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Can you pursue cases for car accidents not caused by drivers?

Although most Illinois car crashes happen as a result of driver error, some are caused by situations or events unrelated to any drivers. For example, most individuals are familiar with the numerous and sometimes fatal car crashes caused by motor vehicle defects in recent years. In other instances, car accidents are caused because of poorly maintained roadways, faulty signage or malfunctioning streetlights.

In cases of car accidents that are not caused by drivers, injured parties may have viable claims against negligent car manufacturers that made errors during the building of defective automobiles. For example, if a motor vehicle manufacturer builds a car with a malfunctioning airbag that fails to deploy and results in an injury, the manufacturer might have to compensate victims for the cost of their medical care and other damages if plaintiffs pursue claims in court.

In the case of issues with a roadway that caused a crash, a city could be liable for negligence committed during the designing the roadway. For instance, a utility pole might be negligently placed in a dangerous position without consideration for the death and injury that could potentially result from it. In these situations, local governments and municipalities become defendants that are potentially liable for financial damages caused by the negligence.

If another driver was not at fault in a particular crash, that does not mean that another party cannot be held liable for damages in the case. Indeed, it is important for those injured in car accidents to consider other potential defendants in their cases, and other not-so-evident reasons why the accident may have occurred.

Source: Findlaw, "Car accident basics" accessed Feb. 26, 2015

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