to get stuck, causing accidents. These malfunctions affect vehicle occupants in and around Moreno Valley and can cause injury or death – a Riverside County woman was killed in a crash because of a defective Takata airbag inflator, which was later recalled. If you or a loved one were injured through a mechanical failure, contact a skilled Moreno Valley mechanical malfunction car accident attorney to see if you may be entitled to compensation.
Common Mechanical Malfunctions Leading to Car Accidents
There are thousands of parts on every vehicle that rolls off an assembly line, so there are many possible points that may malfunction and cause accidents. However, there are a number of common mechanical malfunctions that can result in collisions and injuries, such as:
- Inappropriate airbag deployment
- Headlight or taillight failures
- Electrical system defects
- Accelerator failure
- Brake failure
- Tire failure
- Power steering failure
Injuries Resulting From Mechanical Malfunctions
Because mechanical malfunctions can cause any type of car accident from a fender bender to a high -speed T-bone collision with a big rig commercial truck, victims may suffer a variety of injuries ranging from minor bumps and bruises to catastrophic injuries requiring a lifetime of care. Depending on the type of accident, victims may suffer injuries including
- Head and brain injuries (including traumatic brain injuries which can result in death if untreated)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries
- Whiplash and other neck injuries
- Broken bones
- Cuts and bruises
- Internal injuries or organ damage
How do You Determine Mechanical Malfunction Caused the Accident?
If you or another party involved believe that a mechanical issue may have caused your accident, an investigation may be conducted to see if the vehicle was properly maintained. If the vehicle owner didn’t perform scheduled or regular maintenance, they are most likely at fault for the mechanical malfunction. If, however, poor maintenance didn’t cause the malfunction, crash investigators will see if any part of the vehicle did not perform as intended or expended. If so, many people may be to blame.
Who’s at Fault?
If you were injured in a Moreno Valley collision caused by a mechanical malfunction, several parties may be responsible:
Vehicle Owner or Driver
Anyone who owns or drives a vehicle is expected to maintain it in safe condition or keep it parked if it’s not safe to drive. Mechanical failure may occur due to the owner’s decision not to follow the prescribed maintenance schedule for their vehicle, and an owner or driver may be liable for injuries caused by their negligence.
If the vehicle with the mechanical malfunction was up to date on maintenance, a mechanic’s subpar work or use of defective parts may be at the heart of the failure. Mechanics are expected to perform their work to the standard an ordinarily prudent mechanic would when placed in their situation. Failure to do so is negligence.
Manufacturers can be liable in several ways for mechanical malfunctions. Manufacturers who fail to recall their vehicles once they know about a defect or excessively delay in issuing a recall may be liable for their negligent or even intentional behavior.
Vehicle manufacturers also have a duty to both design and construct their products in a way that’s safe for consumers when the product is used in a reasonably foreseeable way. A design defect is a problem with the entire product line, but a manufacturing defect usually only happens to a single vehicle or small number of vehicles when they are being constructed.
In California, strict liability applies to these types of products liability claims. If you can prove the vehicle with the mechanical malfunction was defective or unreasonably dangerous when it left the manufacturer’s control and subsequently caused the accident that injured you, they may be liable for your damages. It’s also possible to hold a manufacturer liable under a general negligence theory.
How Much is my Case Worth?
Mechanical malfunctions that result in car accidents can easily result in astronomical medical bills, long-term or permanent inability to work, a need for lifelong care, and expensive accommodations necessary to accomplish daily tasks. Considering these consequences, it’s no wonder victims wonder how much they can recover. If a someone negligently caused their injuries, courts may award victims compensatory damages to make them whole for physical, mental, emotional, and financial harms including:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Property damage
- Burial costs
- Scarring or permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium (companionship).
In some cases, victims may be entitled to punitive damages designed to punish a defendant’s extremely bad behavior and discourage its repetition; however, it’s difficult to receive these damages because they’re entirely at the court’s discretion and require satisfying an extremely high burden of proof.
Speak to an Attorney
If you were injured in a car accident caused by a mechanical malfunction, you know firsthand how devastating the consequences can be. Contact the experienced Moreno Valley Car Accident Injury Lawyers at Walton Law, APC to put your best foot forward on your case for recovery. Our skilled attorneys have years of experience providing victims just like you with comprehensive, dedicated representation and delivering results; we’ve recovered millions of dollars in compensation on their behalf. Contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (866) 338-7079 or through our Contact Page to set up a no risk, no obligation initial case review. The consultation is completely confidential, and you pay nothing until we win your case. Let our attorneys evaluate the facts of your case and use our knowledge and resources to secure the best result possible for you.