Brake System Failure & Defects

The state of California has more than 22 million licensed drivers‚ and with the significant amount of motorists on the roads of the Golden State‚ being involved in an auto accident is an unfortunate possibility. Driver negligence‚ such as distracted driving or speeding‚ is a frequent cause of traffic accidents‚ but often a serious accident can be caused by elements out of the control of the driver. An auto part on a vehicle that has any type of defect has the potential to cause an accident that may have devastating results‚ particularly if the defective part is one of the more important parts of the motor vehicle.

One of the most valuable features of a vehicle is its brakes. Motor vehicles vary in size and weight‚ but all are inherently dangerous because of the potential force they carry while traveling. Being able to effectively stop a motor vehicle is necessary for the safety of everyone on the road and is the best way to prevent a crash. Unfortunately‚ brake systems don’t always function like they are supposed to and sometimes fail altogether. Braking system failures greatly increase the risk of a serious injury or fatal auto accident‚ which is why the brakes on a vehicle need to be properly tested before the vehicle is marketed to consumers.

How Does a Vehicle’s Braking System Work?

Every driver knows that pressing the brake pedal with their foot will slow down and eventually stop the vehicle‚ but not many understand how that is accomplished. The basic order of events is as follows:

  1. Depress the brake pedal;
  2. Car transmits force from your foot to the brakes through a fluid‚ “brake fluid;”
  3. Car multiplies the force of your foot to the relative force required to slow/stop the car;
  4. Brakes transmit force to tires using friction;
  5. Tires transmit force from brakes to road‚ also using friction;
  6. Car slows down/stops.

Antilock Brakes

Aside from the obvious press on the brake pedal‚ the car slows down the function of a vehicle’s braking system‚ most vehicles are equipped with an antilock braking system (ABS). Antilock brakes are designed to help drivers avoid accidents by allowing for more effective braking‚ especially on wet or slippery surfaces. Hard braking with a non-antilock braking system can lock up the wheels‚ causing the vehicle to skid and lose control‚ which would likely cause a crash instead of prevent one. Antilock brakes help decrease stopping distance and increase control and stability during hard braking.

Causes of Braking System Failures

Braking systems typically fail in circumstances involving hard braking and usually as the result of defective components‚ but‚ malfunctioning technology also plays its part. The brake pads could be made of poor quality materials‚ the brake fluid line may be of a substandard diameter‚ be made of poor quality materials‚ or be defective in other ways‚ and/or the brake sensors could malfunction.

Consequences of Brake Failure

Brake system failure would likely cause what the hard braking was trying to avoid: a car crash. Failure of a brake system completely or an ABS failure can both result in the vehicle veering out of control‚ which would likely cause not one accident‚ but many. The ability of a braking system to handle hard braking is imperative to safety.

Who Is Liable for a Defective Brakes Accident?

In order for an injured motorist to have a successful claim‚ two things must be considered: the failure of the brake system must have been caused by another party and the failure must have either caused the accident or made it worse. But if you decide to file a product liability claim‚ who can be held liable for the accident? Frequently‚ defective brakes are a result of the negligent actions of a manufacturer who utilizes inadequate material‚ does not thoroughly test the brakes‚ or simply tries to cut costs when manufacturing this important part of the vehicle. However‚ a poor design may also contribute to brake system failure‚ and if this is the cause of the defect then the designer may also be held liable. An investigation and consulting with specialists will likely be needed to prove that the brakes were defective‚ and a qualified San Diego auto product liability attorney at the Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers has the resources needed to help you with your case.

How the Law Protects Consumers

Product liability law provides provisions for helping individuals injured because of a defective product‚ such as defective brakes‚ which are considered an “auto product”. A product liability claim enables consumers to obtain compensation for any expenses incurred as a result of the accident‚ which is essential because a defective product accident can cause anything from physical injuries to mental distress. Automobile manufacturers are legally and ethically obligated to produce vehicles that are hazard-free and safe for consumer use as well as thoroughly tested for proper functioning‚ but when profit is placed ahead of safety‚ an innocent consumer may pay the price.

As the results of an auto accident can be very serious‚ it is imperative that an injured motorist consider pursuing legal action against the negligent manufacturer to obtain compensation for accident-related expenses‚ such as vehicle damage‚ medical expenses‚ or lost wages. Under California statute of limitations‚ an injured person has two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. While you recuperate after the auto accident‚ consider legal action which will allow you to get the money you need to rebuild your life and hold the negligent parties responsible for the harm caused.

How Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers Can Help

If a vehicle is marketed with a defective‚ untested‚ or poor quality braking system‚ it puts the lives of everyone on the road in danger. At the Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers‚ our San Diego auto product liability attorneys are committed to recovering fair and maximum compensation for braking system failure car accident victims. To learn more about holding negligent auto manufacturers accountable for your losses‚ contact us today at (619) 233-5020 or (888) 233-5020 for a free consultation.

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