Chicago Brake Failure Lawyer | Staver
Car Accidents

Chicago Brake Failure Lawyer

Many drivers may take them for granted, but properly operating brakes are critical to safe driving. Whether it’s an emergency stop or everyday use, your brakes must protect you. To do that, they need to be maintained.

You could be entitled to compensation if you’re injured in a crash because of bad brakes. You’ll need the help of an experience Chicago auto accident attorney like Jared Staver to identify the liable parties.

Get a free consultation today. Call (312) 236-2900.

What Causes Brake Failure?

Like any mechanical system, brakes need maintenance to function correctly. Worn brake pads provide less friction to stop the car, which is a common reason brakes stop working effectively. There are several reasons your brakes could fail.

Damaged Brake Rotors

Rotors are metal discs that slow down the wheels. These discs can be damaged or warped. If they aren’t in good shape, they’ll impact brake effectiveness.

The brakes wear down over time and require maintenance and replacement.

Besides worn brake pads, additional factors can contribute to a system malfunction. Some are more common issues than others.

Low Pressure in the Brake Lines

Brake systems use hydraulic pressure. Stepping on the brake pedal applies pressure to the hydraulics to squeeze the brakes on the wheel. Leaks in the brake line cause low pressure, meaning less stopping power.

Your lines could also be blocked, meaning the pressure isn’t reaching the brakes.

Worn Brake Booster

A brake booster is a device that increases pressure on a brake pad. A broken or worn brake booster will not function optimally, meaning it won’t stop a car properly. That increases the risk of accidents.


Car systems are designed to work within a range of temperatures. Whenever a part is exposed to heat for too long, it could get damaged. The system could fail if a brake pad isn’t properly installed or cooled.

Overloading the Vehicle

Vehicles have limits for their operation. If you aren’t running your car within those limits, you could damage its parts. Putting too much weight in a car for extended amounts of time could damage the brakes.

You’re risking an accident whenever you have to use more force on the brakes to stop your vehicle. You could have damaged your vehicle’s systems, increasing the risk of an accident.

How Can I Be Sure a Defective Brake System Caused a Crash?

Car and truck accidents can happen for several reasons. There could be signs a mechanical failure caused a crash. Vehicles are designed with warning systems, but there might be signs a sensor can’t detect.

  • Unusual sounds: If you’re applying pressure to your brakes, it might not be perfectly silent every time. If you hear a squeal or grating noise, your brakes could be failing.
  • Wobbling: If you feel a wobbling sensation when you brake, something could be wrong with your brakes
  • Soft Brakes: Your brake pedal should be firm when you apply pressure. If it feels like it’s going straight to the floor, your system could be malfunctioning

Have a mechanic inspect your vehicle immediately if you notice any of these signs before a crash. If they can find defects in your brake system, you could be able to file a claim.

Where Can You Pursue a Claim for Failed Brakes?

An insurance company will likely blame the driver with failed brakes for an auto accident. Although drivers should often have their vehicles inspected for possible failures, parties still share liability for a crash.

  • Manufacturers: Products are expected to be properly inspected and approved before they’re available to the public. If a manufacturer sold a defective or substandard product, they could share some fault for your crash
  • Dealers: Vendors have a duty of care to provide safe, functioning products. No matter if you’re buying a new car, a used car, or brakes, they should all be safe. If a vendor ignores safety warnings or sells a bad product, they could be at fault for your crash
  • Mechanics: When a car is being inspected or serviced, a mechanic should fix or identify problems they see or agree to repair. If they miss something, they could be partially responsible for a crash

What Arguments Could be Made Against a Faulty Brakes Claim?

If you’ve identified liable parties in your case, they will likely push back against your claim in ways like:

  • The brakes weren’t involved: a defendant might argue your crash was caused by another problem, like distracted driving, rather than the brakes
  • The driver was negligent: a common defense, a defendant may claim the driver was recklessly driving and their actions caused the crash, not the defendant
  • The case is outside the statute of limitations: the defendant may claim too much time has passed, so the case should be dismissed

How Do You Prove the Brakes Contributed to the Crash?

You’ll need evidence to prove your case. Getting information after the car crash might be difficult, but it could be the proof you need to clinch a victory.

Have Your Vehicle Inspected

You’ll need to examine every possible angle to prove someone is responsible for your crash. After the incident, take your car to a trusted mechanic for an inspection. They can determine if failed brakes could have contributed to the crash.

If a brake failure did help cause the crash, a mechanic can also identify where the failure happened. If a brake pad was defective, you can pursue a claim with the manufacturer.

Collect Witness Statements, Photographs & More from the Scene

Eyewitness accounts might not be perfect, but they can help show what happened before a crash. Photographs or videos of the scene are effective in documenting the crash.

Get a Copy of the Police Report

In Illinois, you must report the crash to law enforcement if it caused more than $1,500 in damages. If the crash is severe enough, it’s likely someone already called the authorities. Any police on the scene will have recorded what they saw. You can request a copy of that report, which could help prove someone else’s negligent behavior led to your crash.

Expert Witnesses

An expert witness can support your claim. They’re knowledgeable in the subject area at hand. If you’re working on proving a faulty brake caused your crash, you could use a mechanic or instructor to explain the defect and how it caused the crash.

What Damages Can You Collect After a Brake Failure Crash?

While trying to recover from a crash physically, you may be looking at a claim to recover financially. In Illinois, you could pursue economic or non-economic damages.

Economic damages are monetary items like medical bills or car repairs. Non-economic damages are typically more conceptual in nature. You could pursue damages for disfigurement, lost income, or loss of consortium. An attorney can explain these concepts and help you calculate your claim’s worth.

Call a Chicago Brake Failure Attorney

If you’ve been in a crash caused by an issue with your brake system, you could pursue a claim against those responsible. A defective brake system could mean someone shares the fault for a crash that injured you. Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. can help you pursue full compensation.

We’ve helped other Chicago drivers recover millions in claims, and we’ll be able to work with you on your case. We can gather evidence, identify liable parties, and negotiate with insurance companies or defendants.

Get your free consultation by calling (312) 236-2900 or using our online contact form.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
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