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Mechanical Failure

Car Accidents Caused by Mechanical Failures

As a Providence Car Accident Attorney, David Tapalian has decades of experience helping victims of auto accidents all over Rhode Island and Massachusetts, including those hurt in motor vehicle crashes caused by mechanical failures including manufacturer defects and inadequate maintenance. When an accident occurs because of a mechanical failure, various parties may be held liable. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the crash and its determined cause, the motor vehicle manufacturer, a mechanic, or the driver or owner of the vehicle may be found negligent.

Who Is Responsible When an Accident is Caused by Mechanical Failure?

Depending on who and what caused the accident, different people or entities can be responsible when a vehicle malfunctions including the manufacturer, mechanic, or driver of the car.


The manufacturer may be held liable for injuries if the vehicle model has a design defect or if a single car does not perform correctly resulting in damages. For example, Toyota was found liable for damage caused by the sudden acceleration of their automobiles due to an incorrect design of their braking pedals. Your car accident lawyer may request business records to prove if the vehicle was made using the standard practices in the automobile industry. Manufacturers are also responsible for issuing recalls when a vehicle hazard presents itself, and their failure to do so may result in culpability on their part. They may also be at fault if proper instructions on how to safely use the vehicle were not provided to the consumer.


A mechanic may be at fault if a repair was performed incorrectly and because of the faulty repair, an auto accident occurs. The vehicle must not merely malfunction, it needs to result from negligence or intentional damage on the part of the mechanic fixing the car.


Finally, the driver may be held responsible if they did not take their car for repairs as part of routine maintenance, ignored recall notices, or when they noticed a problem with the vehicle and failed to address it. Negligence must be found on the part of the driver to be liable.

Proving Negligence is Vital

To prove liability during a mechanical failure car accident in Rhode Island, a personal injury attorney will conduct a discovery process where they will call for documents from both the manufacturer and mechanic, as well as any security footage if there were cameras nearby. Based on these findings, police reports, witness statements, medical records, maintenance records, and other forms of evidence, the attorney will determine who is liable and work to prove negligence on the part of the responsible party.

If another party is found to have acted with negligence and deemed liable for your injuries in a Rhode Island car accident caused by a mechanical failure, defect, or improper maintenance, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your damages including medical bills, lost wages, vehicle repairs, future medical costs, and pain and suffering. If a mechanical failure auto accident is fatal, certain family members may be eligible to seek damages against the negligent party with a wrongful death claim. At Tapalian Law, our experienced car accident law firm serves Providence, Rhode Island and Massachusetts and Attorney David Tapalian is well-equipped to represent you in a variety of motor vehicle cases including mechanical failure car accidents and wrongful death claims.

Common Mechanical Problems That Lead to Auto Accidents
  • Defective, or inadequate, headlights. More car accidents occur at night, which can be exacerbated by the driver’s inability to see ahead of them without proper headlights and other cars not seeing a driver braking due to malfunctioning, defective, or missing, taillights.
  • Driveshaft Malfunction. Honda recalled over one million cars in late 2020 due to salt corrosion affecting the driveshafts of the vehicle. Even when the car is parked, a damaged driveshaft can result in a runaway vehicle.
  • Braking/Steering Failure. A broken braking or steering system can affect a motorist’s ability to stop or turn the vehicle when approaching another driver. A malfunctioning suspension can cause the car to bounce or swerve on the roadway potentially hitting a nearby driver. Similarly, Nissan settled a class action lawsuit in 2018 due to failing transmissions that caused the car to shake or jolt when in use.
  • Windshield wipers. Wipers are crucial for enhancing visibility during adverse weather conditions and must be regularly maintained and kept in proper working condition. When it snows or rains, low visibility can adversely affect the driver’s depth perception causing them to miss other vehicles around them.
  • Tire Defects or Malfunctions. Tire blowouts are a dangerous problem since they often occur when the vehicle is already moving at a high speed and result in loss of driver control. Other drivers nearby are also in danger, especially if a piece of the tire hits their car in the process.
  • Airbag Malfunction. Airbags can malfunction causing anything from an explosion during deployment, as was seen in the recent recall of over 60 million Takata airbags, to not deploying at all. These defects can result in serious injury and fatalities.
Contact Tapalian Law for a Free Consultation

Providence Car Accident Lawyer David Tapalian has decades of experience in Rhode Island and Massachusetts and can help ensure that victims of mechanical failure car accidents receive the legal representation and compensation for their losses they deserve. We help victims of personal injury due to car accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and falls, and pedestrian accidents. At Tapalian Law, we offer a free consultation to discuss your accident or injury claim and to explain your legal rights. With offices in Providence, Warwick, and Seekonk, we are easily accessible to all RI and MA residents. We also offer legal services in Florida. Call Tapalian Law at 401-552-5000 or contact the office online to discuss your case and schedule a free consultation.

Client Reviews
He took care of everything and kept me updated as well. It was such a smooth process and in the end I won my case. I would highly recommend David Tapalian! Patrice F.
When I contacted David Tapalian, Attorney & Counselor at Law, all my worries were immediately alleviated. He handled my case from beginning to end and kept me updated every step of the way. Susie M.
I visited David a couple of days after my accident and he gave me clear and concise details on what would happen throughout the process... David N.