In 2009 and 2010 Toyota recalled millions of vehicles because of unintended acceleration. The problem, which caused several serious accidents, was attributed to a software glitch that caused the car to accelerate beyond the control of the driver, as well as brake failures due to the same glitch. In November, actor Paul Walker was killed in high speed crash that left the Porsche he was a passenger in unrecognizable. Investigators are suggesting mechanical failure played a role in the Actor and the driver’s deaths. Mechanical failure is blamed in millions of accidents every year, but figuring out who is at fault for those failures is not always that simple. In some cases the driver may still be at fault, even if mechanical failure is evident; in other cases the accident may be considered the fault of the car manufacturer.
Car Accident Laws in Chicago
Illinois is an “at-fault” state. The law states that an accident must be the fault of a party involved. In the case of an accident caused by failure to stop at a red light, the driver who runs the red light is held responsible. In some cases, a percentage of blame can be assigned to each party involved in the crash. If you’re in a Chicago car accident, the person at fault for the accident is deemed responsible for paying for the damages attributed to the accident.
Car Manufacturer’s at Fault for Accidents
A car manufacturer may be held responsible for a car accident if it is found that the cars systems were not properly installed or were faulty when they left the manufacturer. Each year thousands upon thousands of cars are recalled for problems. These recalls attempt to prevent the manufacturer for being held responsible in the case of an accident. The goal of a recall is to inform owners of potentially faulty equipment and to fix it at no additional cost to the owner.
If a car is found to have a mechanical issue, such as faulty brakes, and the manufacturer does not inform the owner of the problem, the manufacturer can be held responsible for the crash. The state of Illinois places the responsibility to provide a safe and reliable product to consumers. Under such regulations a manufacturer may be held responsible if the cause of the crash is deemed to be mechanical failure
When Is It The Driver’s Responsibility
While mechanical failure can often be linked to a car manufacturer, such as failed parts that should not fail, or a poorly designed or equipped car, there are mechanical issues that can be the fault of the driver, or the owner of the car. Under Illinois law it is the responsibility of the owner of a vehicle to properly maintain the car. The owner of a vehicle is responsible for scheduled maintenance including oil changes, break maintenance and tire maintenance. In a case where a deadly crash is caused by failed brakes, inspectors will check the vehicle to see how the car has been maintained. Additionally, inspectors will check maintenance records for the car.
If the owner of the vehicle involved in the accident has failed to properly maintained the vehicle’s brake system, the fault in the accident will be attributed to the owner. The state of Illinois, as well as the city of Chicago, places the fault of the accident in these cases on the owner of the car, who may or may not be the driver of the vehicle.
Law Office of Kenneth A. Fishman, P.C.