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Who is liable for brake fail accident?

Last month I was riding normally when the traffic in front of me came to a stop unexpectedly. I applied my brakes but they failed, causing me to go into the back of the car in front. The guy in front is now making a claim against me, but there’s nothing I could have done differently. I had some cuts and bruises and am still a little bit sore myself, but every solicitor I’ve contacted has turned me away. Is it a hopeless case?

Roger via email



In order to prove that this accident wasn’t your fault you need evidence that the accident occurred as a result of a braking issue, and not rider error, and, while possible, I’m afraid that getting that evidence will not be easy or cheap.

The first step would be to check whether your bike has been the subject of a safety recall due to a braking issue. Any solicitor acting for you would then need to instruct a forensic engineer to inspect the bike’s brakes. Unfortunately these reports are expensive and there is no guarantee that they would be favourable, especially if the bike has been significantly damaged or if repairs have been carried out.

The report would be crucial to proving your case and, depending on the outcome of that and other investigations, you could have a claim against the dealer, the manufacturer, a company which carried out repairs to the brakes, or no one at all.

If you obtained a report yourself it could help with finding a lawyer, but I would not recommend it for the same reasons, and because it would probably be disproportionate to the value of your claim.



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