Legal issues in accidents where cars failed to brake

Distracted driving accidents are becoming a serious problem in California and motorists staring at cellphone screens are now a familiar sight on the nation's roads. Police officers may suspect distraction when motorists failed to apply their brakes prior to crashing into the vehicle in front of them, but this type of accident can also be caused by inadequate maintenance, a defective part or a mechanical failure.

Drivers are required to do all that they reasonably can to protect other road users from harm, and they are expected to check their braking systems and other safety equipment regularly. This means that motorists may be held responsible for accidents caused by service-related problems like worn brake pads, cracked discs or warped rotors. If the vehicle concerned had such issues despite having been serviced recently, the mechanic or maintenance facility involved could be named as a defendant in a lawsuit brought by an injured victim.

Modern automobile braking systems are highly complex, and design flaws or manufacturing defects sometimes go unnoticed despite rigorous testing and strict quality control protocols. Car makers are expected to act quickly and order recalls when such defects are discovered, and they could face both product liability lawsuits and regulatory sanctions if they fail to do so. Product liability litigation is often settled quickly because even unsuccessful claims can damage corporate reputations, and plaintiffs who prevail could inspire others to file similar lawsuits.

Accidents involving vehicles that failed to brake often cause catastrophic injuries due to the high speeds involved. In these situations, experienced personal injury attorneys may seek to rule out mechanical failure by having the vehicles involved inspected and checking the information stored on their data recorders. Attorneys may also check the cellphone records of the driver involved when manufacturing or service defects have been eliminated and distraction seems likely.

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