When Defective Automobile Parts Cause an Accident
People are hurt in a collision every hour in the United States. In fact, in an average year, three million people will be injured in car accidents on America’s roads. There are six million car accidents happening every year. The main causes of car accidents are usually reckless driving, distracted driving, or drunk driving. Drowsy driving also contributes significantly to automobile accidents. However, sometimes accidents can be attributed to defective automobile parts. When defective automobile parts have contributed to an accident, everyone injured or involved has an interest in whether they can file a product liability lawsuit. This holds the car manufacturer or other parties responsible for causing the accident and resulting injuries.
- How common are product liability lawsuits? In 2013, the median personal injury award in a product liability lawsuit was $3,123,950. One in every 10 personal injury cases are related to a defective product, and each year over 10 million toys alone are recalled because of a defect. Since 2014, there have been over 100 million recalls on automobiles for defective automobile parts..
- Who is liable for defective automobile parts? This type of case can be quite complicated. Your car accident lawyer can give you more information, but it can be a long process to determine who is liable. Sometimes a flawed part is not made by the manufacturer, but by a third-party. Sometimes, a part gets installed improperly. If the product was not original to a car, but was added on later after being purchased at a dealership or supply store, the dealership or supplies store might be held responsible. Also know that if one or more of those involved in the accident were driving recklessly or were under the influence, it becomes more difficult to prosecute a lawsuit against a parts maker, even if the part was defective.
- Who is liable for defective automobile parts? What are some of the common defective automobile parts? Certain defects are more common than others. Here are some of the most common:
Problems with the tires are one of the most common causes of an accident. It’s easy to lose control of the vehicle when there has been improper tread wear, and if a tire explodes, it’s almost impossible to avoid an accident.
Brakes and Acceleration
No one wants to be in a car when the brakes fail. Brake failure at the wrong moment can result in a terrible car accident. Even more dangerous is sudden and unintended acceleration. Thankfully, these are not common issues in modern cars. However, they are also not unheard of.
The airbags are meant to keep you safe, so when they have a problem it can be especially upsetting. Common airbag issues include a failure to deploy or airbags that deploy when they should not. If the airbag deploys when there has been no impact, a serious accident can result. Sometimes airbags deployed too quickly or with too much force, causing injuries instead of protecting against them.
Seatbelts and Seatbacks
The seatbelt and seatback are both crucial to keeping you safe in an accident. If the seatback fails or breaks, even a small accident can suddenly cause big injuries. Seat belt failure can be deadly.
It’s possible to control your vehicle even without power steering, but when it goes out suddenly it can be such a surprise that it creates an accident.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, and you suspect that defective automobile parts caused or contributed to the accident, it’s important that you contact a personal injury lawyer and take steps to preserve any evidence. This means taking pictures of the accident scene and your car, and it also means keeping track of your car even if it’s towed away. Don’t get the car fixed until you’ve spoken with your personal injury attorney. It may be that defective automobile parts were not at play in your accident, but if you have any reason to suspect it, better safe than sorry. Getting the advice of an attorney is always a safe course of action.