Failure to Properly Maintain Vehicle May Be Negligence in Massachusetts
If a Massachusetts motorist fails to properly maintain his vehicle – by driving with old brakes or broken tail lights, etc. – and that driver causes a Massachusetts auto accident, that driver may be found to be negligent per se. Negligence per se means that one has failed to comply with a statute or regulation intended to protect a class of persons. I found the following on the Washington Personal Injury Attorney Blog that deals with negligence per se in the context of motor vehicle accidents:
If a motor vehicle accident is caused by a malfunction of the vehicle the owner and/or operator of the vehicle may negligent as a matter of law.
If a defect would have been discovered by the exercise of ordinary care and prudence the owner of the vehicle may be liable. The operator of an automobile is chargeable with notice of any defects that a reasonable inspection would disclose.
Violation of the rules of the road is negligence per se. Drivers are required by statute to maintain most safety features, such as brakes and tail lights. Therefore, a failure to maintain them that causes an auto accident may constitute negligence per se.