While most personal injury claims are based upon allegations of another party’s negligent or careless actions, auto defect claims are often governed by the legal doctrine of strict liability. Under strict liability, an auto manufacturer may be held liable for any injuries and damages that their products cause, even if the manufacturer did not act negligently in making that product defective.
Regardless of the safety precautions an auto manufacturer or dealer may claim to take, if you were injured by a vehicle’s dangerous design or defective part, you may be able to file a civil claim in pursuit of compensation for your injuries.
In order to recover compensation, you must be able to fulfill the following requirements:
- You were injured or suffered losses: While a defective or poorly designed auto part may indeed be dangerous, you only have grounds to sue if the defect caused you injury or financial loss. Those who are not injured may be eligible for a refund or replacement but will not be able to pursue additional compensation.
- The product is defective: The car or auto part must have an “unreasonably dangerous” defect or design that injured you as a driver, passenger, or otherwise. This dangerous condition can be the result of the product’s design, manufacture, improper handling during shipment, or failure to warn consumers of the product’s dangers.
- You used the product as intended: Your injuries must have been caused during proper use of the product. Since reasonable, foreseeable use of a vehicle includes the possibility of its involvement in a collision, manufacturers have a duty to design cars and auto parts that will not improperly fail in a wreck.
- The vehicle or part was not altered: The part or vehicle must not have been substantially changed from the condition in which it was originally sold. A substantial change one is that affects the way the vehicle or part performs.
Types of Auto Defect Cases
Part of product liability cases is also knowing what kind of defect was to blame:
- Design: Some parts of a vehicle simply cannot be safe because of the way they were designed on paper. These defects point to a dangerous lack of understanding by auto part designers.
- Manufacturing: The cause of a car accident may be traced back to the manufacturing of a defective part. When the designs for a part or vehicle are theoretically safe, the danger was likely introduced in the creation of the auto part.
Our in-house engineering team can pinpoint the cause of a defect and use high-tech solutions to help re-create your accident and prove your case.
We have secured settlements and verdicts in cases regarding dangerous and defective vehicles where our clients were injured or killed because of:
- Airbag safety defects
- Takata airbag injuries
- Car door lock defects
- Car window defects
- Car fires
- Car seatback collapse
- Seat belt failure
- Sudden acceleration
- Car structural defects
- Tire failure
- Rollover accidents
- 15-passenger van defects
- Conversion van safety defects
- Product liability in trucking accidents
Through our efforts, we have helped change the automotive industry by forcing manufacturers to design and manufacture safer vehicles and component parts. We are passionate about creating change not only for our clients but in the area of consumer safety as well.