Motor vehicles accidents can have many causes, from operator error to roadway defects to inclement weather to dangerous or defective vehicle components. But what if the person who caused your accident either failed to properly maintain the vehicle (had old, treadless tires on the vehicle, for example) or had the vehicle serviced by a mechanic who did substandard work or missed something? Do you still have a right to seek compensation for your losses? Absolutely!
Though you can always file a lawsuit for injuries intentionally caused by another person, most personal injuries claims are based on allegations of negligence. To establish negligence, you must first show that the defendant (person from who you seek compensation) breached the “duty of care” required of all persons in society. That duty requires that every person, in every endeavor, act as a reasonable person would. That means that other drivers must act reasonably, driving at proper speeds, obeying traffic signals and maintaining a safe distance from other cars.
It also means that anyone who takes a motor vehicle on the road must take the same steps a reasonable person would to maintain that vehicle. If a reasonable person would conclude that the lack of tread on the tires posed a safety risk and should be replaced, the defendant will be held to the same standard.
The same standard can also be applied to a garage, service station or mechanic. Each must engage in the same behavior that a reasonable person would under the circumstances. Failure to do so, when it causes an accident, can be the basis for personal injury liability.
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