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How vehicle maintenance can impact an Illinois accident claim

On Behalf of | May 13, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

One of the primary reasons that auto accidents occur is mechanical failure. Even late-model vehicles suffer wear and tear and mechanical deterioration, especially in brake assemblies. Brake failure is actually among the top reasons that accidents happen when drivers cannot maintain vehicular control while in transit. Finding evidence of malfunctions of this nature is not easy when a vehicle receives significant damage to the front end; often, it takes an in-depth investigation by an Illinois personal injury attorney to uncover auto part failure.

Ineffective accident reconstruction

All highway accidents are investigated by local law enforcement, who will produce an official accident report. The problem is that reconstruction experts do not always inspect the vehicles unless the damage is obvious, such as when a tire blows out on an 18-wheeler. Malfunctioning parts in other vehicles can matter as well, but state officials are strapped for time when investigating motor vehicle accidents involving trucks. An Illinois personal injury attorney may look for the evidence necessary to pursue whole damages while increasing the comparative negligence percentage of at-fault drivers.

Importance of proving maintenance failure

Many vehicle owners are lax in repairing their vehicles in a timely manner, but truckers are required by law to inspect their trucks throughout hauling jobs at specific intervals. Trucking companies that do not stress compliance could be assigned punitive damages when it can be proven in court that poor truck maintenance or failure to comply with any other DOT regulations contributed to an accident that caused serious injury or even death.

The primary reason this matters is that Illinois is a 50% modified comparative negligence state. What this means is that any driver who is at least 50% at fault for causing an accident is barred from any financial compensation for their injuries. Accidents involving two vehicles where drivers have equal fault results in no compensation for injuries suffered by the drivers, including serious truck accidents. Truck accident attorneys may look for mechanical failure when investigating accidents to show that their client was less than 50% at fault.