Fatality Caused by Faulty Brakes
The Midwest is known for having brutal winters and last winter was one for the books. I’m a personal injury lawyer working out of Chicago and winter is one of my busiest seasons. I get calls all the time from people who have gotten into car accidents and want to file lawsuits against others who have hit them. Although most of my cases come from driver negligence, I received one this past year that was a little more complex.
This case was a referral from a Detroit personal injury lawyer. The family had initially reached out to them because they lived in the Detroit area, but when the lawyer realized the accident had occurred near Chicago, he referred the case to me.
Unfortunately, I had to discuss the details of this case with the family of the victim because the crash had been fatal. The family members wanted me to figure out how the accident occurred and sue the at-fault party.
Gathering the Evidence
It’s never easy to deal with grieving family members after a car accident. I could feel their pain and I badly wanted to help them seek justice. I obtained the police report from the accident, hoping it would be an easy case to solve. What I found out, however, was that the deceased victim’s accident had involved no one else. My hope for suing a liable party began to dwindle.
From my knowledge of past car accident cases, I knew that a car defect could have caused the accident. I ordered a thorough investigation of the vehicle and the report came back with some helpful information. The brakes of the car had been faulty, and in the glove compartment of the vehicle, I found a receipt for a car repair that had been done on the brakes of the car just a few days before.
The car repair company hadn’t fixed the faulty brakes and the malfunction had led to this fatal accident. I decided to move forward with a wrongful death lawsuit against both the car manufacturer and the car repair company for shared liability. Although the car repair company didn’t cause the initial malfunction with the brakes, they shouldn’t have allowed the victim to drive away without fully fixing the issue.
After proving liability, my clients received a settlement for both economic and non-economic damages. I know they still have a lot of grieving to do after losing their loved one, but I was glad I could help their suffering in some way.