Poor Vehicle Maintenance
Massachusetts requires all motor vehicles operating in the Commonwealth to get inspected once a year to make sure the vehicle is in good operating condition. This is done not only to ensure the safety of that vehicle’s driver and passengers, but also for the safety of other vehicles you share the road with.
Even with these mandatory safety inspections, during the course of the year, vehicles can fall into a state of disrepair, which can lead to accidents and injury.
Negligent Repair Or Service Of Your Vehicle
When you take your vehicle in for service or maintenance, you entrust that the repairs will be done in a competent and prudent manner. Many car accidents each year are caused by a repair service station or car dealer’s negligence.
Examples of the negligent repair of a motor vehicle that can lead to serious personal injury accidents are, but not limited to, the following:
- Brake failure due to improper servicing or replacing of brakes, brake lines, fluids, pumps, etc.
- Power steering failure due to improper servicing or replacing of power steering mechanism, belts, pumps and fluids
- Tire or wheel failure — When a tire or wheel is serviced and or replaced, it must be done in a careful manner. The tires and rims must exactly match in size, and care must be used in affixing the tire to the rim. If the tire and rim are ever slightly off in size, it could mean catastrophic failure of the tire. If a tire blows out or a wheel detaches from a vehicle at speed, the injuries caused can be very serious or even fatal. Wheels have been known to detach due to overheated wheel bearings or negligent service.
Vehicle Owner Negligence By Poor Maintenance
People who own cars must maintain the cars in a responsible manner to ensure the safety of its occupants and the people your vehicle shares the road with. Poor maintenance of an owner’s vehicle can result in serious personal injury accidents or death.
Notice And Foreseeability Of The Malfunction
If an owner of a vehicle is aware of a malfunction that could hinder the safe operation of their vehicle and does not get it repaired promptly, a subsequent accident caused by this malfunction will cause the owner liability. Examples of vehicle malfunction include:
- Power steering malfunction: Turning the wheel causes a loud noise and a grinding constriction or leaking of power steering fluid on driveway over a period of time or a loss of steering pressure.
- Brake failure: When applying brakes, they make a loud screeching or grinding noise. They may also have diminished brake performance, or when braking, your vehicle pulls to one side. Other examples of imminent brake failure are the brake pedal pulses when braking and losing brake pressure and/or brake fluid appearing beneath your vehicle on a driveway or parking lot.
- The ignoring of any dashboard service or warning lights for an unreasonable period of time.
- The failure of an owner to have a factory recall corrected after the owner was given proper notice of said recall.
- Bald tires: When the owner of a vehicle drives a vehicle with tires that are “bald” with an unsafe amount of tread depth left, the tire(s) can be very dangerous. The tires in this state are susceptible to a loss of grip during rainstorms, known as hydroplaning, and a loss of traction in snowstorms can lead to catastrophic tire failure known as a blowout. Operating a vehicle with tires in poor condition can cause catastrophic accidents and injury.
If the owner knew or should have known of these “warning signs” and failed to act by having the vehicle properly maintained and serviced, then the owner is liable for any accident caused by the impending and very foreseeable malfunction.
Injuries Caused By Defective Vehicles
Sometimes no matter how well we maintain our vehicles, a mechanical failure can occur due to product defect and/or design.
For more than 50 years, our Massachusetts law firm has been representing the injured throughout the state. You need a tough lawyer to take on the manufacturers and distributors of defective car parts, making them accountable for the injuries their faulty products have caused.
At Ellis Law Offices, our attorneys work with accident engineers, deconstructionists and other experts to investigate every aspect of the accident. The investigation may include a review of all accident reports, taking witness statements, viewing the accident scene, and viewing the vehicle parts and damage.
Some examples of vehicle defects that can cause serious Massachusetts car accidents are:
- Defective air bags
- Brake failure
- Seat belt failure
- Defective tires
- Fires caused by design flaws or defective parts
- Rollovers causing catastrophic roof crush
Contact Ellis Law Offices
If you think an automobile defect may have caused or contributed to your car accident and injuries, contact us to speak with an experienced attorney. For a free consultation and a convenient home or hospital visit, please call or email us.