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Who’s Responsible for Negligent Vehicle Maintenance?

Written by Tom Crosley
Jun 04, 2019 Car Accidents, Vehicle Wrecks
  1. 1. 7 Signs Your Car Needs a Check-Up
  2. 2. Choosing a Reliable Mechanic
  3. 3. Common Faulty Vehicle Repair Jobs
  4. 4. Holding a Mechanic Liable for Your Crash
  5. 5. What Happens if a Company Negligently Maintains Its Commercial Vehicles?
  6. 6. Crosley Law: Texas Car Accident Attorneys

What if you’re driving down the road and your brakes fail or you can’t steer correctly, and you lose control of the vehicle, veering off to the side and striking a rail or tree? Or, what if another car hits you because their brakes didn’t work, even though they swear they just got them checked out by a mechanic? What do you do?

If you suffered injuries due to a faulty maintenance job, working with an experienced car accident attorney is your best chance for holding the mechanic or repair company responsible. Keep reading to learn more about proper vehicle maintenance and what to do if a faulty maintenance job was a factor in your crash.

“Like the human body, cars are very complex machines. One little mistake can have dire consequences on the overall health and performance of your vehicle.”

7 Signs Your Car Needs a Check-Up

Most vehicles are pretty good at telling you when something is wrong. The warning lights on your dashboard are the most obvious indicator that it’s time to take your car in, but there are often other, less obvious, signs as well.

1. Stalling and Slow Acceleration

Stalling could be a sign that there is a problem with your spark plugs or fuel filter. An unusually slow acceleration can also be dangerous. If you and the vehicles around you are expecting you to take off at a reasonable speed and you stall or can’t accelerate normally, you have a high risk of getting rear-ended.

2. Hard Starts

An occasional hard start might not be an indicator of a serious problem. However, if your vehicle frequently takes a few tries before it starts, you might have a problem with your battery.

3. Rough Shifts

If you’re noticing a little hesitation when you shift between forward and reverse, or shift speeds, you could be looking at a potential transmission failure.

4. Soft or Noisy Brakes

One of the most common vehicle issues is also one of the deadliest. While your brake suspension might become less subtle the older your vehicle gets, sudden changes in the sensitivity of your brakes can be a sign that something is wrong, as are squeaking or vibrating brakes.

5. Vibrations

Brakes aren’t the only part of your car that might vibrate unusually. A frequent vibration on smooth roads or a vibrating steering wheel can be an indication of a variety of issues, including tire problems.

6. Poor Fuel Mileage

Do you feel like you’re filling up your tank a lot more than usual? A decrease in fuel mileage might be a sign that your vehicle is having to work harder than usual to keep up because a part isn’t operating normally.

7. Unexplained Noises

If your car is suddenly rattling, squealing, whining, or buzzing when you drive at certain speeds, turn a certain way, or shift, it needs a check-up.

Choosing a Reliable Mechanic

You listened to the warning signs and know your car needs help, but where do you take it? We suggest that you read reviews and ask your friends and family for recommendations. Here are some other tips for vetting your mechanic before you bring your car in:

  • Ask for the mechanic’s certifications, such as an ASE (automotive service excellence certification).
  • Check the company’s reputation. The Better Business Bureau is an excellent resource for company ratings and reviews.
  • Look for a shop that specializes in your make or model of vehicle.

Common Faulty Vehicle Repair Jobs

Like the human body, cars are very complex machines. One little mistake can have dire consequences on the overall health and performance of your vehicle. Some common maintenance errors include:

  • Overlooking an issue that needs repair
  • Installation of an incorrect or faulty part
  • Leaving debris or other foreign objects in the vehicle
  • Damaging the vehicle during the repairs

If you discover a maintenance error, you should immediately report it to the repair shop and demand proper service. However, it’s sometimes impossible to identify negligent maintenance until it’s too late.

RELATED ARTICLE: Don’t Miss Out on Product Liability Compensation After a Car Wreck

Holding a Mechanic Liable for Your Crash

When a maintenance error puts you or someone your love in danger, the mechanic needs to be held responsible. If another driver hits you because of a faulty maintenance job, you may be able to hold both the driver and mechanic liable for your damages.

The repair shop is likely going to do everything they can to get out of having to pay for your damages and injuries. They may say the crash was caused by negligent driving, or that the vehicle issue is new and not the result of their work or neglect.

Working with an attorney with experience in accident and personal injury cases is crucial for countering the repair shop’s claims. An attorney can help you put together evidence that connects a vehicle’s faulty repair job to your crash, proving the mechanic or shop was negligent and owes you compensation.

RELATED ARTICLE: What Really Matters When We Talk About Trucking Regulations?

What Happens if a Company Negligently Maintains Its Commercial Vehicles?

Companies, especially trucking companies, have an elevated duty of care when it comes to maintenance. In fact, federal trucking and passenger bus regulations impose strict rules about how they maintain their fleets and document repairs.

Under federal law, truck and bus companies must regularly inspect, repair, and maintain their vehicles, including leased vehicles. For most vehicles, they must also keep records that outline their inspections, repairs they perform, and whether the vehicle passed specific safety tests. In addition, drivers must complete a daily, post-trip inspection report that discusses any identified defects or needed repairs.

If a trucking company violates these rules and causes a crash, they may be negligent per se, simplifying your personal injury claim. However, it’s difficult to identify federal trucking violations without help from an experienced lawyer. For example, trucking companies only have to keep their maintenance and inspection logs for 6-14 months, and they typically destroy them once this period ends. A lawyer may be able to help you preserve these important documents for your injury claim.

Crosley Law: Texas Car Accident Attorneys

At Crosley Law, our attorneys have experience dealing with a wide range of accident and negligence cases and fighting for car accident victims throughout Texas. If you’ve been in a car crash due to a faulty maintenance repair job, contact us today for a free consultation. We’ll listen to your story and provide legal advice regarding whether a mechanic or repair shop is liable for your injuries and damages.

Call us at 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000 or fill out our online form to speak with an attorney today.

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

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