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What Are Your Legal Rights After a Car Accident Involving a Brake Failure?

January 29, 2021 | Posted In Personal Injury/Negligence |

Brake failures are more common than most of us would like to believe. They play a role in approximately one out of every 20 motor vehicle accidents, including nearly one out of every three accidents involving a commercial truck. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), brake problems are the single most common cause of large truck accidents.

So, if you were injured in an accident caused by brake failure in New Jersey, what are your legal rights?

The simple answer is this: If you were injured in an accident caused by brake failure in New Jersey, you are entitled to just compensation. The only possible reason why you might not be entitled to compensation is if your brakes failed because you did not adequately maintain them. However, if any other person or company is to blame for your collision, then you can – and should – hire a New Jersey auto accident lawyer to help you file a claim.

Who is Liable for an Accident Caused by Brake Failure in New Jersey?

There are three primary ways to recover financial compensation after a car accident involving a brake failure. These are (i) proving that the brakes were defective, (ii) proving that the brakes were improperly installed or serviced, or (iii) proving that the brakes had not been adequately maintained. Determining which of these issues played a role in your accident will also allow you to determine who is liable for your accident-related losses.

  • Failures Caused By Brake Defects – When brake rotors or brake pads are defective out of the factory, car accident victims’ claims are governed by the law of “strict liability.” This means that proof of negligence is not required to file a successful claim. If an investigation reveals that defective brakes caused your accident, this is enough to file a claim against the vehicle’s manufacturer—and potentially against the dealership and other companies as well.
  • Failures Caused By Negligent Installation or Service – If a vehicle’s brakes fail due to being improperly installed or serviced, then the dealership or shop that performed the work can be held liable for negligence. Dealerships and repair shops are responsible for their employees’ mistakes, and they have insurance to cover these (and other) types of negligence-based claims.
  • Failures Caused By Inadequate Vehicle Maintenance – If your accident occurred because the other vehicle’s brakes needed maintenance, then the other driver could be liable for your injuries. In this scenario, recovering your losses will most likely involve filing an auto insurance claim—just as it would in any other case of driver negligence. If your accident involved a commercial vehicle, then the company that owns or operates the vehicle could be liable as well.

Speak with a New Jersey Auto Accident Lawyer Today

Were you or a member of your family injured in an accident involving a brake failure? Or, do you think that a brake failure may have played a role in your vehicle collision? To discuss your legal rights with an experienced New Jersey auto accident lawyer in confidence, call 877-435-6371 or tell us how we can reach you online now.

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Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A.

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