Sometimes car accidents occur not because of the drivers, but because of a mechanical malfunction in one of the cars. Common mechanical malfunctions may include brake failure, steering wheel failure, accelerator failure, or a tire blowout. These malfunctions may be the result of a defective design or component of the car, or of negligent repair work by a mechanic. If you have been hurt because of a mechanical malfunction in Ocala or the surrounding area, you should contact an experienced car accident attorney at the Dean Law Firm to explore your legal options.Protect Your Rights by Taking Legal Action after a Mechanical Malfunction
In some cases, a motor vehicle owner has failed to properly maintain the car, and this is the cause of the mechanical malfunction. For example, a car owner who does not check brakes that he or she knows are operating differently may be responsible for any injuries that arise out of a malfunction under a theory of negligence. However, in other cases, the owner or operator performs the required maintenance, but a mechanical malfunction still occurs. Liability after a car accident arising out of a mechanical malfunction under those circumstances may not attach to the owner or operator of the vehicle.
When a properly maintained car does not operate as expected, the victim of the car accident may be able to sue the manufacturer or a repairperson for damages. For example, if the brakes fail unexpectedly, there may be a manufacturing or design defect at issue. Manufacturing defects are usually caused by an error in making or assembling the car. The manufacturer can be held liable under a theory of strict liability for any manufacturing defects that were present when the car left the factory where it was made. A design defect is a flaw that causes a car to be unreasonably dangerous, and it likely will be found in all cars made from a particular blueprint.
A repairperson may be liable under a theory of negligence for overlooking the need for repairs during an inspection of the car. For example, ignoring the need to replace a tire with severely worn treads or ignoring the need for new brakes can result in a car accident. For a lawsuit against a repairperson, the plaintiff will usually need to show the duty of the repairperson, a breach of that duty, actual and proximate causation, and damages. A plaintiff who brought a car into a mechanic's shop to inspect the brakes and tires, and leaves without the mechanic noticing that the brakes are about to fail, for example, may be able to hold the mechanic responsible for negligence if the plaintiff gets into an accident caused by brake failure.
If you are hurt as a result of a mechanical malfunction, you may potentially obtain compensation for all the damages that result, including lost income, medical expenses, property damages, out-of-pocket expenses, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of consortium.Explore Your Options with an Ocala Attorney after a Motor Vehicle Collision
At the Dean Law Firm, our injury lawyers represent victims of motor vehicle collisions in Ocala and elsewhere in Florida, including Crystal River and the Villages. Our attorneys are aggressive advocates with trial experience, and if negotiations with the insurer for the other driver do not result in a favorable settlement, we can try your case to a jury. Call us at 352-387-8700 or contact us via our online form. Our clients come from throughout Marion, Sumter, Lake, Citrus, and Levy Counties.