When a Manufacturer Is Liable for Your Car Accident
When you buy a new car or a new car part, you expect the machine to work as is advertised. After all, it is brand new. What could possibly go wrong? Sadly, when it comes to poorly manufactured parts or vehicles, everything could go wrong. From defective brakes to popped tires, that new car could fall apart within months of a purchase and cause a catastrophic accident. When that happens, the party responsible should be held liable for their negligence.
Common Auto Defects
Given how complex cars have become since they were invented over 100 years ago, there are many ways that a small flaw can cause serious damage. These defects can come around due to poor design, meaning the part or vehicle would never properly work, or due to a manufacturing error, which occurs when a part is made defectively. Whatever the cause of the defect, it can cause serious collisions and injuries.
There are some defects that are more common than others, especially when it comes to auto accidents, including:
- Weak and crumpled roofs
- Seatbelt malfunctions
- Brake defects
- Popped tires
- Defective tires
- Improper wiring
- Steering defects
One of the most terrifying things you can experience while driving is hitting the brakes and realizing that the car hasn’t slowed down at all. This kind of nightmarish scenario was all too real for the victims of one of the many Toyota recalls that happened from 2009 to 2011. If you have found yourself in a similar position, whether it was a steering failure, or because your brand new tires popped for seemingly no reason, you are likely wondering who you can hold liable and how you can recover compensation.
Holding the Manufacturer Liable
If your accident was caused by an auto defect, then the responsible party is likely the company in charge of manufacturing and designing that part or vehicle. When a design is settled on, tests must be run to make sure that it works as it should and will keep occupants safe. If these tests are skipped or the poor results are ignored, it can spell danger. Similarly, there should always be a quality control review performed during manufacturing to make sure a vehicle or part is free of errors. When a company neglects to do so, then they should be held liable for any resulting damages.
Holding them liable, however, does require that certain criteria be met. In a product liability claim against the manufacturing company, you must show one of the following:
A breach of warranty: This means that the auto part did not meet its expected life span. Cars are in constant use, and parts can naturally wear down over time. An auto defect may occur simply because a part has been in use for too long. But a breach of warranty means that the part was too new for the defect to be caused naturally over time. However, this may not be the manufacturer’s fault. Many companies handle the shipping, distribution, and sale of auto parts. If one of them damaged the part, then they could be found liable instead.
Negligence: This is when the company is negligent in its manufacturing or design practices. That may involve using lower-quality materials, skipping quality tests, or knowingly implementing a faulty design. Manufacturers are legally required to avoid taking any action that could cause harm or damage to others, especially their customers.
Strict liability: Strict liability is the most often used criteria in auto defect claims. Manufacturers are liable for damages caused by their products, even if no negligence occurred during the making of said product. This means that even if the company that made your dangerously defective car followed all protocols, ran every test, and produced what they believed was a safe product, they are still responsible for any defects that were caused accidentally.
Making Your Claim
Meeting these criteria can be difficult, especially if you are struggling with your injuries. That is where Peters & Nolan, LLC comes in. We can do an in-depth investigation into your auto defect and determine who is responsible for your injuries. From there, we can fight to get you the compensation you deserve. We understand how emotionally difficult it can be to move past a serious accident; that is why we want to offer our services. For a free consultation with expert Grand Junction car accident attorneys, call our firm at (970) 243-4357 today.
Peters & Nolan, LLC is your ideal source for high quality legal representation throughout the state of Colorado. Known for being personable and responsive, attorneys Andrew J. Peters and Andrew Nolan are aggressive trial lawyers with an excellent record of trying and settling cases in criminal defense, DUI/DWAI and personal injury.