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Brake Failure Accident Review

Brake Failure Accident Review

A brake failure accident can be a terrifying experience starting with the moment you apply the brakes and suddenly realize that they are not working. The result can be serious injuries as it was in a recent limo accident in New York. Let’s review what happened there as well as examine some of the reasons brake failure occurs. We’ll also explore how an experienced personal injury lawyer can help after a devastating brake failure accident.

Brake Failure Accident Statistics

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 2 percent of all traffic accidents are caused by a problem with the vehicle. Brake failure accounts for about 22 percent of these vehicular problems. Now imagine that you aren’t in your own car but are traveling in a limo. This is what recently happened in New York in an accident that resulted in the deaths of 20 people.

Limousine Brake Failure Accident Kills 20

The limo accident happened on October 6 in Schoharie, New York, when the vehicle’s brakes failed while taking a group to a birthday party. The limo ran through a stop sign and crashed into an SUV. The crash killed the partygoers, the driver, and two pedestrians. Two couples, both of whom had only been married since June, were numbered among those who died in the brake failure accident.

Investigation Into the Brake Failure Accident

An investigation conducted by the New York State Department of Transportation turned up evidence that placed the blame for the accident squarely with the company, Prestige Limo. According to the report, the limousine company had been cited for numerous violations on September 4, which included constricted brake connections. The connections notify the driver when there is a malfunction and brake failure.

Company Fails Second Inspection

The September inspection occurred six months after a previous inspection in which the same problems were cited. The vehicle that was involved in the accident had not passed the safety inspection and should have been removed from service. A sticker placed on the vehicle’s windshield by authorities stating it was not serviceable was removed and replaced, allegedly by the limo company. Also, it was determined that the driver, who died in the crash, was not authorized to drive a limo with more than 15 people. The company was reported as having 22 violations within the past two year period.

Owner’s Son Arrested in Multiple Death Accident

The son of the man who owns Prestige Limousine, Nauman Hussain, age 28, was taken into custody and charged with criminally negligent homicide in the limo accident. Hussain, who was considered a flight risk, surrendered his passport to authorities. The owner of the company, Shahed Hussain, is in Pakistan and cannot be extradited to face charges. A lawsuit was filed in November against the operators of the company, seeking unspecified damages.

Faulty Brakes and Motor Vehicle Accidents

All owners of motor vehicles and trucks know that it can be expensive to have brakes worked on or replaced. This is because the brake systems in vehicles are complex. Unless all the parts are working together properly and in good condition, the driver risks being in an accident.

Reasons for a Brake Failure Accident

In some cases, the problem can be traced to a design or a manufacturing error, which makes the manufacturer and others liable for any damages caused by a brake failure accident. In other cases, low levels of brake fluid or worn pads can cause the brakes to fail. In such cases, the mechanic who replaced or worked on the brakes might be held responsible for an accident. As in the above accident, the company of a vehicle for hire that is involved in a brake failure accident may also be held liable for any injuries or fatalities, particularly if violations have been present in the past.

Watch the following Howcast, presented by attorney Ed Smith:

What Should You Do When Your Brakes Fail

Once the brakes fail, you will need to find a way to stop your vehicle. Initially, putting the transmission into a lower gear may help. Beware of downshifting too quickly since this may cause your vehicle to skid. Also, avoid putting it in neutral. Don’t try to shut the engine either. This will eliminate power steering. Although not a surefire method, activating the emergency brake may help you slow your car down. Brakes generally do not completely fail, but the distance it takes to stop a vehicle is dramatically increased. This also counts as brake failure.

Discovering the Cause of Brake Failure

Finding out why the brakes failed is the first step. An accident reconstructionist can use information from the scene along with a post-accident examination of the vehicle to determine what happened to cause the crash. Since there are three main possibilities, an experienced investigator will be able to discern whether the design or manufacture of the brakes was at fault, if a mechanic did bad work or if the brake fluid was low or if the pads were worn.

How an Experienced Brake Failure Lawyer Helps

Brake failures can occur for a number of reasons, and this is why it is important to be able to establish accurate liability to claim accident injury damages or wrongful death. A lawyer experienced in this area of personal injury law can investigate to find the source of the brake failure and ensure that the appropriate claims are filed and done so before the statute of limitations runs out.

Sacramento Brake Failure Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento brake failure lawyer. If you or your loved one was injured because the brakes failed in a vehicle, I can offer you free and friendly advice. Feel free to call me at (916) 921-6400 in the Sacramento area or (800) 404-5400 if you are elsewhere in Northern California. If you prefer, I also have a contact form online at

For 36 years, I’ve helped those living in Northern California obtain fair compensation in all types of car accidents, traumas such as brain injuries and wrongful death.

Finding out how effective a law practice is can be a good idea when seeking advice or representation. I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates, a forum of trial lawyers who have garnered a settlement/verdict of more than one million dollars for a client. In addition, you can look over client reviews and some of our prior cases at the following links:

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