Car accidents can occur for several reasons, and unbelievably, are sometimes the result of a vehicle malfunction. In the unfortunate scenario that you suspect your car accident was caused by a mechanical failure, it is crucial to follow specific steps to ensure you are not found to be at fault for the crash. Here, we want to discuss the necessary actions to take if you believe a vehicle malfunction led to your car accident and how you can move forward.
Your safety and the safety of others involved in the accident should always be the first concern. If you suspect a vehicle malfunction caused the accident, the steps to take to ensure your safety and the safety of others are:
Turn off the Engine: Safely turn off your vehicle’s engine to prevent any further issues or fires caused by malfunctioning systems.
Exit the Vehicle: If you can do so safely, exit your vehicle and move to a safe location, away from traffic.
Check for Injuries: Assess yourself and others for injuries. Seek medical attention for anyone who is hurt.
To establish that a vehicle malfunction was the cause of the accident, it is essential to collect evidence at the scene. The best ways to document evidence at the scene are to:
Take Photos: Use your smartphone or a camera to document the accident scene, including the positions of the vehicles, any visible damage, and the area around your car.
Record Witness Information: Collect contact information from any witnesses who may have observed the accident or its aftermath.
Preserve Vehicle Parts: If safe to do so, preserve any parts or components that may have contributed to the malfunction. These can be vital pieces of evidence.
Note the Time and Location: Record the date, time, and location of the accident, as well as any relevant weather or road conditions.
Contact the Authorities
Call the local law enforcement authorities to report the accident. An official police report can provide crucial documentation of the accident and may help establish that a vehicle malfunction occurred.
Following any accident, it is standard procedure to exchange information with the other parties involved:
Provide Your Information: Share your name, contact information, and insurance details with the other driver(s).
Collect Their Information: Obtain the same information from the other driver(s) involved in the accident.
Don’t Admit Fault: Avoid making any statements or admissions of fault, especially if you believe a vehicle malfunction was the cause.
Contact Your Insurance Company
After an accident caused by a vehicle malfunction, it is essential to inform your insurance company promptly. They will guide you through the claims process and investigate the incident. Be sure to provide them with accurate information regarding the incident and the suspected malfunction.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you don’t have obvious injuries, it is advisable to seek medical attention after any accident, especially when a malfunction is suspected. Some injuries may not become apparent immediately, and a medical evaluation can help document any potential injuries for insurance claims or legal proceedings.
Consult a Professional Mechanic
To substantiate your claim that a vehicle malfunction caused the accident, consult with a qualified mechanic or auto technician. They can examine your vehicle to identify any mechanical failures or defects. If a malfunction is discovered, their expert opinion will be invaluable when addressing the incident with insurance companies or in court.
If you believe a vehicle malfunction was the cause of your accident, consider seeking legal advice. An attorney experienced in personal injury or product liability can help you understand your rights, determine liability, and pursue compensation for damages. Philadelphia car accident attorneys note that a skilled legal professional can guide you through the legal process, which may involve negotiating with insurance companies or pursuing a lawsuit against the manufacturer or repair service.
Know Your Rights
Understanding your rights is essential when dealing with an accident caused by a vehicle malfunction:
Product Liability: If a manufacturing defect or design flaw in your vehicle is the cause, you may have grounds for a product liability claim against the manufacturer.
Maintenance and Repairs: If the malfunction resulted from inadequate maintenance or negligent repair work, you may have a claim against the service provider or mechanic.
Insurance Claims: Cooperate fully with your insurance company but do not accept any settlement offers without consulting legal counsel.
When you suspect a vehicle malfunction caused your car accident, it is crucial to act with diligence and care. Prioritize safety, gather evidence, contact the authorities, exchange information, inform your insurance company, seek medical attention, consult a professional mechanic, preserve evidence, consider legal consultation, and know your rights. By following these steps, you can not only ensure your own well-being but also strengthen your case when addressing liability and seeking compensation for damages resulting from the accident. Ultimately, taking these steps can help hold responsible parties accountable and contribute to improved safety in the future.