Some motor vehicle accidents are caused by a mechanical failure of the vehicle or one of the vehicles involved in the crash. In certain cases, this mechanical failure may result from faulty repairs or maintenance performed by a mechanic or auto shop. If you were involved in a motor vehicle crash that can be attributed to a mechanical failure caused by faulty or negligent repairs or maintenance, you should learn more about your legal rights and options from a knowledgeable personal injury attorney. 

Who Can Be Held Liable for a Motor Vehicle Accident Caused by Faulty Repairs?

When an auto accident’s cause is attributed solely to a mechanical failure of a vehicle caused by faulty or defective repairs, the driver or owner of the vehicle might not be held liable for the accident as they normally would be for a motor vehicle crash. After all, they weren’t negligent if their vehicle simply failed on them, and they fulfilled their duty to maintain their vehicle by taking it to the shop. 

However, if the mechanic or auto shop performs substandard maintenance or repair work on a vehicle that later causes the vehicle to suffer a mechanical failure that triggers a crash, the shop may be the party who can be held responsible for the accident.

Of course, sometimes a faulty repair occurs not due to shoddy work by a mechanic but rather due to defective parts and materials that were used. If the mechanic or auto shop had no knowledge of the defective nature of the parts or material, then the manufacturer of those parts or materials may have liability. 

Holding the Auto Shop Liable

When an auto shop agrees to perform repair work or maintenance on a vehicle, they owe a duty to the vehicle’s owner to conduct those repairs or maintenance in a workmanlike manner. This includes:

  • Having the expected skills and knowledge to work on the specific vehicle and to conduct the repairs or maintenance required
  • Performing work in a careful, professional manner
  • Inspecting the vehicle and testing all repairs and maintenance to ensure the vehicle is safe to drive
  • Advising the owner or driver of all repairs or maintenance needed to keep the vehicle safe to drive
  • Not performing unnecessary repairs

A mechanic or auto shop may be liable for a crash triggered by a mechanical failure that was caused by negligent repair work. Examples of negligent work may include:

  • Failing to fully complete repairs
  • Failing to conduct a proper or thorough inspection of the vehicle
  • Installing an incorrect part
  • Failing to install a part, tire, or other piece of equipment improperly or incompletely
  • Using replacement parts or materials that are known to be defective or expired
  • Causing other damage to the vehicle while performing work

Defective Repair/Replacement Parts

Sometimes a mechanic or shop may perform maintenance or repair work in the correct manner, but using parts that turn out to have been defectively designed or manufactured. Where the shop had no prior knowledge or reason to know that the parts they were using were defective, then liability for an accident caused by a mechanical defect may instead fall to the part manufacturers, who can be held responsible for the crash under a product liability claim.

Contact a Rochelle Park Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Motor Vehicle Accident Case in New Jersey

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a motor vehicle accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at The Epstein Law Firm represent clients injured because of motor vehicle accidents in Jersey City, Union City, Bayonne, Hoboken, and throughout New Jersey. Call (201) 380-7687 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 340 West Passaic St., Rochelle Park, NJ 07762.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.