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Manufacturer Liability Car Accident Claims

In the wake of a car accident, the immediate focus often centers on determining fault, assessing injuries, and seeking compensation. However, what if the root cause of the accident goes beyond driver error? In today’s complex automotive landscape, vehicles are equipped with advanced technology and safety features, and when these systems fail, they can lead to catastrophic consequences.

At Ashenden & Associates, P.C., we understand that not all car accidents are solely the result of human error. Manufacturer liability claims come into play when defective vehicles or automotive components contribute to accidents and injuries. Our team of manufacturer liability attorneys can assess your case and determine what party can be held liable for damages. In these cases, there are several different parties involved who can be liable. These parties include the car manufacturer, the parts manufacturer, the auto supply shop, the dealer, and the distributor.

To learn more about your product liability claim, contact the Sandy Springs personal injury attorneys at 770-394-8909 to schedule a free consultation.

manufacturer liability

What is Manufacturer Liability in Car Accident Cases?

Manufacturer liability in car accident cases refers to the legal responsibility held by automobile manufacturers or companies that produce automotive components when their products are found to be defective and directly contribute to an accident or worsen its outcome.

The injured party may have grounds to file a manufacturer liability claim when a car accident occurs due to a flaw in the vehicle’s design, manufacturing process, or a defective part. This legal action seeks to hold the manufacturer accountable for the injuries, damages, and losses resulting from the severe accident.

defective cars

Common Examples of Vehicle Defects

Vehicle defects occur when the vehicle or parts compromise the car’s ability to work properly. These defects can lead to car accidents, resulting in severe injuries. The most common vehicle defects include:

  • Airbag Defects: If poorly constructed, airbags can cause serious injuries like burns. Other defects can cause the airbags not to deploy, failing to protect the driver and passengers.
  • Steering Defects: Issues in the steering column, power steering, wiring, or hydraulics can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicle, resulting in car accidents.
  • Tire Defects: Tires have many responsibilities, like keeping vehicles in contact with the road, supporting the vehicle load, maintaining the direction of travel, and more. Defective tires can result in sudden blowouts, tire rot, ruptures, zipper failures, tread separation, and tire bead failure.
  • Fuel System Defects: Issues in the fuel system, like the fuel pump, fuel filtration system, or gas tank, can lead to a fire following an accident.
  • Seat Belt Defects: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost 15,000 lives were saved in 2017 thanks to seat belts. However, if the seat belts are defective, they may fail to keep drivers and passengers in their seats. Some seatbelt flaws include broken latches and tension detectors.
  • Braking System Defects: When the brakes or acceleration pedals are defective, the driver cannot slow down and stop. Signs that your braking system could be defective are cracked calipers, leaky hydraulic lines, overheating, or ACS system failure.

Takata Defective Airbags

Takata’s defective airbags represent one of the most significant automotive safety recalls in history. These airbag inflators were found to have a critical defect that could cause them to rupture upon deployment, releasing metal shrapnel into the vehicle’s cabin. This defect has been linked to numerous injuries and deaths globally.

Takata airbags were installed between 2002 and 2015 in vehicles manufactured by 19 automakers. At the end of 2022, there had been 67 million airbag recalls, with 11 million still needing replacing.

On the NHTSA website, vehicle owners can look up their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to see if their vehicle has any open recalls. Listed below are some of the vehicles affected by the Takata defective airbags.

  • Acura (Honda)
  • Audi (Volkswagen)
  • BMW
  • Cadillac (General Motors)
  • Chevrolet (General Motors)
  • Chrysler
  • Dodge/Ram (Chrysler)
  • Ferrari
  • Ford
  • GMC (General Motors)
  • Honda
  • Infiniti (Nissan)
  • Jaguar
  • Jeep (Chrysler)
  • Land Rover (Jaguar Land Rover)
  • Lexus (Toyota)
  • Lincoln (Ford)
  • Mazda
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Mercury (Ford)
  • Mitsubishi
  • Nissan
  • Pontiac (General Motors)
  • Subaru
  • Tesla
  • Toyota
  • Volkswagen

Ford Death Wobble

In recent years, some Ford F-250 and F-350 super duty truck drivers have experienced the Ford death wobble. The death wobble is named for the violent shaking motions in the front end of the Ford truck and steering components caused by defective suspension and steering components. This usually occurs when drivers travel at high speeds or after they’ve hit a bump. This loss of control and steering difficulties can lead to severe accidents.

Types of Defective Vehicle Claims

A product liability claim involving a motor vehicle usually falls under one of two categories: defective vehicles or parts or dangerous vehicle design.

These types of claims involve either the vehicle or vehicle parts that were manufactured incorrectly. This could result from a manufacturing error at the facility where the car or part was made or an issue that occurred during the shipping of the vehicle.

These claims involve vehicles or parts manufactured correctly but pose a safety risk due to their unreasonably dangerous design. In some cases, the car and/or parts could be distributed before the dangers were discovered.

vehicle defect lawsuit

Possible Liable Parties in Defective Vehicle Claims

When pursuing a manufacturing defects claim, your Sandy Springs attorney will evaluate your case to determine which party can be held responsible. In some cases, there may be more than one responsible party. For example, if a negligent driver initially caused the motor vehicle accident, but a vehicle defect, like a defective airbag, caused further injury, you could hold both the at-fault driver and manufacturer liable.

The possible liable parties who can be named in a defective vehicle claim are listed below.

If the car manufacturer was aware of a defect and continued distributing the vehicle, they could be liable for damages. The manufacturer is responsible for adhering to safety regulations, including airbags, lights, tires, and seatbelts.

If the accident was caused by defective parts, like tires or airbags, the parts manufacturer and the vehicle manufacturer could be named in the lawsuit if the parts manufacturer differs from the vehicle manufacturer. If the parts were purchased separately, like a replacement set of tires, the vehicle manufacturer would not be named in the lawsuit.

The dealership that sold the vehicle or the auto parts shop that sold the defective part may be liable for damages.

Anyone involved in the distribution chain between the dealership and the manufacturer of the malfunctioning part or vehicle could be found liable.

In some cases, the used car dealer may be liable for damages. However, this is still a developing area of car accident liability. Your Sandy Springs personal injury attorney will be able to provide insight into these cases and determine if the used car dealer can be held responsible.

Common Severe Injuries Caused by Defective Vehicles

A car accident caused by manufacturer defects can often result in catastrophic injuries, especially if the defect prevents the car from slowing down and/or braking. The most common serious injuries one can suffer from a manufacturing defects accident are listed below.

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Amputation injuries
  • Burn injuries

The catastrophic injuries above can result in extensive medical bills and treatments, causing the victim to miss work and lose wages. Discussing your case with a law firm in Sandy Springs that is experienced in handling these types of personal injury claims is important. At Ashenden & Associates, our Sandy Springs traumatic brain injury attorneys, Sandy Springs spinal cord injury attorneys, Sandy Springs amputation attorneys, and Sandy Springs burn injury attorneys have litigated many defective vehicle claims and will do whatever it takes to ensure you are fairly compensated for your injuries.

defective vehicle lawsuit

Can You Sue for a Defective Vehicle?

Yes, you can sue for a defective vehicle if it can be proven that its defect directly contributed to an accident or caused harm. When a motor vehicle is manufactured or designed with defects that make it unsafe for use on the road, it can lead to accidents, injuries, or even fatalities. In such cases, individuals who have suffered harm due to these defects have the legal right to pursue compensation through a defective vehicle lawsuit.

To succeed in such a lawsuit, it is crucial to provide evidence demonstrating that the defect was a significant factor in the accident or injury, and legal expertise from Sandy Springs car accident attorneys is often necessary to navigate the complexities of these cases successfully.

Proving Car Accident Liability

In order to prove liability against a manufacturer, the claim must include one of the following:

  • The warranty was breached.
  • There was negligence during the manufacturing.
  • If there was no warranty breach or negligence, the manufacturer could be liable due to strict liability.

When a manufacturer fails to meet the terms of a claim or does not adhere to the promised performance or safety standards, they have breached the warranty. Manufacturers can be deemed negligent if they fail to exercise reasonable care during production.

For a manufacturer to be held liable, it is imperative that the vehicle defect directly results in harm. Strict liability is a form of product liability law that holds sellers or manufacturers accountable for defective products, regardless of whether negligence or a breach of warranty can be proven. This is because consumers expect that the products they purchase, especially vehicles, should inherently meet safety standards and be considered “crashworthy.”

At Ashenden & Associates, our team of experienced lawyers is dedicated to gathering evidence, obtaining necessary reports, and managing legal proceedings for clients throughout Sandy Springs who believe that a product defect has caused them harm or injury.

Damages for a Defective Vehicle

If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a defective vehicle or parts, you may have grounds to seek compensation. While your auto insurance company will cover some damages for bodily injury claims, filing a defective product lawsuit against the responsible party is in your best interest to recover damages and hold the liable party accountable.

Your product liability attorney from Ashenden & Associates will work towards recovering both non-economic and economic damages:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Disability and disfigurement
  • Property damage
  • Loss of consortium
  • Emotional distress

If the accident resulted in the death of your loved one, you could have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit. To learn more about filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Sandy Springs, contact a Sandy Springs wrongful death attorney at Ashenden & Associates.

auto product liability

Call Sandy Springs Car Accident Lawyers at Ashenden & Associates Today

Choosing Ashenden & Associates for your manufacturer liability claims is a decision rooted in experience, expertise, and unwavering dedication to our clients. Our legal team understands the complexities of these cases, from identifying vehicle defects to building robust legal strategies. With a proven track record of securing fair compensation for those who suffer severe injuries due to defective products, we stand by your side every step of the way.

At Ashenden & Associates, we are not just your legal advocates; we are your partners in recovering damages, pursuing justice, and holding car manufacturers accountable for their negligence. When you choose us, you choose experienced, dedicated, and compassionate legal representation.

To schedule a free case evaluation with one of our experienced attorneys, call 770-394-8909 today.