While most accidents are the result of driver error, there are a significant number of auto accidents caused by defective vehicles or parts. A defective vehicle or auto part can cause accidents and injuries despite a driver’s best efforts to reasonably maintain their vehicle. Someone who has been injured in an accident caused by a defective vehicle, may have the right to file a product liability claim against the vehicle’s manufacturer.
Types of Vehicle Defects
There are two types of vehicle defects that can lead to an accident. Design defects are defects where the design is faulty before the part is even manufactured. Manufacturing defects are defects occurring when the parts are being made. These are not flaws in the design but in the manufacturing process or in the materials used to make the part.
Examples of Vehicle Defects
Vehicle defects can be either the cause of an accident, or can cause the injuries resulting from an accident to be more severe. Examples of safety-related defects include:
- Airbags that fail to deploy—even if negligent driving is the cause of the accident, the injuries could be more severe if the airbag did not properly deploy.
- Airbags that deploy when they should not—airbags can lead to burns and bruises and an accident.
- Brake failure
- Seatbelt failure—one of the most fundamental parts of vehicle safety. If the belt breaks or unlatches during a collision, it can lead to serious injuries.
- Sudden unintended acceleration
- Tire failure—the explosion of a tire due to a defect can cause loss of control of the vehicle
- Steering mechanism failure
Car and car parts manufacturers have a duty to ensure that their products are reasonably safe or to warn consumers within a reasonable time frame when dangers are discovered. When a manufacturer fails in their duty, an injured party may be entitled to file a product liability lawsuit to recover damages for injuries caused by the defective product.
Preventing Accidents Based on Vehicle Defects
Unfortunately most people don’t realize their vehicle has a defect until it is too late. As a conscientious consumer, you can do your best to prevent an accident based on a vehicle defect by staying informed regarding any recalls on your vehicle. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) maintains a database of vehicle recalls. Enter your VIN to see if your car is subject to a recall.
If you’ve been injured in an accident that was caused by a vehicle defect, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C. we have over 50 years of experience representing injured New Yorkers in product liability suits. Schedule a free consultation and we will thoroughly investigate your claim to determine whether a manufacturer is potentially liable for your injuries. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MED-LAW1. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español