Over half of traffic fatalities occur when only one vehicle is involved, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. But does this mean that all of those drivers were responsible for their own deaths? If you were involved in a single-vehicle collision that you did not cause yourself, but was caused by a defective vehicle, you are likely entitled to compensation. Additionally, if you crashed into another vehicle and caused injury or damage to that party, you should not be held responsible if the cause was due to defective brakes, tires, or another mechanical issue. Most crashes are caused by human error, but not all. Tens of thousands of collisions are caused by a defect, and in these cases the manufacturer should be held responsible not only for your damages, but for the other party’s damages as well.
How Often Are Vehicle Defects Responsible For Causing Collisions?
Not surprisingly, the vast majority of traffic collisions are caused by human error. Drivers are responsible for causing crashes 94 percent of the time. However, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), vehicle malfunctions are a leading cause of two percent of collisions, totaling 44,000 crashes per year. The critical reason for these crashes and their corresponding percentage of all vehicle-malfunction-caused crashes are as follows:
- Tire or wheel related: 35 percent;
- Brakes related: 22 percent;
- Steering, transmission, suspension, or engine related: three percent; and
- Other or unknown vehicle-related problems: 40 percent.
However, even if it can be proven that you lost control of your car when the tires blew out, for example, that does not absolve you from negligence, and does not guarantee that you will be compensated from the tire manufacturer. For instance, the tire could have simply been worn out and should have been replaced sooner. Or, you could have hit a rock or pothole, which caused the blowout. In either case, you will be held responsible for the crash, not the tire manufacturer. In order for the manufacturer to be liable, you and your attorney must be able to prove that the blowout was caused by a defect. This is always easier said than done, but an experienced Kansas City car accident attorney should be able to accomplish this if, in fact, a defect was present.
Another possibility is that the vehicle malfunction was caused by a negligent mechanic. When mechanics fail to make proper repairs or inspections, and instead send customers off in unsafe vehicles, the mechanic may be held liable for the collision. For example, you go to a mechanic to have new tires put on, and the mechanic fails to set them properly or to align your wheel properly, resulting in a blowout or loss of control causing a crash.
Call a Kansas City Traffic Collision Attorney Today
If you were hurt in a car crash, you need legal representation to ensure that you are compensated appropriately for your damages. If you suspect that the collision was caused by a defective product, or the other driver caused the crash, all the Kansas City law offices of Krause & Kinsman Law Firm today at 816-399-3356 to schedule a free consultation.
Adam Krause is a personal injury, mass tort, business litigation, and employment discrimination attorney who practices in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Adam Krause has made a career of taking complicated litigation and presenting it in the most elementary terms for a jury of your peers to understand. Learn more about his experience here.