top of page
  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

Who's at Fault in Brake Failure Accidents? Full Overview for Indianapolis Residents

Brake failure can often be a scary thing to go through. When car brakes fail, the driver will likely lose control of the vehicle, which can lead to devastating consequences.

If the driver is driving on an empty road, they may have a higher chance of driving to safety without causing harm. However, those dealing with failed breaks on a busy road can suffer more severe consequences.

Failed brakes are often possible to avoid, especially if people provide maintenance to their brake system constantly. If a person feels they got injured because the other driver had faulty brakes, they could seek legal help. However, the failure of a car's braking system won't always be the driver's fault, which is why it's essential to know how to determine fault in these types of car crashes.

The legal experts at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys have experience in dealing with any car accident caused by a faulty brake pedal, damaged brake pads, or any other type of brake failure. If brake failure caused a person's injuries after a car crash, they (or their family members) should contact this legal firm to get help today. They can also help with explaining who's at fault in head-on truck accidents.

How to Tell if a Car's Brakes Failed - Common Signs of Brake Failure

How to Tell if a Car's Brakes Failed - Common Signs of Brake Failure

Car accidents caused by brake failure are devastating, but thankfully, they can be preventable. While victims can't hope for every other driver's brake system to be in perfect shape, they can keep theirs in proper condition to lower their chances of causing accidents due to brake failures.

Most of the time, a vehicle's brakes show signs that tell the driver they need maintenance. Some of these signs involve odd brake noises, burning odors, vibrating sensations when using the brakes, or if the car takes longer than usual to brake completely (less braking power).

Now, it's important to note that car brakes fail for many different reasons, and it may not always be the driver's fault.

Typically, brakes fail due to the following:

Mechanical Failures

Indiana law requires all drivers to provide proper maintenance to their vehicles, and that includes the brakes. Even if the victim or the other driver provided proper maintenance to their entire braking system, and they still got into an accident caused by brake failure, then they may not be completely at fault.

In these cases, the brake system manufacturer could be liable for the accident, and the victim could seek compensation under a product liability claim. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can provide insight on who's at fault in spilled cargo accidents too.

Poor Maintenance

While everyone's required to properly maintain their brakes in optimal condition, some people don't pay attention to them until it's too late. Most of the time, it's recommended for every vehicle owner to get their brakes checked once every six months. Moreover, owners should take their car to the mechanic as soon as they notice there's anything wrong with the brakes.

Maintenance doesn't always have to involve taking the car to a mechanic, though. The driver must also ensure that the brake lines have enough fluid to work correctly, for example.

Another factor that can contribute to poor maintenance involves poor mechanic work. Some mechanics may increase your risk of getting into an accident if they failed to install new parts correctly or if they were negligent while checking your brake system.

Proving liability in these cases is more complex, as the mechanic will likely not admit fault. Still, the victim may have a better chance of fighting back with the help of an Indianapolis semi truck accident attorney.

Unbalanced Brakes

Although it's not as common as the other two causes, drivers can have 'unbalanced' brakes when they get mechanical brake parts that don't match, causing some of these parts to overwork. This can lead to overheating and locking issues, often leading to loss of control of the vehicle.

To summarize, brakes can fail because of:

  • Worn-out or damaged pads.

  • Oil or grease in the brake's rotors or pads.

  • Overheating brakes.

  • Leaking brake fluid.

  • Air in the brake lines.

Who's at Fault for a Car Crash That Involved Faulty Brakes?

Most of the time, four different parties can be held liable for a car accident involving brake failure:

  • The vehicle owner.

  • The vehicle manufacturer.

  • The vehicle's mechanic.

  • The trucking company (if the accident involved a commercial vehicle that didn't go through proper maintenance and inspections before going into the road).

Faulty brakes often lead to rear-end collisions, and determining who was at fault in these cases can be slightly complicated. Most of the time in Indiana, the accident could be the fault of the tailing driver. However, they could argue that they rear-ended the vehicle in front of them because their brakes failed.

While this isn't always the strongest argument to go with, it could be valid if the brake system failed due to anything other than poor maintenance.

It's also important to keep in mind that the lead driver could be at fault for the accident if their vehicle's brakes fail. Even if the rear driver hit the vehicle in front of them, they could argue that it was the lead driver's fault because of their faulty brake system.

Indiana uses a modified comparative fault system. It means that the victim can sue the other driver after an accident. However, if their contributory fault is greater than the other party's fault, then they will not be able to recover damages.

All people involved in an accident involving faulty brake systems should contact a lawyer to determine whether they can build a compelling case to fight their insurance company.

What to Do After a Car Accident

What to Do After a Car Accident

Regardless of the circumstances, all victims of a car accident (assuming they can move) should do the following:

  • Not leave the accident scene.

  • Call an ambulance and the police.

  • Collect evidence from the accident (photos, videos, witness testimonies, etc.)

  • Contact a lawyer and the insurance company.

What Damages Can Get Recovered After a Brake Failure Accident?

Those involved in a car accident can recover compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, emotional anguish, and pain and suffering.

How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help Those Involved in Car Accident Cases

Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can help people involved in a car accident caused by brake failure, whether they were injured because of another driver's faulty brakes or their own.

This law firm is willing to 'go to war' for its clients, so they can rest assured they will get the best legal defense possible that will give them the justice and compensation they deserve during these hard times.


bottom of page