Help! My car is defective and caused an accident – what can I do?
Our Phoenix personal injury attorneys hear this quite frequently. It is no surprise that today’s automobiles are much safer than ever. Technologies, devices, and equipment ensure car passengers and drivers are well-protected. Seat belts, road and vehicle condition monitoring computers, crumple zones, airbags, and warning indicators help drivers avoid accidents, also protecting everyone in the vehicle when a crash happens.
But sometimes, those protective systems fail. Like any equipment, technology, or mechanical device, these systems can be defective due to improper manufacturing or faulty installation. When people “souped up” their cars using aftermarket additions, those may also interfere with the vehicle’s safety or performance.
What are some Common Defective Car Parts?
Regardless of the cause of a vehicle defect that results in an accident, that defect likely means others are at least partially to blame for the damage suffered in the wreck. But what can be done about this? Who is at fault, when a car or its parts are defective? For answers to these questions and guidance through the legal maze of auto accident negligence, it is important to work with an experienced personal injury attorney that has dealt with these types of claims.
Because attorney Jason Hutzler started his legal career as an adjuster and then moving onto to insurance company defense, he has many years of experience knowing the insurance tricks used to deny a claim. This gives Hutzler Law the upper hand when dealing with your accident claim.
Some frequently experienced defects that result in car accidents include:
- Airbags not deploying on impact, or spontaneously deploying
- Computer systems causing the car to accelerate unexpectedly
- Faulty braking systems
- Faulty or defective tires
- Poorly designed engine parts
- Substandard materials
- Other defects
These defects and others have resulted in case filings following auto accidents in the past several years. You may have seen stories about such cases in the media. When the media reports on accidents caused by automaker deficiencies, this helps others with the same make or model of cars become aware of a potential problem. Manufacturer recalls may result, or drivers can have their car checked for the same type of defect to prevent an accident of their own.
Who is to Blame When a Part Defect Causes an Auto Accident?
When a defect causes an auto accident, the first place most investigators will look is at the automaker. When accidents are caused by improperly installed components or poorly designed systems, the manufacturer is often to blame. In those instances, you may have a claim against the automaker.
All manufacturers, including auto manufacturers, are responsible for the products they produce. They must ensure their products are safe and sound for use as designed. This means that cars must be safe for regular driving.
Used Car Sales Companies
There are other parties who may be found negligent in a car accident claim, aside from the auto manufacturer. If the vehicle was pre-owned before purchase, it may have been bought with a warranty. In such cases, the auto lot that sold the vehicle may be at fault for having failed to find the car’s defect or even causing it, themselves.
When the faulty component leading to a car accident can be traced back to a specific parts supplier for the manufacturer, that supplier can be targeted as part of a case. This can improve the chances of damage recovery when multiple defendants are involved. This means that there is a greater opportunity for settling with some or all of the parties or pursuing a trial.
Many people love adding enhancements to their cars to amplify appearance or performance. Some aftermarket parts people add to their cars include:
- Suspension parts
- Internal components
- Engine parts
- Other systems
These aftermarket enhancements may sometimes cause problems with how the vehicle performs. Not all of these parts are manufactured with the same attention to engineering or quality as the automaker’s standards require for vehicle safety. When such parts fail and cause an accident, their manufacturer may hold some liability for the wreck.
But they are not the only ones who can be liable. Stores and installers responsible for getting the parts into your car can also be to blame, especially if they recommended specific components for your car. This is especially true when the part is not intended or designed for your car’s make or model or the use for which it is installed.
Defective Car Parts Can Lead to Recovery
Many people who suffer injuries and property damage as the result of car accidents simply accept their own liability and resulting expenses. They are unsure of how they can get help in their situation and do not understand the power of having an experienced car accident attorney on their side.
If you have been injured as the result of an auto accident, particularly if that accident is related to defective car parts, you are entitled to make a claim for recovery of your expenses.
Even if your accident only involved your vehicle, an investigator may be able to trace your accident to a defective component of your car. When this is found, the automaker, parts manufacturers, aftermarket installers, and retailers may be to blame. You then may have a justifiable claim that can help you to recover injury and property damage expenses for yourself, your vehicle, other property, and other people who have been hurt.
Never underestimate the power of a quality legal team in your auto accident case. Reach out to an experienced defective car part and auto accident lawyer in Arizona to get help with your auto accident and product liability case.
Call Hutzler Law now at 602-730-4530 for a free, no-obligation consultation about your auto accident case.