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Lake Charles Attorneys for Accidents Caused by Failure to Maintain Vehicles
Owning a vehicle is a responsibility, one that drivers must take seriously. Their failure to maintain their automobile properly can impact every driver they share the road with. While recklessness and distractions remain some of the top causes of car accidents, failing to properly maintain a vehicle is also a completely preventable and all too common cause of Louisiana accidents. Failing to repair the brakes or a broken windshield, putting off swapping out a broken taillight: while these things may seem minor, they can cause major accidents.
If you have been seriously injured in an accident and suspect that a poorly maintained vehicle may have played a role in the crash, contact the Lake Charles car accident attorneys of Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC. We have experience handling claims that involve drivers who have failed in their duty to maintain a reasonably safe vehicle and can help you build a solid claim for seeking full and fair compensation for your injuries.
If you are interested in more information about how we may be able to investigate and craft a case that could help you get the compensation that you deserve, call Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC today at 337-800-8800. We have attorneys standing by, ready to answer your questions and set you up with a free, no-obligation consultation. It’s not your fault that someone else failed to take their responsibility for owning a maintaining a vehicle seriously. Let us help you hold them accountable.
Types of Maintenance Failures that Can Cause Accidents
Cars aren’t simply modes of transportation. Cars are mechanical devices that need regular and proper maintenance to keep them in good working condition. Unfortunately, some individuals think they’re the only ones impacted if they don’t take responsibility for regular auto maintenance. That simply isn’t the case. When a vehicle isn’t properly maintained, or problems and defects are ignored, significant safety issues can arise for drivers sharing the road with that vehicle.
If brake pads and shoes are worn down, a driver may be unable to stop their car in time to avoid an accident. Vehicles missing safety equipment like mirrors, lights, or signals can’t see or communicate with other vehicles on the road. Cracked windshields can obstruct a driver’s field of vision, making them more prone to hitting objects, pedestrians, or other vehicles. Overlooking even minor flaws, like a balding tire, can eventually spell disaster in that one critical moment when a driver is relying on their car to keep them and others on the road safe.
Some of the most common types of maintenance failures that can result in serious car accidents include:
- Brake problems
- Tire issues, such as bald tires, flat tires, or overfilled tires
- Steering issues
- Improperly tightened lug nuts
- Malfunctioning defroster
- Broken or improperly working headlights
- Broken or improperly working taillights and turn signals
- A cracked windshield that obstructs vision
- Broken or missing mirrors
- Rusty parts
Injuries from Failure to Maintain Vehicle Accidents
Car accidents involving maintenance issues can be devastating. Because mechanical or part failures happen suddenly, these types of accidents are unexpected and hard for a driver to avoid. That means the resulting injuries can be traumatic and even fatal. Some of the serious injuries that can result from a collision of this nature include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Neck injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Facial injuries
- Broken bones
- Organ damage
- Wrongful death
These types of injuries can leave you with steep medical bills and little in the way of an income if you’ve been forced to miss work to recover. You may be tempted to settle with an insurance company just to get a quick influx of cash to help with your expenses, even if the money won’t cover everything.
Before you accept any settlement offer from anyone, talk to the legal team at Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC, and find out the value of your claim. We can assess your situation, put a value on your claim, and help you try to recover the money that you deserve for your injuries.
What Type of Compensation Can You Expect?
The value of a car accident varies depending on the nature of the accident, the property damage involved, and the severity of an individual’s injuries. Louisiana calls itself a “pure comparative fault” state. That means that state regulations limit the amount of damages you may be able to receive after an accident, depending on the portion of blame that you bear for causing the accident.
The regulation works like this. First, the court will assign blame for the accident. For instance, if the other driver failed to properly maintain their vehicle and that’s what caused a collision, they could be assigned 80 percent of the blame for causing the accident. However, if the victim had been going a few miles above the speed limit at the time, they may also be assigned a portion of the blame, which in this case, we’ll call 20 percent. In a pure comparative fault state like Louisiana, that means that if the total damages were assessed at $100,000, the victim would get that total minus 20 percent or $80,000.
Even those found predominantly at fault for causing an accident can recover damages. In this example, the 80 percent responsible party would be allowed to recover 20 percent of the damages allocated to them. However, they are also responsible for paying the victim their portion. In this example, that’s 80 percent of the victim’s damages, or $80,000. This rule binds the courts, and it also strongly guides insurance adjusters.
When it comes to damages or compensation, the total value of the claim may include money to cover the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of future income
- Property damage
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
In order to get the most out of your claim, it is wise to enlist the help of an experienced Louisiana attorney. The team at Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC has experience at the negotiating table as well as in the courtroom. We want to help you try to recover the maximum amount of compensation possible for your case.
Who is Liable for Failure to Maintain a Vehicle Accidents?
The question of who may be liable for an accident is not always as simple as pointing the finger at the other driver. It may take an in-depth investigation to get to the heart of who is responsible for failing to maintain the vehicle. In many cases, it may very well be the fault of the at-fault driver. Drivers are primarily responsible for properly maintaining their vehicles. However, liability for the accident may be partially placed on other entities and individuals as well.
If the driver has recently taken their vehicle into a repair shop and the mechanic used defective parts or failed to properly fix or address issues with the vehicle, they may also be partially liable for causing an accident. For example, if they noticed that there was a problem with the brakes and failed to notify the driver that a problem or malfunction was imminent, that mechanic or repair shop could potentially be liable for damages.
A driver may have attempted to address problems with their vehicle only to have their car repaired with defective parts. In these types of cases, the manufacturer of the faulty part can be held responsible for damages caused by the failure of that defective part. Answering the question of who is at fault for the accident can quickly become complicated.
In general, one or multiple people or entities can ultimately be held accountable. These parties may include:
- The driver
- A mechanic or auto repair shop
- Parts manufacturer
- Auto manufacturer
It can take an experienced attorney with connections and resources to thoroughly investigate the cause of a failure to get to the bottom of who is ultimately at fault for your accident. At Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC, our attorneys have experts at their disposal that are well-versed in examining all the evidence surrounding a car accident and piecing together whether faulty or improperly maintained parts played a role in the collision.
If you are attempting to recover compensation after a car accident and suspect that an improperly maintained vehicle was to blame, you need the help that Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC can provide. We will work with you and your insurance company, negotiate on your behalf, and work hard to get you the money that you deserve.
Contact an Experienced Lake Charles Attorney for Help
You take owning a vehicle seriously. Why should you be the one that has to worry about paying for medical bills and missing work because of a serious accident caused by a negligent driver? If you suspect that your accident was the result of another driver failing to properly maintain their vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and your pain and suffering.
Before you accept any offer from the insurance company, talk to a seasoned attorney with Veron, Bice, Palermo & Wilson, LLC about your situation. We can review your case, investigate your suspicions, and build a strategic case that makes a compelling argument in favor of full and fair compensation for your injuries.
Contact our office today by calling 337-800-8800, and let’s discuss your legal options. The initial consultation is free and confidential. Let us protect your rights and work with you to seek the compensation you deserve.