Getting in a vehicular collision is stressful enough, but when it’s not your fault, nor the fault of another driver, but the fault of the manufacturer, the situation gets even more stressful and complex. You do all you can to be a good driver, yet due to a manufacturer’s defect, your car malfunctioned and resulted in a crash. What do you do?
Well, the first thing to do is consult with a car accident lawyer in Roanoke VA. Your lawyer can establish liability. These are tricky cases, and shouldn’t be handled on your own. You need a team of researchers and investigators who can put your best interests first.
Liability in Event of Vehicle Defect
In a nutshell, liability can be traced to one of three things: design, manufacturing, or warning/label flaws.
If a production mistake was at the root cause of a car, motorcycle or truck collision, that defect must be proven in order for the manufacturer or dealership to be held liable. Injuries can occur in a variety of ways when vehicles are not made in accordance to stated safety standards. Perhaps an airbag should not have deployed but did, a defect that may have resulted in fractures, burns or scrapes.
Liability can be attributed to any of the following:
- Car, truck, or motorcycle manufacturers
- Manufacturers responsible for producing vehicle parts
- Supply stores that stock and make parts
- Car, truck, or motorcycle dealerships
The manufacturer could also be at fault because the safety issue with the car lies in its design. An experienced car accident attorney in Roanoke VA can connect your injuries with the design defect, show how it was unreasonably dangerous to progress to the manufacturing process, and how that oversight led to undue harm.
In addition to design and manufacturing flaws, warning or label defects can also be to blame for car collisions. When there are dangers within the product, the car maker is required to provide adequate labels and warnings. If not, they have failed to warn drivers of the risks associated with the use of the product, which makes them liable for the collision.
If your collision was caused by any of the above three components, the auto maker can be held liable for the collision, and will have to pay for damages, hospital bills, etc.
The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act authorizes the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to ensure vehicle safety standards as well as to make manufacturers recall vehicles with safety-related defects or that fail to meet federal safety standards. Since this act went into effect in 1966, NHTSA has recalled 390 million cars, trucks, buses, RVs, motorcycles, and mopeds, along with 46 million tires, 66 million motor vehicle equipment components, and 42 million car seats because of safety defects.
Most manufacturers typically initiate most recalls on a voluntary basis, but some have to be influenced by NHTSA investigations or ordered via the court system. When a safety defect has been discovered, the manufacturer has to notify NHTSA, along with vehicle or equipment owners, distributors and dealers. Then, the manufacturer must fix the problem at no charge.
Examples of safety-related defects can include:
- Steering components that fail suddenly
- Problems with fuel system components
- Accelerator controls that break or stick
- Wheels that break or crack
- Engine cooling fan blades that malfunction unexpectedly
- Windshield wiper assemblies that operate improperly
- Seats that fail unexpectedly as part of normal use
- Critical vehicle components that fall apart, break or separate from the vehicle
- Wiring system issues resulting in fire or loss of lighting
- Car ramps or jacks that collapse and cause injury to anyone working on the vehicle
- Air bags that deploy under unintentional conditions
- Car and booster seats that contain defective buckles, safety belts or components
Establishing what the problem was, and making sure the correct party takes liability for the collision, is the job of your trusted car accident lawyers in Roanoke.