Car Makers: The Invisible Defendant


When an automobile accident occurs, the question of who was at fault almost certainly comes into play — whether at the point when an officer on the scene writes a ticket, or later when insurance companies and personal injury lawyers get involved. Naturally, if you are injured in an accident and feel you did nothing wrong, your instinct will be to blame the other driver. But there is someone else whose negligence may have contributed to your injury: The maker of your vehicle.

Defects in the design or manufacturing of a vehicle can actually cause an accident that might not have occurred otherwise, or they can turn what might have been a minor crash into a source of a major injury. You have probably heard about high-profile class action lawsuits in which many thousands of cars have been recalled and numerous injured owners compensated. But when you are injured, what matters is whether there was a defect in your vehicle. Consider just a few of the things that can go wrong:

  • Air bag failure
  • Seatbelt failure
  • Rollovers
  • Brake failure
  • Tire tread separation
  • Fuel line or gas tank defects leading to fire or explosion
  • Failure of crumple zones or other structural safety features
  • Seatback or headrest failure

Like any product manufacturer, auto makers have a duty to exercise reasonable care in designing, manufacturing and marketing a product in a way that will not endanger its user. Note that it is not enough for a vehicle to meet regulatory standards. Such a claim does not excuse the auto maker from negligence that results in injury.

If you have been injured in an auto accident, try to remember whether there was a moment, as the incident was unfolding, when something in your car did not function as expected.

Posted in Auto Accidents, Products Liability

Tagged automotive defects, car accidents, defective products

Topics:  Automotive Industry, Car Accident, Liability, Negligence

Published In: Personal Injury Updates, Products Liability Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Tate Law Group, LLC | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »


Reporters on Deadline