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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