Is a parts manufacturer responsible for your car accident?

Not all car accidents result from a driving error or hazard on the road. In some cases, a car accident may occur because a part of the vehicle itself malfunctions, such as a failure in the brake system or the power steering, or a transmission that suddenly fails. As we move into the future with self-driving cars, the possibilities for manufacturing errors causing accidents may continue to rise.

A car accident that occurs because of a part failure may justify a manufacturer liability lawsuit to cover the damages. In these lawsuits, a plaintiff does not need to accuse the manufacturer of any specific wrongdoing, they only need to demonstrate that the malfunctioning part was already in the vehicle when they purchased it, that they were using the vehicle in the way that the manufacturer intended it to be used, and that the failure of the part caused damages that can be compensated.

If the part is an after-market part, it may still prove possible to sue the manufacturer of the individual component, but manufacturer liability usually gets pretty hazy once a person begins doing any significant modifications to the vehicle from its original state. Similarly, if a part fails while the driver is operating the vehicle outside its intended use, such as trying to drive through rising water that submerges any part of the vehicle itself, this may invalidate a lawsuit against the manufacturer.

If you believe that your accident occurred because of a part failure, you can speak with an experienced attorney to assess your legal options and ensure that your rights remain secure as you pursue a fair resolution.

Source: FindLaw, "Your Rights: Defects, Repairs, and Lawsuits," accessed Feb. 02, 2018

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