Filing a Car Accident Claim After a Crash Caused by Brake Failure

What happens if you’re injured in a crash due to brake failure?

Vehicle brakes are designed to allow drivers to slow down and stop safely. But sometimes, brakes give out, and serious catastrophes can occur when they do, leading to serious injuries.

If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident caused by failed brakes, it’s important to understand your legal rights and options for seeking compensation. An experienced Pittsburgh car accident lawyer at Romanow Law Group can help you through the aftermath and fight to maximize your compensation through a settlement or court award.

What causes brake failure in car accidents?

The leading causes of brake failure that result in car accidents include:

Mechanical issues

Mechanical issues often result in brake failure. Over time, brake pads and rotors can wear down, reducing their effectiveness. Faulty brake lines and hoses can lead to fluid leaks and compromise the braking system. Additionally, the master cylinder, which controls the hydraulic pressure, can fail, resulting in a complete loss of braking power.

Manufacturing defects

Sometimes, brake failure stems from defects in the manufacturing process. Design flaws or substandard materials can result in faulty brake components. When a manufacturer releases a defective braking system, it can lead to widespread issues and recalls, which pose serious risks to all road users.

Lack of maintenance

Regular maintenance is crucial for ensuring a vehicle's braking system functions correctly. Neglecting routine inspections and servicing can lead to undetected wear and tear. Without proper maintenance, minor issues can escalate into major failures, making it impossible to stop the vehicle safely.

External Factors

While not necessarily a cause, external factors such as road conditions and weather can also contribute to brake failure. Wet or icy roads can reduce traction and increase stopping distances. Additionally, debris on the road can damage brake components, while extreme temperatures can affect brake fluid performance.

What types of car accidents are linked to brake failure?

In most cases, brake failure leads to these types of car accidents:

Rear-end collisions

Rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of car accidents resulting from failed brakes. When a vehicle's brakes stop working properly, the driver can’t stop in time to avoid hitting the car in front of them. This can happen suddenly and often leads to significant damage and injury due to the unexpected impact.

Intersection accidents

Brake failure at intersections can be particularly dangerous. Vehicles unable to stop at red lights or stop signs can collide with cross-traffic, often leading to severe side-impact collisions. The impact of these crashes can be devastating, especially since there is little protection between a vehicle occupant and a car door.

Highway accidents

Brake failure on highways can lead to high-speed catastrophes. Vehicles traveling at high speeds need effective braking systems to slow down or stop safely. When brakes fail, drivers can lose control and cause multi-vehicle pileups or serious collisions with barriers.

Pedestrian accidents

Brake failure is also a major risk for pedestrians. Vehicles unable to stop at crosswalks or in pedestrian-heavy areas can strike people crossing the street. These accidents often result in severe injuries or death due to the vulnerability of pedestrians compared to vehicle occupants.

Who can be responsible for brake failure in car accidents?

Determining responsibility in brake failure accidents often involves a detailed investigation to identify the cause and appropriately assign liability. Below are the three typical responsible parties in car accidents linked to brake failure:

Negligent drivers

Drivers have a fundamental responsibility to maintain their vehicles and make sure all components are in proper working order. Negligence in regular maintenance or ignoring signs of brake wear can make the driver liable for car accidents caused by brake failure.


The manufacturer can be held accountable when brake failure is due to manufacturing defects. This includes design flaws, substandard materials, or production errors that compromise the safety of the vehicle’s braking system.

Mechanics and repair shops

Mechanics and repair shops are responsible for performing accurate and effective vehicle repairs. If a repair shop fails to diagnose and fix brake issues properly or uses faulty parts, it can be held liable for any car accidents resulting from these negligent repairs.

How are brake failure car accidents investigated?

The investigation of a brake failure accident begins at the scene. Initially, police officers gather crucial evidence, including skid marks, vehicle positions, and eyewitness accounts. This initial examination helps establish the circumstances surrounding the crash and whether brake failure played a role.

A thorough mechanical inspection of the vehicle can reveal whether the failure was due to mechanical issues, manufacturing defects, or lack of maintenance. This includes examining the braking system and checking for worn components, fluid leaks, and other signs of malfunction.

In many cases, expert testimony is required to support claims of brake failure. Automotive engineers and brake specialists can provide insights into how and why the braking system failed.

Another key aspect of the investigation is reviewing the vehicle's maintenance records. These records show whether the vehicle received regular servicing and whether brake-related issues were previously identified and addressed.

How can I file a claim for a brake failure car accident?

The first step in filing a claim is exchanging insurance information with the other driver and calling the police to report the crash. Wait for the police to arrive and document the crash scene.

It’s also recommended to collect relevant evidence. This includes photographs of the crash scene, damage to the vehicles, and any visible injuries. Getting witness statements and obtaining a copy of the police report can also help support and strengthen your claim.

You must also report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible to initiate the claims process. Provide them with all the details of the incident, but avoid discussing blame or fault.

Also, seek medical attention immediately after the crash, even if your injuries seem minor. Document all medical treatments, diagnoses, and expenses related to your crash. This documentation can help prove the extent of your injuries and the impact on your life.

Most importantly, get help from an experienced car accident lawyer in Pittsburgh. Why? Because handling your claim alone can be risky, especially if you speak to the other driver’s insurance company. An attorney at Romanow Law Group can investigate your crash and handle all communications and negotiations with insurance companies.

Protect your rights after a brake failure accident

A car accident caused by brake failure can change your life in an instant, leaving you with lasting physical, emotional, and financial burdens. The aftermath often involves extended hospital stays, mounting medical bills, and the stress of lost income, all while you struggle to recover.

If you were hurt in a crash because of someone else’s negligence, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses. However, securing what you deserve often requires a strong legal fight. That's why it's critical to have an experienced car accident lawyer on your side.

Romanow Law Group knows the tactics insurance companies use to minimize claims, and we are prepared to counteract them. Our legal team is dedicated to investigating cases thoroughly, gathering essential evidence, and fighting aggressively for the financial compensation our clients deserve. To see how we can help you, contact us today and schedule your free consultation.

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