Although brake failure accidents are rare, they can cause serious damage, injury, and death when they do occur. However, since many vehicles have fail-safes in place to prevent brake failure, it may actually be another problem, like a defective product or driver negligence, that caused the brake failure accident.
If you were the victim of a motor vehicle accident blamed on brake failure, a Birmingham brake failure attorney from the Morris Bart law firm can help you understand your rights and fight for compensation. If a truck, commercial vehicle, or passenger vehicle hit you and claimed that a brake failure is to blame, call now for a free case review.
Birmingham Brake Failure Accident FAQ
You might feel that your brakes failed you while you were operating your vehicle and crashed as a result. But proving another party’s liability and negligence can be challenging. Get answers to frequently asked questions from a Birmingham brake failure car accident lawyer.
Can Brakes Fail?
Brake failures do occur and can cause accidents, especially in large, heavy vehicles such as tractor-trailer trucks and other commercial vehicles. However, brake failures in modern vehicles without any type of backup system to stop an accident are rare.
Instead, the cause is more likely to be poor maintenance, worn-out brakes, the vehicle following too closely behind other vehicles, or another issue other than a defect in the brakes.
Even in large trucks, brake failure is rare. Defective equipment, including car and truck brakes, caused a little more than four percent of all fatal truck accidents in Alabama in 2018, according to the Alabama Department of Transportation (DOT).
What Causes Brake Failure Accidents in Birmingham?
Since accidents due entirely to brake failure are rare, there may be another element that played a significant role in a car accident caused by brake failure. For example, the brakes may have been installed incorrectly due to poor instructions from the manufacturer, or the truck driver may have improperly maintained the brakes and vehicle.
If you suffered injuries in a car accident where the at-fault driver claims defective brakes caused the crash, experienced car accident lawyers in Birmingham may be able to help you determine if the brake failure occurred because of:
- Driver negligence
- A manufacturing defect
- A design defect
- Improper maintenance
- Improper repairs or other errors by a mechanic or service department
How do You Prove Brake Failure?
Brake failure can be extremely tricky to prove. When brakes fail on a car, it could be the result of:
- Brake pipe leaks
- Damaged seals
- Worn brake pads
Brake failure becomes even more complicated when it involves commercial trucks, which often rely on compressed air brake systems.
A Birmingham brake failure car accident lawyer understands the complicated nature of proving brake failure. But they also know how to investigate accidents to determine liability. Lawyers often have access to a network of expert witnesses, including mechanics and reconstructionists.
Experts can investigate a vehicle’s brake system to identify damaging characteristics, such as sponginess, scraping sounds, faded effectiveness, and whether the brake pedal requires pumping just to get the vehicle to stop.
If parts of your brake system are faulty and your lawyer can prove it, you can file a defective product claim and hold the manufacturer liable.
Is It Your Fault if Your Brakes Fail?
Proving that parts of a braking system were defective and holding a manufacturer liable is extremely challenging. But that’s not to say it’s impossible. Instances have also occurred where someone maliciously tampered with someone’s braking system, causing it to fail and resulting in an accident. But a car accident due to brake failure could be your fault.
If you knew about issues with your brake system but operated your vehicle anyway, you could be found to be partially liable. Because of Alabama’s contributory negligence laws, you will be unable to pursue compensation for any injuries if you’re found to be at fault. And you might be the one paying for someone else’s damages.
As a vehicle operator, it’s your duty to address any issues. Test and check your car regularly, report brake system issues immediately, take your vehicle in as soon as possible, and ensure that only a qualified mechanic or technician diagnoses an issue.
Who Is to Blame When Car Brakes Fail and Cause an Accident?
There is not a universal at-fault party in collisions caused by brake failure. Each case is different, so in order to claim compensation for sustained damages, the at-fault party needs to be identified. The liable party in this type of car or truck accident could include:
- The driver of the vehicle
- The driver’s employer (if the accident involved a commercial vehicle)
- The vehicle manufacturer
- A brake part manufacturer
- A company or individual tasked with maintaining or repairing the brakes
- Another liable party
It can be difficult to separate the facts of a brake failure accident case from the version of events the potentially liable parties may tell to try to defend themselves. Navigating the claims process on your own, proving your case, and recovering damages can be difficult, and can lead to an incomplete recovery that leaves a lot of money on the table.
Instead, you can call our trusted brake failure collision lawyers at Morris Bart for help determining the at-fault party in your case.
For a free legal consultation with a Brake Failure Accident lawyer serving Birmingham, call (205) 380-4158
What to Do if Your Brakes Fail and You Rear-End Someone
In some rare cases, you may have seemingly caused the car accident yourself, but your brakes are in fact to blame instead. If you believe that you caused an accident because your brakes failed, there are several things you can do to help you build your case and prevent further damage.
Immediately after the crash, you can call the police and tell everyone on the scene that the crash occurred due to brake failure. Do not drive the vehicle again if you believe the brakes failed.
After rear-ending another vehicle, you should call a car accident lawyer who is experienced in brake failure cases in Birmingham to help represent you. If you do this as soon as possible after the collision, then they can immediately start collecting evidence that helps prove that your brakes failed. They may recommend that an expert mechanic takes a look at your vehicle to help confirm that your car’s brakes failed.
How to Build a Case After a Brake Failure Accident in Birmingham
The first step to filing your claim is calling a lawyer who has experience in brake failure accident cases in Birmingham. When our car accident team handles a case, we take care of all your legal needs, leaving you free to focus on recovering from your injuries. Our team can file your claim and attempt to reach an out-of-court settlement in your case.
When you enlist the help of a Birmingham brake failure accident lawyer, your attorney will work to collect evidence and prove several things:
- Who caused the accident
- What caused the accident
- If negligence occurred
- The types of damages you sustained and the value of your losses
In addition to the evidence your attorney collects to prove causation and fault, they will also gather evidence to document your accident-related damages. If you are ready to learn more about how you can seek a financial recovery in your Birmingham brake failure case today, contact the Morris Bart law firm now.
Compensation for Brake Failure Accidents in Birmingham
Going through a motor vehicle accident is a traumatic experience that causes financial and emotional burdens. With the help of a brake failure attorney in Birmingham, you can hold the at-fault party accountable and receive compensation for your sustained damages.
What’s included in the potential compensation can vary greatly from case to case, but it often includes:
- Current and future medical care related to the accident
- Current and future lost wages and diminished earning capacity
- Repair or replacement of your vehicle and other property damages
- Pain and suffering
- Other non-economic damages
- Wrongful death damages, if you lost a family member in the accident
The Statute of Limitations for an Alabama Personal Injury Lawsuit
Alabama Code §6-2-38 outlines the statute of limitations that applies to Alabama personal injury and defective product lawsuits. In general, you have two years to prove causation and take legal action to hold the liable party accountable for your injuries and other damages. If you do not file a lawsuit before time runs out, the court is not likely to allow you to proceed with your case at a later time.
Since the statute of limitations makes your case time-sensitive, it’s important to reach out to a brake failure accident lawyer in Birmingham as soon as possible after a suspected brake failure. Reach out to the trusted attorneys at Morris Bart today to learn more about the time limits that might apply in your case. We also may be able to reach an out-of-court settlement and recover a fair payout on your behalf long before this cut-off date arrives.
Get Help from a Birmingham Brake Failure Accident Attorney
The Morris Bart law firm can help you navigate the claims process if you sustained an injury in a truck accident or other type of motor vehicle accident. Throughout our client success stories, we have used our experience in how best to collect evidence and build a case to fight for our clients’ rights and help them get the compensation they deserved.
Call the Morris Bart law firm or contact us online to discuss your case for free with a personal injury lawyer who regularly handles accident cases in Alabama.
Questions?Call (205) 380-4158
to find a Morris Bart office near you.