Defective motor vehicles have either manufacturing or design flaws that can cause injury to its occupants. When you suffer from an injury due to a defective vehicle, it is important to work with the right defective car lawyer.
Manufacturing defects result in a product not operating as intended. An example would be if your gas pedal stuck, causing you to accelerate more than you intended. Manufacturing defects can affect one specific vehicle or the whole production line.
In contrast, design defects are flaws in a product’s design that are intended yet faulty. Design defects will always affect the whole production line and not individual products. An example would be if the gas pedal and brake pedal are too close together. The designer intended for both pedals to be near each other but failed to realize that said design would be a safety hazard.
Both manufacturing and design flaws can result in additional injuries to drivers or passengers that would not happen in a different make or model vehicle.
Common Motor Vehicle Defects
Several defects have come to our attention over the years. You may have heard about some of these defects, including:
- Airbag defects. While airbags are supposed to protect passengers from injury in an accident, some recalled airbags do not work as intended. Instead, they fail to deploy, deploy at the wrong time, or injure occupants on deployment.
- Seat belt defects. This is another example of a vehicle safety feature that can cause you more harm in an accident. Popular automakers have had incidents where their seat belts tear or unlatch during an auto collision.
- Tire defects. Some tire manufacturers had to recall tires because they failed soon after purchase. This would cause the vehicle to roll over while driving or after a collision.
- Seat defects. There have been several incidents where a car seat would spring back in a collision. This would cause head and neck injuries that otherwise would not have occurred.
Additionally, fuel systems and SUV roofs are more examples of defective products that have led to accidents or made minor accidents worse.
Is the manufacturer or retailer at fault?
When it comes to product liability cases including defective vehicles, anyone in the chain of distribution can be liable for your injury. This includes the manufacturer of your vehicle but can also include the manufacturer of a specific defective part. Additionally, the product designer and even the marketers can be liable.
A product retailer may also be held liable. This is true even if you did not purchase the product yourself. In fact, you do not even need to necessarily be a driver or a passenger in the vehicle to file a lawsuit. For example, let’s say that you were on your bicycle. A driver’s tire malfunctioned, causing them to lose control of their vehicle and collide with you.
In this event, the retailer of the vehicle might be liable for your damages.
Finally, other members of the supply chain might be liable for your defective vehicle damages. Wholesalers and other intermediaries that are part of the distribution chain can also be found at fault for defective product damages.
How will a defective car lawyer prove my case?
There are different laws in every state that determine the burden of proof for showing that a vehicle is defective. In general, you will need to provide evidence on several points, most notably:
- That an unexpected defect caused your injury. To prove this, you will need to show that had the vehicle been without this unintended effect you would not have been injured.
- That you were using your vehicle as intended. You were driving the speed limit, not distracted, and not impaired.
- That you have made no significant alterations to the vehicle that resulted in your accident. Alterations that adjust vehicle performance would not be the fault of a manufacturer or retailer.
Contact an Experienced Defective Car Lawyer Today
If you have been injured by a defective vehicle, then you should consult with a defective car lawyer. Car manufacturers have common defenses that could stop you from recovering damages after an accident, but our experienced Boca Raton product liability attorneys know the ins and outs of these defences. We will make sure you are justly compensated.
If you are in Florida and want to work with experienced West Palm Beach product liability attorneys, contact the law firm of Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath at (561) 655-1990. We will get to understand the circumstances of your accident and let you know how we can help you recover damages.