Is the driver liable for an accident if it is proved that the garage forgot to connect the breaks before releasing the car? 13 Answers as of October 22, 2013

My friend collected his car from a garage after its annual service, he then drove out into a busy road. Before he had picked up any speed, a pedestrian, crossed a pedestrian crossing ahead of him. my friend applied the brakes but the car did not stop. He was able to swerve and bring the car to a halt without damage. But the pedestrian was struck a glancing blow and fell over. She was taken to the hospital where the nurse at the reception accorded her a low priority and had to wait about 3 hours to see a doctor. When her turn came, she could not stand. It was found that she sustained more serious back injury and is likely to suffer permanent paralysis. If she had been given a suitable support and seen promptly, these consequences would probably have been avoided. Kevin also later found out that the garage had failed to reconnect the brakes before the car was returned to him. What recourse Lucy has and against who?

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Law Office of William Stoddard | William Stoddard
Maybe not, but as it was your car, well you will be a party in any lawsuit so the hurt person can get to the garage. They might start suit against you and expect you to cross claim against the garage.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 10/22/2013
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
Given those facts, the garage is at fault. I hope that there is a police report that mentions these facts.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/22/2013
Pete Leehey Law Firm, P.C.
Pete Leehey Law Firm, P.C. | Pete Leehey
This is a complex situation, and all three (garage, driver, hospital) potentially have responsibility. The facts would have to be much more developed to know how the liability might be determined, but if it can be proven that the garage did not connect the brakes, that would seem to make the garage the primary potential liable party, assuming that the driver followed all safety rules.
Answer Applies to: Iowa
Replied: 10/22/2013
Law Offices of John W. Merting, P.A.
Law Offices of John W. Merting, P.A. | John W. Merting
Lucy can sue the driver and owner of the car and the hospital, however if it was the E/R it is a much tougher case. The owner and driver can bring in the garage in Lucy's suit as a defendant.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 10/22/2013
Peters Law, PLLC
Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
Yes the driver is liable but he can then sue the mechanic for not doing the job properly.
Answer Applies to: Idaho
Replied: 10/22/2013
    Gregory M Janks, PC
    Gregory M Janks, PC | Gregory M Janks
    The pedestrian would have a possible claim for negligent operation of the car against the owner/operator, but under the circumstances you cite, she would also have a claim against the repair facility and/or the owner/driver would have a claim against them (indemnity, hold harmless, contribution, negligent repair, etc.) and would bring them in to any suit filed against him by the pedestrian. It is extremely important in a case like this to document the non-connected brake system by photos and inspection by a qualified technician/expert.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/22/2013
    End, Hierseman & Crain, LLC | J. Michael End
    I think Lucy certainly has recourse against the garage that let the car go out with brakes that did not work, assuming that can be proven. The most important thing will be to have the brakes examined to make sure the garage people were negligent in failing to reconnect the brakes. Lucy may also have a claim against Kevin and his automobile liability insurer if Lucy can prove that a reasonable person under the same circumstances would have been able to avoid hitting her. The hospital emergency department may also be liable for the failure to timely examine Lucy. If the insurers of the garage and of Kevin have adequate insurance to compensate Lucy, she may be able to avoid bringing the hospital into the claim. However, if the damages are large enough to exceed the insurance coverage of the garage and Kevin, then the hospital might have to be brought into the case. Medical negligence cases are often difficult to win, so the easier cases would probably be against the garage and Kevin's automobile liability insurer.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 10/22/2013
    Di Giacomo & Gruss | Christopher Di Giacomo
    Lucy will probably file suit against the driver of the vehicle and the owner if they are two separate entities. Upon notice of the claim, I would advise your friend to make sure to either add the service garage as a defendant or cross-claim against the garage.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 10/22/2013
    Lombardi Law Firm
    Lombardi Law Firm | Steve Lombardi
    The answer to your question is yes. It is very important that he take the car to a garage and have it inspected to prove whether the brakes were defective and if so why they were defective.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 10/22/2013
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC | Stephen R. Chesley
    They should notify their insurance company of the facts, i.e garage, and make sure that the garage is brought into the case if a lawsuit is started and have the garage be put on notice that the incident occurred.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/22/2013
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    This sounds suspiciously like an exam question. Kevin is liable for driving a car without brakes, the garage is liable for not fixing the brakes and the hospital is liable for malpractice. Maybe.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/22/2013
    Belushin Law Firm, P.C.
    Belushin Law Firm, P.C. | Vel Belushin
    Certainly the fact that the brakes were inoperable is a mitigating factor in the case. It could also make the case more complex as now the mechanic should be brought into the suit.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 10/22/2013
    Candiano Law Office
    Candiano Law Office | Charles J. Candiano
    You are paying a VERY great deal of tuition. Do your homework.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 10/22/2013
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