West Virginia Defective Brakes Attorneys
One of the most important features of an automobile is its braking system. Brakes are an essential component for all motor vehicles as a defective braking system can make the vehicle unable to slow down or stop, putting both occupants of the vehicle with bad brakes and those they share the roadways with in serious danger.
Brake failures happen for a number of reasons. Sometimes, the brake pads are worn down from excessive use, making it increasingly difficult to stop the vehicle. Other times, brake pads, rotors, or another part of the braking system could be installed incorrectly, causing the brakes to fail. In many cases, however, a braking system failure is the result of a defect in the design or manufacturing process of one or more vehicle parts.
If you or someone close to has been injured in an auto accident that was caused by defective brakes, you may be able to file a product liability claim against the designer, manufacturer, supplier, or distributor of the faulty vehicle or vehicle part. These types of claims can be complicated, however, because auto and auto parts makers usually have high-priced legal teams ready to defend their clients. This being the case, you need a seasoned product liability lawyer in your corner who has specific experience handling these types of cases.
For more than 40 years, the skilled attorneys at Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C. have stood up for consumers in West Virginia who have been injured through no fault of their own. Our lawyers have in-depth knowledge of this area of the law, and over the years, we have handled countless defective brake cases and other types of vehicle defect claims.
We work closely with clients who have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, taking the time to thoroughly investigate their case and determine the root cause. When we find that a defective vehicle or vehicle part (such as a braking system) contributed to the accident and subsequent injuries, we go to work immediately to file claims against every party in the product supply chain. This helps ensure that our clients are able to recover the full and fair compensation they deserve, and that those responsible for their injuries are held fully accountable.
Common Reasons for Braking System Defects
Defective brakes are the second leading cause of crashes that result from motor vehicle or vehicle part failures. Only tire blowouts cause more faulty part-related vehicle crashes than brake failures. Braking systems in motor vehicles are highly complex, with many parts that must work together for the system to function properly. Faulty braking systems are usually due to defects in the design or the installation of the system during the manufacturing process or by a mechanic who improperly installed replacement parts into a used vehicle.
Common examples of defective brakes due to design, manufacturing, and/or installation flaws include:
- Brakes that are susceptible to overheating;
- Brake lines that are susceptible to leaking;
- Calipers that crack easily;
- Antilock braking systems that fail;
- Hydraulic lines and discs that are not properly installed;
- Missing brake pads or other missing components during the manufacturing/installation process.
Oftentimes, product makers attempt to cut corners by using poor quality parts in the design and installation of the braking system. Another common problem is failure to properly test the brake system design before bringing it to the market.
How Defective Brakes Can Cause Motor Vehicle Accidents
Braking systems are among the most important safety features in automobiles. The ability to immediately slow down and/or stop is critical in preventing vehicle crashes. There are a number of ways brake failures can cause an auto accident, such as:
- Preventing a vehicle from coming to a complete stop, thus causing the vehicle to collide with other vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians, or other objects;
- Faulty brakes that pull a vehicle to one side, causing it to flip or roll over;
- Braking systems that completely stop when the driver only intended to slow down, causing drivers and other vehicle occupants to sustain injuries by being thrown sharply, or causing vehicles driving behind the car with the faulty brakes to crash into them.
Who is Responsible for Defective Brakes?
As mentioned earlier, when someone is injured because of a braking system defect, there are several parties that may be at fault. Under the legal theory of product liability, it is not necessary to prove that the party (or parties) responsible were negligent. You must only prove that the product was defective, and this defect contributed to the underlying accident that caused injury to the plaintiff.
Potential parties that may be held responsible for defective brakes include:
- The product designer;
- The product manufacturer;
- The party that shipped the vehicle;
- The car dealership (whether they sell new or used cars);
- Any other party that was in the supply line from design to purchase of the vehicle;
- An auto mechanic or other professional that installed the brake system.
Damages Available in Defective Brake Injury Claims
When someone is injured because of a faulty brake system, they are eligible for damages. Compensation can be recovered not only for actual monetary losses such as medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and funeral and burial expenses (in the case of a wrongful death), but also for non-economic losses that are more intangible, such as pain and suffering, psychological distress, diminished quality of life, disfigurement, and loss of consortium.
In West Virginia, there is a two-year statute of limitations in product liability cases. If you file the claim after the two-year deadline has expired, there is a good chance you will not be able to recover damages. For this and many other reasons, it is very important to get in contact with an experienced attorney as soon as possible, so you can ensure that your right to compensation can be protected and preserved.
Speak with a Knowledgeable and Compassionate West Virginia Product Liability Lawyer
At Bailey, Javins & Carter, L.C., we understand that auto accident injuries take an enormous physical, emotional, and financial toll on victims and their families, and our goal is to make the legal process as smooth and stress-free as possible. We handle all the complex legal tasks, so you can focus on your recovery. Throughout the process, we are always available to answer any questions and address any concerns you may have.
If you or a loved one suffered injury in a motor vehicle accident because of defective brakes, other product defects, or because of the negligence or reckless actions of another party, call our office today at (800) 497-0234 or (800) 296-6979 to schedule a free consultation and case assessment. You may also message us through our online contact form.