Determining liability is a common issue in the aftermath of motor vehicle accidents. Pennsylvania drivers should be aware of what factors can determine liability if an accident was caused by a vehicle failing to brake.
Human error is a frequent cause of accidents. Motorists can be held liable for a rear-end accident if they failed to brake in time because they were distracted or following too closely. Investigators can also determine negligence from certain information obtained from a vehicle's software, which will reveal how fast the vehicle was moving and if the brakes were used.
Brakes can also fail if there are mechanical issues. However, drivers may be held responsible it is determined that they failed to ensure that the brakes, tires and other equipment in the vehicle were properly maintained. If a vehicle failed to stop because of a defect in the brake system, the vehicle's manufacturer may be pursued for damages.
Many accidents are the result of the negligent driving behavior of more than one driver. When this is the case, Pennsylvania's law of comparative negligence will come into play when a court or jury determines how to award compensation to people who have been injured.
Rear-end car accidents can cause serious and sometimes catastrophic injuries to occupants of both the vehicle in front as well as the one that was trailing. However, the liability in these types of accidents is not always clear. An attorney representing an injured victim can review the accident investigation report, eyewitness testimony and other evidence when determining the party or parties that should bear financial responsibility.