One of the most underrated factors in auto accidents is manufacturing defects. Despite significant improvements in vehicle safety features over the past few decades, equipment failures still cause car accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), mechanical failures are the primary reason for thousands of auto accidents annually. While some of these collisions are due to poor vehicle maintenance, many are because of car manufacturing defects. Manufacturing companies often fail to identify the fault before launching and selling their cars to the general public. Instead of ensuring that their vehicles meet the highest safety standards, the manufacturers do not check for those defects.
Unfortunately, manufacturing defects lead to car accidents, catastrophic injuries, and even deaths. If an automobile defect caused harm to you or a loved one, you may be able to pursue a product liability claim. You can explore your legal options and create a compensation claim with the help of our car accident attorneys. Call (312) 598-0917 or contact us online to schedule a free, no-risk consultation. You can sue a car manufacturer with the help of our personal injury lawyer.
Common accident-causing vehicle defects
If a manufacturer, driver, or another party identifies a defect in an automobile or one of its components, they must notify authorities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requires that a manufacturer recall a specific set of cars if the agency detects a potential safety issue with their component. Even if a recall occurs, it does not always imply that all faulty vehicles are off the road. Manufacturing flaws can lead to accidents before the manufacturer takes preventative measures. Vehicle malfunctions that are common causes of accidents include the following:
Airbags, built-in inflatable cushions, deploy when the vehicle gets hit in the front. It prevents passengers from colliding with the vehicle’s hard interior surfaces. Due to poor design, they might fail to deploy or open suddenly at the incorrect time. Because of the force applied to your body when your airbag deploys, you could suffer even more injuries than you should.
The brakes are a significant part of the car operating system that can keep you out of accidents. Your car’s braking potential can determine whether you escape an accident without injury or sustain serious injuries. If brakes fail, the risk of death in a car accident increases exponentially. Since the brakes are one of the most crucial safety features, their poor quality or defect can be fatal.
Faulty seat belts
Your seatbelt is another auto safety feature that can malfunction in an accident. Seatbelts may fail to secure car occupants in an accident due to broken latches, tension detectors, or other flaws. Death or serious injuries could happen if a seatbelt gets snapped, unbuckles, breaks, or doesn’t clip.
Fuel system defects
Fuel leaks, clogged fuel filters, broken fuel injectors, broken fuel pumps, and damaged fuel lines are examples of fuel system flaws in automobiles. These problems may result in poor fuel economy, vehicle fires, stalling, or even pose a safety risk. It is crucial to address fuel system defects promptly to avoid severe accidents or further damage.
Detective door latch mechanisms
Faulty door latch mechanisms can also lead to car crashes. It allows doors to open unexpectedly while a vehicle moves on the road. It can result in passengers being ejected from the car or struck by other objects, leading to catastrophic injuries or even death. Moreover, if the door latch does not properly secure the door, it may pop open during a collision, which can enhance the risk of damage.
Fault in accelerator control systems
Defects in the control system, including the accelerator pedal, can cause unintended acceleration and an inability to slow down. The accelerator control system affects a driver’s ability to control their vehicle’s speed. The four-wheeler vehicle may rapidly accelerate without the driver’s intention. As a result, it can deter their controlling capacity, lead to collisions with other objects or vehicles, and even fatalities.
Steering component flaws
Steering component defects include worn or damaged steering linkages, misaligned wheels, and a malfunctioning power steering system. These defects can impair a driver’s ability to control the direction of their vehicle. It can result in the car veering off course, colliding with other vehicles or objects, and even rolling over. Detecting and repairing these defects is necessary before they lead to accidents.
If you discover any such manufacturing flaws, you might want to sue the car manufacturer. Whether or not you are eligible to do so depends on the circumstances surrounding the situation. If you believe you have a valid case, speak with an experienced lawyer who can examine your claim and suggest the best course of action.
Valid grounds for suing a manufacturer
Under federal safety norms, automobile manufacturers should release safe products. The vehicle’s performance, design, and construction are all subject to safety regulations. It includes the overall layout and car parts, including brakes, tires, lighting, airbags, and seatbelts. The standards facilitate smooth vehicle functioning and consumer protection.
The risk is high when car makers do not comply with federal requirements. As a result of their defective design or carelessness, numerous poor-quality products come into the market. They may use the same processes and components to manufacture many faulty vehicles. These cars could cause accidents and endanger the lives of thousands of people.
Here are a few scenarios in which you might be able to bring a lawsuit against a car manufacturer:
If the car defect led to an accident, injury, or recall, you could bring a lawsuit against the manufacturer.
You can sue the car manufacturer if they knew about the defect but neglected to fix it. That defect caused an accident and substantial damage.
If the automaker made exaggerated claims about the car’s performance or safety that persuaded you to buy it, you have a case against it for misrepresentation.
If a car manufacturer violates the warrant terms, you have a genuine reason to sue them. It includes situations when they refuse to pay out on a warranty claim or fail to fix a defect covered by the warranty.
You could file a claim against a car manufacturer if their carelessness in designing or manufacturing the vehicle resulted in an accident or injury.
Automotive Product Liability Laws
An automobile design or manufacturing flaw is the basis for a product liability claim. Car accident victims who sustain injuries because of vehicle malfunctions could be eligible to file a product liability claim for restitution. Besides the car manufacturer, the condition applies to any firm involved in the supply chain, such as the shipper, dealer, or maker of the parts. It means you can pursue legal action against more than just the car company. However, a product liability lawsuit requires you to establish the manufacturer’s or other parties’ responsibility for losses and expenses. You must have solid evidence that the car’s flawed design or construction was the direct cause of your injuries.
If you can prove the following, you can hold the car manufacturer accountable for your mishap or injuries:
- The vehicle or its component puts the driver in danger.
- The manufacturer had the option of creating a safer version.
- You suffered injuries or loss due to a faulty vehicle or component.
You may be eligible for compensation for your injuries and related damages if the above-stated situations apply to you. Keep in mind the limitations period for lawsuits against automobile manufacturers. The statute of limitations states that you have a specific amount of time to file your suit. In most US states, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim against the manufacturer if a vehicle defect was the cause of your accident. You cannot recover damages if you try to bring a case after the statutory limitations have run out. Hiring a skilled attorney is the best recourse to prove the consequent sustained compensable damages. The attorney will gather the required information to preserve as much evidence as possible. They will assist you in pursuing the compensation within the statutory deadlines.
Recovering damages from a lawsuit against a car manufacturer
The manufacturers are liable for damages incurred from their defective vehicles and parts. However, the recoverable damage amount depends on several factors, such as road conditions, legal jurisdiction, and loss extent. Generally, in such cases, the damages fall into two broad categories:
It includes expenses that you can calculate with some degree of certainty. For instance, medical expenses, lost wages, and property loss are economic. These damages are easier to quantify and determine than non-economic ones.
These are less tangible and more difficult to quantify. It includes pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. The recoverable amount of non-economic damages varies widely depending on the jurisdiction in which you file the claim.
In some cases, a car manufacturer may also face punitive damages, an amount intended to punish the manufacturer for particularly egregious conduct. The recoverable amount of punitive damages varies widely depending on the jurisdiction and specific condition. Overall, the recoverable damages in an accident involving a car manufacturer differ significantly from case to case.
Hiring an experienced defective vehicle design attorney
According to federal regulations, automakers must only produce vehicles that do not jeopardize consumer safety. However, not all car makers meet the standard requirements. Some release substandard cars in the market to make quick money. Buyers are likely to get into accidents because of manufacturing or design flaws. They may suffer severe injuries and incur extensive financial losses. If you are a victim, you may be eligible to file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer. The best recourse is to hire a personal injury attorney and prove that a design or manufacturing defect caused your crash. Our skilled attorney at Phillips Law Offices can help you with your case. We assist our clients in obtaining reimbursement and justice following injuries caused by defective products. Contact us now and schedule your free consultation at (312) 598-0917.
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