Did a Defective Car Cause the Auto Accident?
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
When an auto accident occurs, most people assume one of the drivers is at fault. However, this is not always the case. Vehicles are becoming increasingly sophisticated, but these advances mean more complicated systems controlling the car. Within these systems, some malfunctions can occur and cause an accident.
Every year there are accidents caused by defective car parts. It could be airbags that fail to deploy properly or a defective tire that causes a blowout and rollover accident. Numerous common defects can cause vehicle accidents. The NHTSA has disclosed that after reviewing 2.2 million accidents between 2005 and 2007, they found vehicle defects caused 44,000 of them.
If you sustain injuries in a motor vehicle accident caused by an auto defect, you need a personal injury attorney on your side. The skilled and professional auto accident lawyers at Cochran Kroll & Associates P.C. can offer guidance and support as you navigate the complexities of Michigan personal injury law.
Will Product Liability Be Investigated in My Case?
It’s easy to miss the signs of a defective car part in a product liability case resulting from an auto accident. An experienced product liability lawyer can assess the sequence of events through available accounts (witness statements, police reports, plaintiff’s recollection) to determine whether a vehicle defect may be to blame.
If you believe that a defective part caused the accident, you should immediately raise this with your attorney. If you know the vehicle has been subject to a manufacturer’s recall or the car didn’t respond as it should’ve, and you lost control as a result, it’s worth pursuing this line of investigation.
Product defect injuries tend to be caused by:
- Defective design that may cause injury whether or not a car crash occurs
- A defective design that fails to provide the necessary safety equipment to ensure the occupant’s protection
- Defective design that causes the car crash
- Defective safety equipment which failed to deploy during an accident
Motor Vehicle Product Defect Liability
Michigan law requires the following be proven in vehicle defective product liability cases:
- The product caused your injury
- The product is defective
- The defect of the product is the reason for your injury
In this case, the product is your vehicle.
Establishing this fault takes a lot of time and resources. Experts will need to examine the car to determine what went wrong and if the accident was caused by defective auto parts or manufacturing defects. You need a personal injury lawyer well versed in product liability to ensure you gather the right evidence to prove your claim.
Common Product Defects Involved in Auto Accidents
While many parts of a vehicle could be recalled for various problems, these are some of the most common defects that result in auto accidents:
- Airbags that fail to deploy or deploy at the wrong time
- Steering systems that fail, causing the driver to lose control
- Car seats that break and cause the driver to lose control
- Seat belts that do not lock on impact or cause injury by pulling too hard on an occupant of the vehicle.
- Defective tires can cause blowouts and rollover accidents
- Defects in the braking system can cause catastrophic crashes
- Accelerators that break or stick can cause serious accidents because the driver can no longer control the speed of the vehicle
- Defective fuel systems can cause an explosion on impact with another object
If you are in a vehicle accident and it’s not immediately apparent why the accident occurred, here are some useful questions for assessing whether a defective car is the cause:
- Did something on the vehicle not work?
- Did that defect cause the accident?
- Was serious injury a result of that failure?
- Did the failure make the injury worse than it usually would be in the circumstances?
Liability for Vehicle Defect Accidents
Product liability laws protect consumers from manufacturers and sellers of substandard products. The product should meet the reasonable expectations of the purchaser. If the product fails to reach this standard, a product liability claim may arise. This would be the case if a defective part caused an auto accident.
Product liability lawsuits may be brought by anyone who uses the product and suffers an injury. A plaintiff no longer has to be the person who bought the product. This means passengers injured when the driver loses control of the vehicle due to a defective part may bring a product liability claim.
More than one party may be held liable in a claim for damages caused by a vehicle defect. The car manufacturer or parts supplier could be responsible for the issue with the car.
You will need to prove that at least one of the parties is liable under the product liability doctrine:
- Strict liability
- Breach of warranty (express or implied)
Establishing liability may be difficult. Car manufacturers, their suppliers, and insurance companies will resist your claim vigorously. You will need legal advice from a product liability attorney to increase your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve.
Consult an Attorney if You Suspect a Vehicle Defect
If you have been injured in an accident caused by a vehicle product defect, you will need skilled and committed legal counsel. The personal injury attorneys at the law firm Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. can assist you at this worrying and traumatic time.
We can negotiate with the defendant’s lawyers and guide you through establishing grounds for a claim and filing.
Our contingency fee basis means we only get paid if we win your case, so there is no financial risk to you to get started. Call our law firm today at 866-MICH-LAW and schedule your no-obligation, free case evaluation.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.