Did your injuries result from a defective auto part?
In a blog entry last October, we discussed the many problems facing General Motors in the wake of numerous motor vehicle recalls. For individuals who suffer injuries or financial losses due to a defective auto part or motor vehicle, it’s important to discuss one’s case with an attorney who can help determine if legal action may be warranted.
Unlike the majority of other personal injury matters, those arising from defective auto parts are covered under strict liability. This means that a plaintiff does not need to prove that a defendant is negligent. Rather, as long as a plaintiff can prove that an auto defect caused one’s injuries while a vehicle was being operated in a normal manner, the strict liability legal standard applies.
An auto part defect may adversely impact a vehicle’s braking system, steering, transmission, airbags and, as in the case of a recent GM case, even something as small as an ignition switch. Such defects may occur during the design, manufacture or shipment of a vehicle. Motor vehicle companies spend millions of dollars annually on safety and performance testing and consumers have a right to expect that any deficiencies or defects are identified and corrected prior to a specific make or model being sold on the market. In cases where a defect is subsequently discovered, manufacturers must issue a recall.
Individuals who suffer injuries in relation to a defective auto part may seek compensatory damages to account for expenses related medical care, lost wages and motor vehicle repair. Additionally, plaintiffs in defective auto parts lawsuits may also sue to recover punitive damages which can total into the millions per successful case.
When planning to take on a motor vehicle manufacturer, it’s critical to have legal representation. Legal claims involving defective auto parts are complex and there are numerous defenses that may be posed in an attempt to refute valid claims.
Source: FindLaw.com, “Defective Motor Vehicle Lawsuits,” Feb. 20, 2015
FindLaw.com, “Defective Products and Consumer Rights,” Feb. 20, 2015
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