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Who is Liable for an Accident Caused by a Car Defect?

Who is Liable for an Accident Caused by a Car Defect?

When a New York car accident occurs because of the negligent or reckless acts of a driver, establishing liability is usually a fairly straightforward process. However, some car accidents happen because of a defect in the vehicle itself, not because of the actions of its operator. When an accident is caused by a car defect, establishing liability can be a much more complicated issue, but it is also necessary to identify the liable parties in order for victims to get the compensation they deserve for their injuries.

Have you or a loved one been injured in an accident caused by a car defect? If so, the experienced legal team at The Law Offices of Justin D. Brandel in New York can help. Call or contact the office today to schedule a consultation.

Examples of Car Defects

There are many parts of a car that can malfunction because of a defect, but certain types of defects can lead to serious injuries on the road. One of the most common examples of a car defect is a malfunctioning airbag. Takata recently recalled their airbags after a series of accidents caused by the airbags resulted in severe injuries and death. Failing brakes or malfunctioning signal lights are also defects that can lead to injuries. Tires that are prone to blowouts are another common defect that can lead to serious accidents and injuries on the roads in New York.

Driver Liability

In most car defect accidents, the driver is often not liable for the damages caused by the accident. However, a driver may be found at least partially responsible for the accident if it is discovered that the driver of the vehicle knew about a defective part and failed to get it repaired or replaced. In this situation, the driver may share liability with the originator of the defective car part.

Vehicle Manufacturer Liability

Many accidents caused by car defects ultimately result in the vehicle manufacturer being held liable for damages. A vehicle manufacturer is liable if the accident was caused by a design or manufacturing defect in the car. A design defect refers to a flaw in the planning and design of a car part. A manufacturing defect means that the design was sound, but mistakes were made in the manufacturing of the car part. If defective vehicles are produced by the manufacturer and put on the road, the manufacturer is liable for any accidents that result.

Component Manufacturer Liability

Similarly, a car component manufacturer can also be held liable for accidents if they resulted from a defective part manufactured by their company. Some vehicle manufacturers do not make every part of their vehicles in house and utilize third party companies for some vehicle parts. If there is a design or manufacturing defect in a component manufacturer’s parts, they can be held responsible for any accidents that occur because of the defect.

Shipping and Transportation Liability

In some cases, the car may be designed and manufactured correctly, but negligent transportation of the vehicle results in a defect. The shipping or transportation company responsible for a vehicle that is damaged during transport can be held liable for any accidents that occur because of the damage. In these cases, documentation at every stage of the vehicle’s creation, transport, and sale is critical in order to prove that the defect was created during transportation and did not take place elsewhere.

Car Dealership Liability

Car dealerships may also be liable for accidents resulting from a vehicle defect for both new and used cars. Used car dealerships have a duty to inspect every vehicle they receive for defects and repair these issues before selling the car to a customer. Failing to check or to repair defects can render them responsible for any injuries that result. Car dealerships can also be held liable for accidents resulting from new car defects for similar failures to inspect or for installing new parts on a vehicle that are themselves defective. Some dealerships will upgrade vehicles and fail to check whether the new parts installed are defective. Any accidents that occur as a result mean that the dealership is liable for damages.

Mechanic Liability

Mechanics can also be held liable for accidents in a car defect case. Independent mechanics can be responsible for car defects if they fail to identify a defective part if the car is inspected or fail to repair the defect properly if the car was brought in to address the issue. A mechanic can also be liable in this type of accident if replacement parts installed are defective. This scenario occurs when a mechanic fails to store their replacement parts properly that results in damage and defects.

Auto Parts Company Liability

Finally, an auto parts company can also be held liable if they sell or replace auto parts with ones that are defective. Similar to cases of defect liability with mechanics, if the auto parts company negligently stores their parts that results in damage, and those damaged parts are installed in vehicles, any accidents that result can fall on the auto parts company for compensation. Because there are so many different parties that may singularly or combined share liability in a car defect case, it is critical that you secure the services of a personal injury attorney with experience handling car defect cases.

We can Help

At The Law Offices of Justin D. Brandel , we understand how traumatic and painful the days and weeks following a New York car accident can be for injured victims. These feelings can be amplified when you do not know whom to hold responsible for the harm caused by the crash. Our team of dedicated legal professionals is here to help identify those responsible for an accident caused by a car defect and ensure full and fair compensation for your injuries after a crash. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a consultation of your case and learn more about car defect accident claims.

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Ask an Uber Accident Attorney: Who is Liable in a New York Uber or Lyft Accident?

Ask an Uber Accident Attorney: Who is Liable in a New York Uber or Lyft Accident?

Rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are becoming one of the most popular methods of transportation, especially in big cities like New York. Rideshare companies use everyday people to serve as drivers, who pick up and drive customers to their destination in their personal vehicles. While this practice has made getting around much easier for passengers, problems can arise quickly when a rideshare vehicle is involved in an accident. One of the most common questions an Uber accident attorney is asked after a New York Uber or Lyft accident is who is liable for any resulting injuries?

The Law Offices of Justin D. Brandel in New York are here to answer this and any other questions that you may have after an accident. Call the office or contact us today to schedule an evaluation of your case.

When the Other Driver is at Fault

When the driver of another vehicle is at fault in an accident with a rideshare vehicle, the process progresses like any other car accident case. Damages are submitted to the insurance company of the other driver, and a settlement is negotiated. Statements about the accident and discovery evidence may be exchanged in order to establish the value of the case. If the insurer refuses to settle for the full and fair amount of the claim, the case may go to court in order to secure fair compensation for the case. However, the case can get more complex when the rideshare driver is found at fault for the accident.

When the Rideshare Driver is at Fault

When the rideshare driver is found at fault for a New York Uber accident, the first question asked is whether the driver was completing a ride at the time of the crash or driving on personal time. If the driver was on personal time, then the legal process after the accident looks the same as many other car accidents. All drivers in New York are required to carry minimum levels of insurance, and compensation is usually available up to the policy limits of the driver after a crash. New York auto insurance minimums are $25,000 for bodily injury to one person, $50,000 for bodily injury to all persons, and $10,000 for property damage in any one accident. Mandatory “no-fault” coverage of $50,000 is also required. However, if the driver was on the clock with the rideshare company, victims of the accident may have additional coverage.

If an accident occurs when a ride is taking place in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, the companies provide insurance coverage for accidents in addition to the driver’s regular auto insurance. Uber and Lyft carry $1,250,000 in liability coverage for New York Uber accidents that kicks in after the rideshare driver’s policy limits are reached. This means that if a victim in a rideshare accident has damages that exceed the policy limits of the driver, they can access additional compensation to cover the costs of their injuries with the rideshare company coverage. For example, if one person suffers $100,000 in injuries and the rideshare driver only carries the minimum amount of insurance coverage, their policy would cover the $25,000 limit and the rideshare company’s liability policy would cover the remaining $75,000.

Accidents Caused by Defect

One final liability situation occurs when a rideshare accident happens because of a defect in a vehicle. If a crash is caused by a vehicle defect, there are many parties that may ultimately be found liable for the accident. If the defect was in its design or manufacture, the manufacturer of the vehicle may be liable for damages. This type of defect occurs when there is a fundamental flaw in the design of a part or if the design is sound but a mistake occurs in its manufacture.

If the vehicle was manufactured correctly but a defect occurred while in transport, the transportation company carrying the vehicle may be at fault for any accidents caused by the defect part. This can happen if a company is transporting entire vehicles or specific parts that are damaged in transit. If alterations were made to a part that results in a defect either at the retailer or at a mechanic’s shop, those entities may also be held liable for any damages that result from an accident. These entities may also be liable if they installed a part incorrectly or stored vehicle parts negligently in a way that results in defects occurring.

How an Uber Accident Attorney can Help After a New York Lyft Accident

Because there are so many parties that can be liable for a rideshare accident, it is critical that you hire an experienced attorney to represent your legal interests after a crash. A knowledgeable Uber accident attorney understands the law and has the experience to investigate the accident in order to identify the liable parties in your case. An attorney takes the burden of the legal process off your shoulders so that you can focus on your recovery. They also serve as a shield between you and the insurance companies that are looking for any excuse to minimize or eliminate your claims for damages.

A lawyer with experience managing rideshare accident claims also knows what the full and fair value of your case is and will not stop advocating for your interests until a fair settlement is negotiated. If the insurers or rideshare companies refuse to settle for the full value of the claim, your attorney can take the case to trial. Talk to a lawyer with rideshare accident experience today to learn more about the wide range of legal services offered to victims of rideshare crashes.

Call or Contact Experienced Car Crash Lawyers Today

One of the most complicated issues in any car accident case is identifying the at-fault parties for the crash. The knowledgeable team at The Law Offices of Justin D. Brandel has the experience you need to get the compensation you deserve after a rideshare accident. Call the office or contact us to schedule a consultation of your case with one of our-top tier accident attorneys today.

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