A fast moving car is potentially a lethal weapon. It depends on smooth and efficient operation of all of its moving parts, including the fan belt. Fan belts do several things all at the same time. They help in cooling the engine; they ensure the alternator is charging and may drive additional components like the air conditioner.
A sudden failure in the fan belt may not be noticed straight away, but quite soon is going to have an effect on the running of the car. The battery may not be charging, leading to loss of electrical power to the spark plugs and other electrical components. The lack of cooling will set off alarm bells and could even cook the engine, leading to it stalling suddenly.
A failure in the fan belt could be potentially damaging and dangerous. If the fan belt failure was due to a defective product, you may be able to claim compensation from the manufacturer or supplier. An attorney can help you with the legal work needed, especially if the repair bill after a crash is excessive.
The Cost of an Accident When a Fan Belt Fails
The cost of a new belt at $10 to $15 a belt is a minor issue. A serpentine belt replacement rather than just a fan belt may be more if labor is involved, but really the cost of an accident that has been caused by a defective belt could be much higher than just replacing the belt itself. It depends exactly on what happened when the car crash occurred.
Was there just a gentle nudge, or a dent in a fender or one of the side panels? Did the windscreen crack or a front head lamp smash? The worst case scenario is a serious car accident in which your car was a write off and you were injured. That’s when the cost of a single fan belt is an irrelevance and you will have to add up the full cost of everything that has been damaged, including your body, if you intend claiming compensation from the belt manufacturer or seller.
Evidence is Needed to Prove Fault in an Accident Involving a Failed Fan Belt
A failed fan belt can cause considerable damage if it leads to engine failure or sudden loss of power just as you are negotiating your way through heavy traffic on a fast moving freeway or in a tunnel. You may not even know at the time that it was the fan belt that caused the avalanche of problems that led o the crash.
Even if you discover that a defective belt failed and caused the accident you will not recover any damages unless you can prove that the belt was at fault. You will need a car professional to examine the car and determine what happened to the belt and how this impacted on your accident.
As in all car crash claims, the more evidence you can obtain and submit with your claim, the better. Eye witness statements, photos taken at the crash scene and a police report all help to build a case against whoever supplied the defective part.
Reasons to Work With a Lawyer
Linking a defective fan belt to the results of a car crash may seem a bit tenuous to any insurer. You may find it best to let an experienced attorney take over your claim for you, if he or she believes that you have sufficient evidence for a successful claim. To speak with an experienced lawyer, complete the Free Case Evaluation on this page.