It is unlikely that an alternator alone could be damaged in a car crash without terminal damage to the rest of the engine, most likely after a front-end crash. However, a faulty alternator or an alternator that was installed badly could feasibly cause an accident.
Alternators maintain the charge in a battery, which is needed to feed power to the spark plugs and maintain enough energy to power the lights and anything else in the car that relies on electricity. If you do have a car crash because of a faulty alternator or a poor alternator installation you may have a case for claiming compensation for the damage done to your car.
This could be considerable, as well as for any injuries done to you and anyone else in the car. A claim of this nature could prove quite difficult, so it may be advisable to get advice from an experienced attorney to help you through the claim process.
The Cost of an Accident When an Alternator Fails
The cost of replacing an alternator would be the least of your concerns after a crash caused by a fault in it. An alternator failure could cause the car to stop suddenly when there is no power left to fire the engine through the spark plugs. It could also cause failure to the lights at night and precipitate a crash.
The full cost of repair to your car depends exactly on what was damaged and even whether the car is worth repairing at all if it was very badly damaged. Then there is the possibility that the crash involved injuries to you and any other occupants.
The cost of compensation would have to be factored in, as well as the inconvenience of not having a car to use while it is repaired or replaced.The cost of a reconditioned alternator at around $400 or a new one for anything between $500 and $1,000 would be chump change compared to dealing with major car damage.
Evidence is Needed to Prove Fault in an Accident Involving a Failed Alternator
If you find that a failed alternator caused a car crash, then you will need evidence that it was faulty and who was responsible for the fault. You will probably know whether a mechanic had recently done some work on your alternator or fitted a new one and this would then be the most likely target for an insurance claim.
As long as the car is not too badly damaged, it should be easy to discover whether a faulty alternator was responsible or whether it was something else. It is unlikely that an alternator suddenly stops working altogether. Usually there is a gradual loss of electrical power and the charging light should come on, assuming that is working.
In other words you should have sufficient evidence that the alternator was failing and together with a mechanic’s inspection of the alternator this should be enough evidence to accompany a claim. Even if the alternator was a defective or shoddy part when fitted, unless you fitted it yourself this would be the responsibility of the garage and the mechanic employed to make sure it was working properly.
Reasons to Work With a Lawyer
Finding the reason for a crash when it is something in your own car that caused it can be difficult. If you have an argument with a garage about whether their workmanship caused the damage to your car you may think twice about not using an attorney.
An experienced attorney can ensure you get the best chance of a successful claim for compensation after an alternator failure. To speak with an experienced attorney, complete the Free Case Evaluation on this page.