Liability in Auto Accident Cases

Almost all car accidents in the United States are caused by driver error or negligence. These accidents occur when people drive drunk or sleepy or simply don't pay enough attention to what is going on around them while driving. Some accidents are unavoidable even for the best drivers, however, because they are often out of the driver's control. In these auto accident legal cases, liability falls on individuals or companies who weren't truly present at the time of the accident. Here are a few examples of auto accident cases with unusual liability.

Dangerous Road Conditions

In the United States, local governments have to maintain roads within their jurisdiction. Road maintenance work is paid for through the tax contributions of citizens living in the area who, theoretically, also use the roads. This system works beautifully most of the time and ensures that roads are properly maintained and safe to drive on. Sometimes, though, roads can be made unsafe due to negligence or poor-quality repairs. Improperly repaired or neglected roads can washout or become riddled with potholes. If these conditions cause a driver to veer off the road or slam into another vehicle, the local government may be liable for the damages caused by the accident.

Faulty Vehicles

Sometimes vehicle manufacturers cut corners when designing or building vehicles. Modern vehicles are complicated machines that can become dangerous under the wrong circumstances. Vehicle manufacturers have a duty to their consumers to build safe and reliable vehicles that won't harm anyone under normal operating conditions. Some design flaws like sticky accelerators or dangerous fuel systems can lead to accidents involving multiple vehicles. So long as the driver of the malfunctioning vehicle does what they can to prevent an accident, they shouldn't be held liable for a malfunction that is the manufacturer's responsibility. 

Unsafe Repairs

Even well-designed vehicles can become unsafe if they are repaired with aftermarket parts. Some aftermarket parts are reliable and safe, while others may not be made to the proper standards. Most vehicle owners rely on mechanics to repair their vehicles and aren't fully certain where replacement parts come from or how well they are installed. If your vehicle malfunctions after a repair has gone wrong, the shop where your vehicle was repaired may be liable for the accident since their poor workmanship or poor-quality parts are to blame.

To learn more about liability, contact auto accident attorneys in your area.