Defective Car Parts Can Be Deadly
Accidents that are caused by defective vehicle parts or unsafe designs can be disastrous. A person injured because of defective car parts has a product liability claim and the right to pursue compensation. If an insurer denies a claim, the victim can file a lawsuit to recover damages.
Upon purchasing a vehicle, whether new or used, the new owner has a right to expect that the manufacturer designed and manufactured all the parts correctly to ensure customer safety. If any of those parts fail and cause car crashes, victims can seek compensation from all responsible parties.
Defective Car Parts Lawsuits
When defective car parts cause car accidents, exacerbate injuries resulting from one, or lead to fatality crashes, victims have many liability theories to use in recovering compensation or damages.
These theories require plaintiffs to show injuries and losses, design defects, manufacturing defects, failure to warn, and the damage caused by the said defects. Common theories that car accident lawyers use include strict liability, breach of an implied warranty, and breach of express warranty.
Unlike car accident cases where plaintiffs must prove that driver negligence was the causative factor for their injuries, different rules have developed for product liability cases. One reason is that it is costly and challenging to prove that a manufacturer with several product lines was negligent in just one of them.
Hence, the strict liability theory requires plaintiffs to show that either the vehicle or a particular part was defective, which caused their injuries or property damages. Plaintiffs don’t have to prove that a manufacturer’s actions failed to meet a specific standard of care.
Plaintiffs can also rely on a breach of implied or express warranty. Vehicles and car parts come with written warranties or guarantees. The presence of one or more defects breaches this warranty. In cases with no written warranty, the respective jurisdictions have minimum standards that products must meet.
If a design defect case meets the requirements of an existing class action lawsuit, then the victim or plaintiff can join—for example, an attorney may already be pursuing compensation on behalf of a number of clients if defective tires are discovered in a particular model of cars.
Litigation involving rideshare accidents caused by defective car parts that have been recalled is complicated. Many rideshare companies escape liability by classifying their drivers as independent contractors. However, it is the driver's responsibility to repair a recalled car. Therefore the driver may be able to be held liable for negligence and the manufacturer may be held accountable for the defective parts as well.
Who is Responsible for Defective Car Parts Accidents?
Any number of the parties below might be liable for a motor vehicle’s defective parts:
- Manufacturers of the defective part
- Designers of the defective part
- Car Dealerships or auto supply shops
- Marketers of the defective part
- Middle person in a car parts’ supply or distribution chain
Common Types of Defective Car Parts
A passenger car has roughly over 30,000 auto parts that work together to keep it operating safely. If one of the parts malfunctions or fails, the entire vehicle becomes compromised. This can lead to serious motor vehicle accidents. Common types of defective car parts include failures in brake systems, airbags, transmissions, accelerator controls, clutches, tires, and wheels.
Often, it’s difficult to pinpoint what caused an accident immediately after a car crash. The problem could be in either one of the vehicles involved in the crash. Hence, victims must follow up with police investigators or hire their own.
Many victims hire a car accident attorney for help researching recall reports, determining whether others have lodged similar complaints or experienced similar problems, and pinpointing the at-fault party.
Compensation that victims can pursue include medical bills, future medical expenses, lost wages, costs to fix or replace the vehicle, punitive damages, and pain and suffering.