Defective Product Lawyer

Most plaintiffs injured in car accidents sue the driver of the other car, but in some cases, the plaintiff might also be able to sue the manufacturer of one of the cars (or its component parts) involved in the accident. For instance, a defective break might cause a rear end collision, a defective tire might blow out and cause the driver to run into another car, or a defective steering well might cause a car to roll over. Further, if another driver in a car accident is suing you, you might be able to escape liability by showing that one of the cars was defective, and that the defect caused the accident. 

A personal injury claim against a manufacturer of a car or one of its parts is classified as a products liability lawsuit and is usually based on strict liability rather than negligence. However, as our friends at Eglet Adams explain, a negligence and products liability claims are not mutually exclusive, and a plaintiff may include both the driver and the manufacturer as defendants in their lawsuit. 

Common Types of Automobile Defects 

Automobile defects usually fall into one of two categories: manufacturing defects and design defects. A manufacturing defect occurs when an automobile or one of its parts deviates from its intended design specifications due to a mistake during the manufacturing or delivery process. A design defect occurs when the automobile’s or one of its part’s intended design contains an error that makes it unreasonably dangerous. Design defects might involve automobiles that were never recalled from the market after the manufacturer discovered the defect. 

A plaintiff in an automobile defect case must show that the defect caused their injury. If the plaintiff is alleging a design defect, this might involve showing that a safer alternative design was available to the manufacturer without significant additional cost. 

The following are some defects that might lead to an automobile accident and subsequent personal injury lawsuit: 

  • Air bags did not deploy or deployed late
  • Doors, hatchbacks, or tailgates opened during the accident
  • An explosion occurred during or immediately after the accident, worsening injuries or causing new injuries
  • The passenger cabin did not adequately protect the automobile’s passengers 
  • The automobile’s seatbelts did not work correctly
  • The automobile’s cruise control got stuck or accelerated suddenly

Possible Defendants in an Automobile Defect Lawsuit 

Because several people are involved in the chain of production and distribution for automobiles, a lawsuit might have multiple defendants. A plaintiff might sue the manufacturer of the car and/or its components, which might be separate companies. If the plaintiff purchased the defective part separately from the automobile, only the manufacturer of the component part will be liable. Otherwise, the plaintiff can likely name both companies as defendants in the lawsuit. 

If the automobile seems to have been damaged during shipping or by the distributor that transported the automobile from the manufacturer to the dealership, the plaintiff can sue the shipping company or distributor. Further, the plaintiff may be able to sue the dealership or other company that sold the car or the defective part. This being said, having a defective product lawyer through the lawsuit process can improve your outcomes.