Defective Parts Car Accidents and Product Liability
Many auto accidents are not caused by drivers. Instead, they are the result of defective car components. This is something the Phoenix, Arizona car accident lawyers of the Cantor Team see often. When a car with known defective parts is involved in a car accident, personal injury and property damage claims may result. These claims fall under product liability, under the strict liability doctrine not requiring the victim’s lawyer to prove manufacturer negligence. This mean that these cases are not as difficult to prove and they can be high-valued claims. Under the strict liability doctrine, the plaintiff’s lawyer only must prove the accident occurred and the defective part was on the vehicle at the time of the accident, having malfunctioned.
In these accidents involving defective car parts, injured parties are able to recover full damages. Even the driver of the vehicle with the defective part can recover his or her damages. It may even be that all vehicles involved in the wreck are provided with a zero-fault rating.
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Documentation in Defective Part Car Accidents
Accidents are often just as they are named, accidents. But accident reconstruction experts may find that a car accident was actually caused by a defective car part. These findings are usually the result of the investigator not finding driver fault in the crash. They then move onto the vehicle’s condition and may find the vehicle listed on a product recall list, yet unrepaired. This leads to easy consideration of the accident cause as being related to the recalled part.
Product recall is a legal document in which the government is forcing compliance by the part’s manufacturer. But some product liability cases involve defective parts not yet recalled by NHTSA (the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). If a car part is considered to have possibly led to your accident, your Phoenix car accident lawyer can conduct an investigation to determine if the product was defective. Reconstruction experts help determine this, by building competing arguments of the wreck being caused by faulty parts. For this defective part claim to stand up in your case, there must be reasonable documented proof of the part causing the accident.
Defective Parts in Single Car Accidents
When a single car accident occurs without apparent cause and the driver was operating the vehicle according to legal limits, a defective car part may be suspected. This will not work if the driver was speeding at the time of the accident or otherwise being reckless at the time of the wreck. This is also true in accidents involving drunk drivers. There are car accident circumstances where drivers attempt to avoid hitting something, then the faulty part breaks in the sudden avoidance. In cases like these, having the right legal counsel is important. Your skilled product liability and car accident lawyer will work to prove the faulty part was the reason for the accident’s occurrence.
Multiple Vehicle Crashes Involving Defective Car Parts
When a defective part causes a multiple vehicle accident, it can be very difficult to determine this cause. This is because these chain reaction accidents become quite complicated. Defective parts on commercial vehicles are often a result of the commercial company’s failure to maintain the vehicle properly. Although the parts manufacturer may be held liable in these cases under the strict liability doctrine, the commercial trucking driver and his or her company may also be negligent if they have not properly maintained and inspected the rig according to operating rules.
You should never assume that you will only gain damages from one at-fault driver in your multi-vehicle accident. When involved vehicles are on recall lists for defective parts, the parts manufacturer may even be more at fault than drivers. These are highly complex cases requiring strong legal counsel to ensure all aspects of the case are investigated. You may be owed damages by multiple parties, instead of just receiving a minimum amount of compensation from one driver’s insurance company.
You should never attempt to settle your car accident claim without a highly experienced lawyer who understands product liability in car accidents, as well as how to represent victims in these cases. The defendant will have their own skilled legal team, so yours must be experienced, skilled and knowledgeable. For the most skilled representation for your car accident, call Hirsch & Lyon Accident Law now at 602.254.2701 for a free, no-obligation case consultation.