If you have been involved in an accident that was the result of a car or mechanical defect, you may be owed compensation for your injuries. When you purchase a car or have repairs performed, you trust that the vehicle will be safe to drive if you operate it correctly. When cars are defective, or repairs are done incorrectly, the results can be devastating, and the vehicle manufacturer, mechanic, or another responsible party must be held liable.
Hammack Law Firm is a small firm that cares about each client’s individual needs. Our attorneys have decades of experience advocating for injured victims. We care about each and every client and want to help you recover the compensation and justice you deserve. Contact Hammack Law Firm today at (864) 326-3333 to schedule a free consultation.
Why You Need a Lawyer
Being injured in a car accident typically affects many aspects of your life. In addition to the pain and suffering from being injured, you may also be faced with financial difficulties, inability to work, and increased stress. Working with a lawyer generally results in higher amounts of compensation and helps the process go smoother and more quickly, so you can move forward with your life as soon as possible.
South Carolina Code of Laws Section 15-38-15 sets forth the law of comparative negligence, which means your compensation will be reduced based on the percentage you are at fault. However, if it is determined that you are more than 50% at fault, you will not be able to recover any compensation at all.
If you have not kept up with proper maintenance on the vehicle, it may appear that the mechanical failure was your fault. When you file a claim against the mechanic or car manufacturer, their team of attorneys will try to show that you were partially or fully at fault for the accident to avoid having to pay you more money.
Knowing who is at fault in this type of accident can be complicated. A competent lawyer will investigate all potentially responsible parties and then advocate for you to receive the full amount of compensation you are owed.
Why Choose Us?
Attorney Paul Hammack has over 19 years of legal experience. He spent the first part of his legal career working at large law firms where he gained experience representing insurance companies. This gives Paul a unique perspective since he understands the great lengths that large companies and their attorneys will go to in order to win cases.
This experience helps Paul develop strategies to help his clients win even the toughest cases. We will use every resource available to conduct a thorough investigation of the accident and gather evidence to strengthen your case and help you secure the full amount of compensation you are owed.
Types of Mechanical Malfunctions
A study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) found that 2% of accidents are caused by a vehicle-related problem. Although mechanical defects are not the most common cause of accidents, no one should have to needlessly suffer because of a mechanic or manufacturer’s negligence. Here are some possible ways that a mechanical defect can lead to an accident and injuries:
- Tires – In the NHTSA study mentioned above, tire problems were identified as the most common vehicle-related problem to cause accidents. When a tire blows out, the car may jerk to one side, causing the driver to lose control. Drivers can perform regular maintenance to prevent such incidents by keeping tires properly inflated and replacing them as they become worn. However, when defective tires are installed, or tires are not aligned properly, the driver may not be able to prevent a blowout, and the manufacturer or auto mechanic could be held liable if an accident occurs due to their negligence.
- Brakes – Properly functioning brakes are necessary to stop safely. If the brake lines are faulty, brake fluid can leak out, greatly affecting the brake performance. The Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) is designed to prevent sliding on slippery surfaces such as ice or water, but if it malfunctions, brakes can lock, causing the vehicle to slide out of control. A vehicle with worn brake pads or discs can be dangerous because it will take longer to stop.
- Steering, Suspension, and Transmission – The steering wheel and steering column allow the driver to control the vehicle, while the transmission affects how the vehicle accelerates. The suspension system connects the wheels to the vehicle. Since these systems are all connected, a problem with any one of them can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle.
- Airbags and Seatbelts – Airbags and seatbelts are designed to reduce the risk of injury when a vehicle crashes when they are used correctly by the vehicle occupants. When these devices are faulty, however, they can cause serious harm. One notable example is the recall of over 63 million Takata airbags because they have been known to explode during an accident, injuring and even killing vehicle occupants.
- Software Problems – In newer cars that are controlled by computers, software problems can cause a variety of problems such as steering, cooling, and electrical problems. It is also possible for a third-party to hack the car’s software and intentionally create software problems.
- Windshield Wipers and Taillights – Problems with the windshield wipers or taillights can create visibility issues and put you at higher risk for a collision.
It is possible for these problems to occur in the manufacturing process, so the car is defective when you purchase it. These problems can also occur during maintenance or repair when mechanics make careless mistakes or use defective or substandard parts either unknowingly or by choice.
Common Injuries from Mechanical Defects
The types of injuries sustained will vary greatly depending on the speed you were traveling at the time of the accident, the angle of impact, where you were sitting in the car, and what part of the vehicle was defective. Some possible injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Spine or nerve damage
- Eye injuries
- Severe wounds and bleeding
- Permanent disability
In addition to the physical injuries, being involved in a traumatic accident has been linked to anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other mental health disorders.
Types of Compensation
If it is determined that a defective part or mechanical defect was the cause of the accident, you may be owed compensation for your injuries. Although we can’t guarantee any specific amount, our attorneys can discuss the details of your case and give you an idea of what you may be owed. This could include compensation for:
- Current and future medical bills
- Long-term care and rehabilitation
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning potential
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If your loved one was killed in an accident that was caused by a mechanical defect, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim to receive compensation for funeral and burial expenses, loss of companionship, and loss of future earnings.
Building Your Case
When you are involved in any type of car accident, it is important to gather evidence as soon as possible. This could include taking pictures at the scene of the crash, gathering contact information for witnesses, writing down as many details as you can remember, and preparing to share medical records. In the case of a defective part, you should share your vehicle repair records and contact information for your mechanic with your attorney.
Avoid sharing details of your accident on social media or giving a recorded statement to the insurance company until after you have spoken with a lawyer. Any information you share can potentially be used against you to show you were partially at fault.
In order to prove that a defective part was the cause of the accident, experts will need to perform a thorough examination of the car. Vehicles are often destroyed, sold, or repaired soon after the accident, making it nearly impossible to gather enough evidence of mechanical failure. It is essential that you contact an attorney as soon as you are involved in an accident so they can gather the evidence needed to secure compensation for your injuries.
Contact a Greenville Car Accident Attorney
When you are injured in an accident that was caused by a mechanical defect, you may feel betrayed and upset. You trusted the manufacturer or mechanic to provide you with reliable and safe transportation, and they failed to do so.
The attorneys at Hammack Law Firm are committed to holding mechanics and manufacturers accountable not only so you receive compensation for your injuries, but also in order to prevent other people from experiencing the same devastating accidents in the future.
Since we are a small firm, we make it a priority to give our clients the attention that larger firms simply cannot provide. Our attorneys will take the time to understand the details of your case and how your injuries impact your life, and then we will work hard to secure the compensation you are owed.
Contact Hammack Law Firm at (864) 326-3333 or start an online chat to schedule a free consultation.