Who May Be Liable for an Accident Caused by Negligent Vehicle Maintenance?

Posted on behalf of Pfeifer Morgan & Stesiak

on June 4, 2021

. Updated on March 23, 2022


Man performs maintenance check on vehicleCar owners have a legal obligation to maintain their vehicles so they are safe to drive. This includes getting their brakes and taillights checked and other routine maintenance. This work is often done by a mechanic or the car dealership, and those working on your car have a responsibility to do a good job.

Unfortunately, drivers and mechanics are often negligent with vehicle maintenance and others suffer the consequences. If you were injured in an accident caused by negligent vehicle maintenance, the vehicle owner and/or mechanic could be held liable.

Let our car accident lawyers in South Bend review your claim and see how we may be able to help you recover the compensation you need. The consultation is free and there are no fees while we work on your case.

What Factors into Liability for Negligent Vehicle Maintenance?

Owners, mechanics, dealerships and manufacturers could all bear liability for a crash if it happened because a problem was not fixed.

Vehicle Owners

Generally, vehicle owners have primary responsibility for routine maintenance on a vehicle. For example, they are expected to ensure their tires are properly inflated, their brakes work as they should and their headlights and taillights work. Owners should also check:

  • Turn signal lights
  • Power steering
  • Brake fluid
  • Brake pads
  • Oil levels

A vehicle owner could also be held liable for a crash caused by a recalled part if the victim can prove the owner knew about it and did not take the car to the manufacturer or dealership to have the problem corrected. This is true even if the owner was not driving the vehicle at the time of the crash.

Repair Shops

When you take your car to the repair shop, you expect the mechanics to do their job correctly and make sure the vehicle is safe to drive. However, a mistake or oversight could make your car unsafe and result in a crash that causes a serious injury, and the repair shop could be liable for your damages.


Sometimes, when there is a recall on a vehicle or part, vehicles with this defect may still be up for sale. This may be especially true at used car dealerships. The dealership is responsible for having the recall issue corrected before selling any vehicles affected by the recall.


Vehicle and vehicle parts manufacturers can also be held liable for your damages if an accident occurs due to a mechanical failure or defective part.

Proving Negligent Vehicle Maintenance Caused the Accident

As an injury victim, it is your obligation to prove that your damages were caused by negligent vehicle maintenance, whether the vehicle owner or some other third party was responsible for keeping the vehicle in proper working order. With help from our experienced attorneys, you may be able to gather the evidence you need to prove that negligence.

If you believe your accident was caused by a vehicle owner who failed to perform routine maintenance on their vehicle, you may be able to prove this by obtaining maintenance records from the dealership where the car still had warranty or at a mechanic shop where the vehicle was regularly checked.

You may need to have an expert review work that was done on the vehicle to determine if mistakes were made. The repair shop that worked on the vehicle may face liability for doing poor work.

Let Us Help You with Your Case. Call Today

Most crash victims do not have the time, resources or legal knowledge to investigate and build a case for compensation.

That is why you may need legal representation. The attorneys at our firm have decades of experience handling a variety of injury claims and are prepared to manage the process on your behalf. We do not charge you anything up front and there are no fees unless we recover compensation on your behalf.

Call us today to schedule a free consultation: (574) 444-0741

Pfeifer, Morgan & Stesiak

Serious Attorneys for Serious Cases