The Nebraska Department of Transportation reports there are over 2.3 million cars on the state’s roads. It also states that there were over 29,000 accidents in the state in 2020, with about 10,000 leading to serious injuries and over 200 being fatal. Several factors lead to these accidents, some having to do with the driver and some attributed to their cars.
Does Vehicle Maintenance Contribute to Car Accidents?
Yes, poor maintenance can contribute to vehicle accidents. Cars require regular maintenance to perform properly and efficiently and to last as long as possible. Proper maintenance is also crucial for ensuring the driver, their passengers, and other road users are safe. Poorly maintained vehicles can cause accidents in various ways.
Other Drivers Cannot See a Vehicle
The most common cause of nighttime accidents in Nebraska is an inability to see other cars. Cars are fitted with various features that make them visible at night. In addition to reflective panels and parts, cars should have working headlights, brake lights, and turn signals.
Headlights are essential because they allow a driver to see other vehicles approaching them and for the approaching car to see the driver. Failure of a driver to see another increases the likelihood of serious and often fatal injuries.
Drivers Cannot Know Another Driver’s Intentions
Drivers communicate their intentions using brake lights and turn signals. Brake lights tell other drivers that a vehicle is slowing down and that they should, too. Rear-end collision can happen if the driver behind does not react in time to the stopping vehicle because the stopping vehicle did not indicate it was doing so.
The same can happen with turn signals, where a driver expects another to continue on a straight path, but they instead take a sudden turn. These accidents happen at intersections in Nebraska where two drivers try to enter the same line, and one driver does not indicate their intentions to do so.
Defective Brakes Cause Accidents
Brakes are crucial for helping a driver stop a vehicle and control it under difficult conditions. Drivers must stop quickly to avoid collisions and ensure safe driving in unfavorable weather or road conditions.
Non-functional brakes are a significant contributory factor to rear-end collisions and pedestrian accidents In Nebraska. The severity of these accidents depends on how fast the vehicle is traveling at the time of the accident and its weight. Heavier runaway vehicles can do much more damage than lighter ones due to how much energy they carry.
If you are injured in such accidents, you have the right to seek compensation for immediate and future damages, emotional suffering, and much more. You can start this process with the help of one of our attorneys at Monge & Associates.
Power Steering Problems Can Make a Vehicle Difficult to Control
Most modern cars use power steering, which makes steering the car and turning the wheels much easier. The vehicle can become much harder to steer and control when the power steering is damaged or does not work as expected.
Power steering can fail for numerous reasons, including a broken belt, damaged pump, leaking hose, too much or too little fluid, and contaminated fluid. Car owners can solve all these issues with regular maintenance.
Who Is Liable in Accidents Involving a Poorly Maintained Vehicle in Nebraska?
Surprisingly, this question is not as easy to answer as saying the driver or car owner is liable. Nebraska law indeed requires that a car owner makes sure their car has all the equipment required to be legal, including headlights, brake and taillights, blinker lights, and others. If the driver fails to ensure this, they are liable for damage following a car accident.
The vehicle’s driver could also be liable depending on whether they were negligent before the accident. For example, they might not have adhered to the set speed limits in Nebraska, ignored traffic signs, or were driving while drunk.
The other party that can be held liable for an accident involving a poorly maintained vehicle is the auto mechanic. This happens when a breakdown or defect leading to an accident can be directly tied to an auto mechanic’s negligent actions.
An auto mechanic is responsible for repairing and maintaining a vehicle and ensuring these repairs meet the standards set by the automotive industry. Failing to make sure their repairs, diagnosis, or inspection meets the standards could make them liable in case of an accident.
It is important to note that a vehicle’s owner can also be liable if they completed DIY repairs before taking the vehicle to an auto mechanic. If that mechanic does not touch the car, the owner is liable due to the prior repairs.
What Should You Do After a Vehicle Accident in Nebraska?
The first thing you should always do is seek medical attention. You might not know how much you are hurt until a doctor examines you. Doing this also starts the documentation process for your personal injury lawsuit.
Second, you should collect evidence of the crash if you can or ask another person to do it for you. Such evidence will include photographs and videos of the incident, if any, and any witness statements available. You should also follow up with the police to obtain a copy of the traffic report.
Lastly, and most importantly, you should hire a reputable personal injury attorney. Proving that poor vehicle maintenance caused an accident is never easy. The attorney will hire investigators and other professionals to understand the facts and events surrounding the accident to help your lawsuit when you file for damages.
Nebraska experiences over 29,000 car accidents annually, some caused by poor maintenance. That could be because the driver did not take their car for regular repairs, or an auto mechanic did substandard work. Regardless, you have a right to sue for damages, and our attorneys at Monge & Associates can help you with this process.
You can call us now for a free consultation at 800-421-0174 if you have been hurt in an accident involving a poorly-maintained vehicle.
You can also visit our offices at one of our 32 locations across 19 states to talk to our attorneys directly.