What if Defective Parts of my Car Caused an Accident?
It can be confusing to tell who is at fault in some vehicle accidents. What if you were driving quite safely, and some defect in your car caused unsafe conditions on the road that lead to an accident and possibly injured you or someone else? Who is at fault in this case?
Defective cars can be very dangerous. Whether or not defective operation of a vehicle will excuse a driver from fault for causing an accident depends on all of the circumstances of the accident and factors such as the following may be relevant:
- whether the defect was one that ought to have been detected prior to driving the vehicle;
- whether the “defect” was simply a shortcoming of the vehicle (such as lack of anti-lock brakes) which the driver out to have known about and accounted for;
- whether, despite the defect, the defendant could have avoided the accident; and
- whether the accident would have occurred even absent the defect.
Whatever the case, when a car or one of its components is defective and causes an accident, what can you do and who is to blame?
The first, and most obvious target of such cases is the automaker, in which case this would actually be a product liability lawsuit. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, if someone else was injured, you may or may not still be held accountable for some of the other person’s injuries. But in some cases, all damages caused by the accident might be able to be blamed on other parties.
If we can prove that your vehicle had a manufacturing or design defect and the manufacturer improperly installed a component or inadequately designed an entire system or vehicle, such that it resulted in the accident, you may have a claim against that manufacturer, and possibly even the dealer who sold it. We would have to also prove that the defect was dangerous enough to cause the accident in question, and that no major alterations to your vehicle had been made since being purchased that could have affected its safety on the road.
Common problems with cars that are likely to cause an accident include problems with the steering, acceleration, braking, windshield wipers, computer systems or lights. If your car is showing signs of any of these problems, you should get it checked as soon as possible.
Aside from the manufacturer of the car, you may also have claims against other parties. For example, if the vehicle was used when you bought it, and sold with a warranty. Another source of recovery is available to those who install after-market parts that fail, resulting in accidents. It is not uncommon for one to install different tires, headlights, taillights, suspension, and other systems to improve the look or performance of a vehicle. But, not all of these parts are made to the same standards of quality or designed to be as compatible with your vehicle as the original parts.
As a result, if you have been injured in an accident caused by a defective vehicle part, do not assume that there is no way for you to get recovery. In many cases, this recovery can be substantial and may compensate victims for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and more. To maximize your chances of success, and to consider all options for recovery of damages resulting from a defective part, contact Mazin & Associates, PC, Personal Injury Lawyers , experienced in vehicle accidents and product liability claims. Call us for a free initial evaluation and advice following your accident at (416) 625-2122.