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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Who's at Fault in Brake Failure Accidents? – Answer Explained by a Seasoned Lawyer

All vehicles can be dangerous, and brakes are the first line of defense against hazards. However, these systems are not perfect.

Rear-end accidents involving faulty brakes are not rare. Unfortunately, these collisions can result in severe injuries and death.

Even under the best conditions, a brake system can fail. Also, brakes have a limited lifespan, so they wear out and stop working easily.

Sometimes, the braking system has a poor design or a manufacturing defect that affects its operation. Considering this fact, the risk of accidents due to brake failures is high.

However, besides the main causes of brake failure, there's another common question about these accidents: Who is at fault? Should drivers be held accountable for car crashes that result from a failure in these systems? Here's what the laws say.

How Common Are Brake Failure Accidents?

The latest report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed that around 2% of car accidents result from mechanical problems. Brake failure falls into this category.

In fact, the NHTSA report showed that brake problems cause at least a quarter of the accidents within that 2%.

Why Do Brakes Fail?

Why Do Brakes Fail?

Faulty brakes result from various factors since the system depends on several parts and processes to function properly.

Essentially, the system transmits the pressure generated when people press down on the brake pedal to the brake lines.

As a result, the brake fluid, which is within those lines, transmits pressure to the brakes themselves, stopping the vehicle.

There are two main types of brakes: drum and disc brakes. Both work in a similar way, as the pressure exerted on the pedal pushes the disc or drum against the wheel, causing friction to slow it down.

These systems can stop working at any time. However, the most common cause of failed brakes is a leak in the brake lines.

When this occurs, the brake fluid drains out until there is not enough to transmit the pressure that stops the tires.

Additionally, brakes can fail as discs and drums wear down over time. This results in less friction on the wheels to stop the vehicle.

Common Causes of Brake Failure

Although they are less common, other mechanical failures can cause brakes to fail.

In this regard, these are the common causes of these issues:

  • Overheating brakes

  • Worn-out brake pads

  • Leaking brake fluid

  • Grease or oil on the brake pads

  • Grease or oil on rotors

  • Air in the brake lines

  • Reduction in braking power (truck drivers are more susceptible to these accidents)

Who Is At-Fault for Brake Failure Accidents?

Who is liable for the accident if it occurred because the brakes failed? Establishing liability is essential in all car crash cases, especially if someone is injured and plans to take legal action to recover compensation. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also help with answering questions like "Who's at fault in head-on truck accidents?"

In most rear-end accidents, the tailing driver is responsible for causing the car crash. However, they can't always do something to prevent the incident.

Since brake malfunction can be caused by different factors, including a manufacturing defect, car owners are not at fault for these accidents in all cases.

When large car crashes result from brake failure, other people may be at fault for the accident.

Brake Failure Accidents Caused by Negligence or Poor Maintenance

Each vehicle owner and operator has a duty to care for other people's safety while driving. Therefore, they must make sure brakes are working as they should by performing proper maintenance.

Based on those requirements, drivers should check their brakes regularly and replace them as stated in the manufacturers' instructions or according to the specific driving conditions.

If the accident is caused by driver error or negligence and injured parties prove maintenance issues, vehicle operators may be held liable for the collision.

What Happens When Injured People's Brakes Were Faulty?

Sometimes, the accident is not caused by another vehicle operator. Drivers are also at risk of having their own vehicles crash due to brake failure.

Although proving that there was a problem with the brakes is challenging, victims can file a suit against manufacturers if they're able to collect enough evidence to prove that the failure resulted from poor design or defective systems.

Contrastingly, drivers can get their cases dismissed if they fail to inspect their brakes regularly and the accident is caused by a failure that could have been easily identified by a mechanic.

If a car or truck driver properly maintains their vehicle's brakes, the manufacturer or mechanic who repaired the failures may also be held accountable for the accident.

Damages Injured Parties May Recover

People who are injured in brake failure accidents can file a lawsuit and recover compensation for damages and injuries sustained.

This financial remuneration may include the following damages:

  • Vehicle damage

  • Medical bills

  • Lost wages

  • Pain and suffering

  • Emotional distress

  • Punitive damages, depending on the circumstances surrounding the case

However, most cases settle before going to court, which benefits victims who need to recover compensation quickly to cover the costs related to the car accident.

Who Should Pay For Them?

The liable party should cover these damages and pay compensation to the victims. That's why establishing liability is essential in these cases.

Should Brake Failure Accident Victims Call an Attorney?

Should Brake Failure Accident Victims Call an Attorney?

Brake failure accidents can be devastating for all parties involved. However, they are preventable.

It is unfair that victims must cover all expenses and go through these tough times due to someone else's negligence.

Fortunately, an experienced brake failure a truck accident attorney in Nashville can help victims establish who was at fault in the accident and build a strong case to recover the compensation they deserve.

How Schuerger Shunnarah Attorneys Can Help

At Schuerger Shunnarah Attorneys, we have a professional team of lawyers with extensive experience in cases involving brake failure. We can help victims establish liability and pursue the compensation they deserve.

Our team will work tirelessly to win the case and fight for victims' rights, whether the crash was caused by the other driver, the manufacturer, or another party. We can also help explain who's at fault in spilled cargo accidents.

Call Us Today and Get a Free Case Consultation!

Anyone involved in a Nashville car accident caused by brake failure can count on Schuerger Shunnarah Attorneys to build a case, file a lawsuit, and hold at-fault parties accountable for their negligence or recklessness. Call us today and get a free consultation!


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