Car accident lawyers know that sometimes a negligent party wasn’t present at the scene of an accident their negligence caused. When Silver & Silver, PA investigates a client’s accident, all possibilities are on the table. One of the avenues that can be fruitful is the maintenance and repair histories of the vehicles involved. Sometimes, a negligent mechanic or technician made a faulty repair. In some cases, a mechanic has overlooked an issue which he should have identified and fixed. If anyone did repair or maintenance work on any of the vehicles involved in an accident, there may have been a negligent repair issue.

THE WHEELS ON THE BUS

An accident on December 7, 2017, in Boynton Beach, provides an illustrative example. An off-duty Palm Tran bus was driving north on I-95 near the Woolbright Road exit. The time was about 7 am. Without warning, one of the bus’s wheels suddenly detached, flew off, and shot across the highway. It struck a southbound vehicle. The bus driver lost control. The bus struck a retaining wall and then hit another vehicle. It came to rest after knocking down a light pole.

Given the high speeds and dense traffic on the I-95 artery, it’s remarkable that there were no fatalities. Two people were taken to the Bethesda Hospital East emergency room with relatively minor injuries. Property damage was, all things considered, fairly modest. The highway, however, was closed for most of that day.

THE INVESTIGATION

The account of a wheel suddenly detaching from the bus suggested a potential maintenance or repair issue. Palm Tran inspects busses every day before they go on duty. It developed that the week before the accident, the daily inspection found the bus needed new rear tires. Consequently, new rear tires had been installed. The day before the accident.

It turned out that Goodyear Tires was Palm Trans’s fleet maintenance contractor. Palm Tran reviewed its video surveillance recordings. They conceded that their technician had been negligent doing the tire changes. The video shows him placing the new tire on the bus, He then put the lug nuts on the bolts, but didn’t tighten them. The technician then took a phone call, and never went back to tighten the lug nuts. There was next to nothing securing the tire to the bus. It was only a matter of time –and not much time- before the tire would come off.

NEGLIGENT REPAIR

This example is straightforward. The facts of the accident pointed to negligent repair as a possible cause. In many cases, however, the chain of causation isn’t so clear. That’s why our Boynton Beach car accident attorneys use top accident investigators to evaluate damaged vehicles after a crash. It’s important to check out every possible cause of an accident. Where there’s a cause, there’s a potential liability. Call us for a free initial consultation as soon as possible after a car crash.