Understanding Accidents by Vehicle Defect - Adamson Ahdoot

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When Is a Car Accident Caused by a Defective Vehicle or Parts?

October 17, 2023 Alan Ahdoot
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Defective car engines or parts rank high among the causes of vehicle accidents. These flaws can lead to loss of control, brake failures, or unexpected airbag deployment. In such unfortunate cases, the plaintiff can prove that the manufacturer or dealer was negligent in causing the vehicle defect.

Read on to discover the mechanics behind how a vehicle defect can trigger road collisions. This article not only sheds light on the issue but also offers essential tips on handling such incidents and preventing accidents caused by defective vehicle components.

Common Signs of Vehicle Defects

Accidents often leave drivers puzzled about their root causes, especially when they result from defective vehicle parts. Key examples of automotive defects encompass faulty brakes, malfunctioning fuel tanks, and airbags that don’t function as intended.

Stay safe and informed by recognizing these telltale defective vehicle signs to look out for:

Car Squeaks When Turning

That unsettling screech your car makes isn’t just an annoyance—it might signify a more severe issue. 

It’s a cue to pull over and inspect your vehicle for potential problems like low power-steering fluid, inadequate lubrication, or unwanted friction between the steering wheel housing and the interior trim. 

Ignoring this can lead to loss of control, resulting in a crash. Prioritize reaching out to a mechanic as soon as possible to address the issue.

Overheating and Leaking Fluids

When your car heats up, it could be due to a fan, radiator, water pump, thermostat, coolant, or hose issues. Also, overheating and leaky hydraulic lines might signal brake problems. It’s best to have a mechanic to look into the problem immediately. 

Limited Traction

While snowy slopes and wet highways can make driving nerve-wracking, it’s not always the weather’s fault for poor traction. Uneven or worn tires play a part too. 

Neglecting tire replacement can increase the risk of a collision, so it’s necessary to regularly check your tires and replace or repair them if they’re faulty. 

Difficult to Start Your Engine

Not changing your oil and other fluid levels may lead to a loss of engine power. If it’s taking too long to start your car, it can also be because your battery is defective. Other signs of a weak car battery include dim headlights, clicking noise, and engine backfires.

Smoky Exhaust

Excessive smoke emissions can be due to poor tuning or fuel combustion in the air filter or exhaust system of your vehicle. This should be a major concern because too much smoke emissions can be a result of an underlying problem like engine damage.

What to Do After an Accident Caused by a Defective Vehicle

Scheduling vehicle repairs immediately after the accident is not advisable if the case has not been fully settled or is still subject to trial. Talk to your lawyer first before proceeding with engine repairs to avoid ruling out the possibility of manufacturer negligence.

Follow these steps after a defective vehicle accident:

Get Your Vehicle Examined First

If you think the accident happened due to automotive defects, consult with a mechanical expert first to confirm. This will help determine the full condition of the vehicle and compare it with the damages. If you file your claim and the case goes to trial, you can use the mechanic’s full report to prove the manufacturer’s negligence.

Gather Evidence Related to the Accident

Before or during the vehicle inspection, don’t forget to collect all the evidence showing possible automotive defects. Aside from photos and witness statements, make sure to obtain your car’s electronic event data recorder (EDR) or the black box. It contains essential information about the functions and operation of your vehicle, from airbag activation to seat belt use.

Hire a Defective Vehicle Attorney

Before filing a claim, consult with an experienced lawyer who specializes in product liability law at Adamson Ahdoot. Your lawyer can help you with the complex filing process and assist you in pursuing a defective vehicle lawsuit.

Who is Liable for the Defective Car Accident?

In California, if an accident is caused by faulty vehicle parts, it’s a matter of product liability. The responsibility often falls on the manufacturer or distributor of these defective parts. Additionally, the mechanic could be held responsible if they neglected maintenance issues before the accident.

California doesn’t follow a no-fault system. Here, the degree of fault determines liability. This means the manufacturer, retailer, and distributor share the responsibility for damages based on their proportion of the fault. Knowing this is vital when seeking the compensation you rightly deserve.

The responsible party for a vehicle defect accident can be the manufacturer itself, the dealer, or the repair shop.
The manufacturer, retailer, or mechanic can all be liable for car accidents that arise from defective engines or vehicle parts.

How to Prevent Defective Vehicle Accidents

With regular car maintenance, you can avoid costly repairs and possible road collisions. After all, most vehicle accidents could have been prevented with regular car inspections.

Here are some of the ways you can do to prevent an accident caused by a vehicle defect:

Ensure the Good Condition of Your Brakes

The most important thing to do to avoid accidents is checking your brakes regularly. If you don’t drive every day, the rust may build up and eventually lead to faulty brakes. Worn brake pads can also damage your rotors and cost you lots of money for repairs.

Inspect Your Tires

To ensure your safety before driving, examine your tires for any uneven wear or cracks. If your tires are losing traction, you might need to replace, align, or rotate them. Worn tire treads also mean you need to vet new tires.

Maintain Your Lights

Night accidents are common and can pose more fatal consequences. It’s critical to inspect your lights, such as headlights and turn signals, to avoid any road mishaps. Your lights can keep you safe when driving late at night or during severe weather conditions.

Check Your Engine and Fluids

Lastly, regularly check your oil and the fluids of your vehicle, which can affect your engine performance. You can also hire a mechanic or change your vehicle fluids yourself to ensure your car’s efficiency.

Contact a Motor Vehicle Defect Lawyer at Adamson Ahdoot

If you suspect your accident was caused by automotive defects, don’t hesitate to reach out to our skilled legal team at Adamson Ahdoot. Your initial consultation is free and could be the first step toward rightful compensation.

Call us at (800) 310-1606 today to schedule your free consultation with a premier injury attorney.

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