A man on the phone after an accident caused by his car breaking down.Maintaining your vehicle is necessary to keep you and others safe on the road. But when a mishap occurs because of a lack of maintenance — especially when the vehicle owner paid a mechanic to ensure that everything was fine —  it may lead to painful results.

Getting to the bottom of a case involving maintenance negligence can be complicated. You will need evidence either that the vehicle owner had their vehicle in an unacceptable condition or that some third party failed to repair a vehicle as promised — including your own vehicle. Whether you’re dealing with a single driver, a mom-and-pop shop, or a large conglomerate dealership, collecting the evidence and proving fault can be difficult and overwhelming.

Work with a legal team who is here to fight on your behalf for a reasonable settlement. You should not have to pay for the results of an accident caused by someone who failed to uphold their duty to keep their vehicle — or yours — in good repair. An Bridgeport personal injury attorney can help you gather the needed evidence and use available statutes and case law to clearly demonstrate fault. Our goal is to help you settle for an appropriate amount that covers all the losses you have suffered.

Reach out to Bert McDowell today and schedule your free initial consultation with our team. Call (203) 590-9169 or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation case review today.

A Bridgeport Neglected Vehicle Maintenance Accident Attorney Is Here to Help

Neglecting to maintain a vehicle means that the vehicle’s critical parts, like brakes and tires, could fail at the worst possible moment. Improper maintenance will not just lead to a shortened life of your car, but it can substantially damage the car’s mechanical parts and possibly cause a car accident when it malfunctions.

Having an attorney on your side who knows about negligent vehicle maintenance accidents is vital to building and presenting a solid case. They will be able to gather the appropriate evidence to show that the owner of the vehicle who hit you failed to abide by Connecticut law and keep their vehicle in safe working order. Or, in cases where your own vehicle failed unexpectedly despite your own due diligence, they can examine whether a careless repair shop or even a defective vehicle part is to blame.

Mechanics may not be as forthcoming as one would expect to admit fault, let alone the negligence that caused your injuries. But when you work with someone with your case in mind, you can expect them to fight for you, even when the case goes to court.

Proving That Vehicle Neglect Caused Your Accident

Before they depart, the operator of a vehicle has a duty to confirm that the vehicle is in a state of repair that allows for safe operation. If neglect of the vehicle causes an accident, such as if the vehicle stalls out and hits someone at a red light, then the vehicle operator can be held liable for the damages they cause. In some cases, blame can be shifted instead to a vehicle owner or the owner of a repair shop if the operator had reasonable cause to believe that either party had kept the vehicle in an acceptable state of repair.

Most commonly, drivers will supply their own evidence that they neglected their vehicle in the form of an admission at the accident scene. Often, they report that the reason that the accident occurred was that they tried to brake or turn in time but were unable to, typically followed by an admission that they knew the component needed repairs.

If the driver declines to admit that they neglected maintenance, they may still make a statement like “I attempted to brake in time but was unable to.” In these cases, they are either blaming their vehicle or admitting that they failed to take the required measures to avoid the accident.

Other forms of evidence at the accident scene can indicate vehicle neglect, but an inspection of the at-fault driver’s vehicle is always the best method. Unfortunately, insurers may not always request this inspection, and it can be difficult to compel a vehicle owner to furnish their vehicle for an inspection without filing a lawsuit, which can give you discovery powers. These same discovery powers can compel the vehicle owner to furnish proof of maintenance.

Accident scene evidence can also indicate factors like extended braking distances and tire failure. Refer to an auto accident attorney to help you determine the best path forward for seeking evidence that a vehicle owner failed to maintain the vehicle properly, causing the accident because of their own negligence.

Proving That a Mechanic, Dealer, or Repair Shop Was Negligent

Third-party organizations handle central licensing or accrediting agencies for mechanics in Connecticut. The State does not certify mechanics unless they are Emissions Technicians, which means they would need to pass an exam to be certified by the State.

Mechanics are still obligated to perform their work with honesty and care for the vehicles they handle. When they fail to do so and give the car back to you, they act negligently and put you in a hazardous situation.

Car accidents caused by neglected vehicle maintenance lead to severe injuries and, in the worst cases, fatalities. Mechanics may act negligently in a couple of ways.

All complaints against mechanics and shops must go through the State. The Department of Motor Vehicles is responsible for doing its own independent investigations of repair-related complaints and requests that consumers speak up if they have been wronged by calling the DMV Consumer Complaint Center at 860-263-5405 or visiting them online.

Some of the most common negligent repairs are:

  • Failing to complete repairs altogether
  • Damaging other parts of the car when completing maintenance
  • Doing the repair or maintenance incorrectly or in a way that is against procedures or done unlawfully
  • Unlawfully modifying parts or replacement parts
  • Permitting untrained and unqualified employees to work on vehicles

Failing to Complete Necessary Repairs

People take their cars to mechanics when they need work they cannot do themselves. Most people are too busy to handle simple maintenance on their own, like oil changes, and they often turn to mechanics to help complete the task. For less common repairs, they’ll rely on the know-how of professionals to diagnose and fix the problem.

But mechanics can fail to complete necessary repairs. For example, they may claim to have replaced a brake pad or a brake line when they, in fact, did not.

Making a false claim that they made a necessary repair will not only create further costs for the car owner in the future, but it can create a deadly situation once they are on the road.

Damaging Other Parts of the Car

A mechanic may leave a cap off or damage a tire while trying to get to your brakes. Fixing one issue should not create new ones.

If any damage is done to your car at the mechanic, they should address those issues and communicate what happened to you.

However, when this fails, and the newly created problem is ignored, it creates a bigger headache for all involved. Leaving debris, tools, and other foreign objects inside a vehicle is an act of negligence and not something that car owners should be left to deal with.

Unlawful Modification of Parts or Replacement Parts

Swapping a part with another to save on costs or time may damage your car in other ways. While there are effective aftermarket and OEM parts, sometimes a mechanic may try to be creative with their approach to address your car’s problem. They may even substitute a used part that has far too much wear to reliably perform the job required of it.

As a result of these actions, the mechanic may use a part that was not designed for your car or that utterly fails to address the problem at hand, creating a costly and complicated issue that would have been avoided otherwise.

Letting Unqualified Workers Attempt Repairs on a Car

Although there are no state-wide certifications for mechanics, they still need a certification from one of the independent parties servicing residents of Connecticut. Letting someone unqualified, inexperienced, or missing their certification work on a car is negligent because it allows errors to happen.

In addition, there may be a case where the employee lied about their credentials. Employers in the industry must vet their applicants before offering a role in their business.

Hire a Bridgeport Neglected Vehicle Maintenance Accident Law Firm Today

If you were affected or hurt by the negligent actions of a vehicle owner or a bad mechanic, you do not have to pursue compensation on your own.

The team at Bert McDowell is here to help get to the bottom of your case. Whether we reach a satisfying settlement through insurance or need to resort to a lawsuit, you can expect comprehensive support and representation from our legal firm through every stage of your case.

Give us a call today to schedule a case review, discuss your legal options, and understand what forms of damages you may be able to claim. Our team is ready to see how we can help you.

Call (203) 590-9169 or contact us online to schedule a free case evaluation today.