Modern day automobiles are designed with a variety of standard safety features to protect you in case of a collision or other accidents. Although properly-functioning safety devices can save lives, defects can and will occur in the airbag systems, restraint devices, tires, brakes and elsewhere in the vehicle. Such defects fall under the broad category of product liability – a complicated area of law which requires expert analysis and professional experience to review the facts applicable to a claim to determine liability for damages and injuries resulting from defective automobiles.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?
Each state differs in its law interpretation of whom may be held responsible for defective motor vehicles. In most states, the parties who may be held liable include:
- The manufacturer of the vehicle itself
- The parts manufacturer (hoses, tires, brakes)
- The dealership where the car was purchased
There are multiple reasons why a certain party may be held liable for a motor vehicle defect. Among the most common legal theories for determining responsibility are strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranty. Our experienced attorneys can advise you on which rules apply in your state, and the situation you motor vehicle defect falls under.
THE “CRASHWORTHINESS” CONCEPT
The most crucial concept motor vehicle defect liability is that of “crashworthiness”. This refers to the vehicle’s ability to prevent the human body from sustaining injuries in the event of a collision or accident. A motor vehicle collision subjects the occupants’ bodies to a number of different forces including rapid acceleration and deceleration and blunt impact. A vehicle’s crashworthiness deals primarily with the “secondary impacts” of the collision: those involving bodily contact with the interior parts of the vehicle.
ELEMENTS OF A MOTOR VEHICLE DEFECT CLAIM
Claims for injuries resulting from motor vehicle defects differ significantly from ordinary personal injury claims. It is not necessary to prove that the manufacturer, parts dealer, or dealership was negligent and that their carelessness caused the injury. The liability is instead controlled by the law doctrine of strict liability, holding those parties mentioned above responsible for the defects which led to the accident or injury.
If you or a loved one has suffered injury or loss due to a motor vehicle defect claim, Franklin D. Azar & Associates, P.C. can help. Email us or call today at phone number 303.757.3300.