Many people here in San Jose know how important it is to establish fault after an injury-causing accident. That’s because, by establishing fault you also establish who is liable for those injuries. If another driver was negligent behind the wheel, they or their insurance may have to pay compensation to an injured person. In the event that the crash was caused by a mechanical failure, the vehicle’s manufacturer could be held liable and would then have to pay compensation.

But as you may already be aware, there are some cases in which an at-fault driver may not want to admit to negligence and may instead blame the accident on a mechanical failure. This can complicate things because now law enforcement must prove whether this statement is true or not. Discovering the truth becomes an important piece of the police investigation because, as we hinted at above, it will determine who the accident victim holds accountable for their injuries.

This is probably the case for the recent pedestrian accident that happened in North Hollywood. Some of our readers may have already heard about the crash that seriously injured three Oakwood School students. The three female students were stuck while crossing the street after PE class. The 48-year-old driver of the vehicle that struck the girls claims that his brakes failed, which caused him to run a red light before hitting the teens.

Because the vehicle involved in the crash was a rental owned by Hertz, in order to substantiate or disprove the driver’s claim California police will need a search warrant before accessing the vehicle’s airbag control module. It’s in this system that police hope to determine if the car’s brakes actually failed or if this is a case of negligence. This will provide the accident victims’ families with the information they need for civil action, if they so choose to take it.

Source: NBC Los Angeles, “School Stunned After Girls Injured in Car Crash,” Kim Baldonado and Kelly Goff, June 5, 2014