Pursuing Claims Against Negligent Auto Manufacturers
When you purchase a car or have it brought to the mechanic for maintenance, you expect it to run properly and be safe to drive. What you don’t expect is for it to fall apart. There is nothing more terrifying than pressing down on your brake as you approach traffic and suddenly realize that you aren’t slowing down. Sadly, that nightmarish reality is extremely possible if your vehicle has an auto defect.
At Tenge Law Firm, LLC, our Boulder defective auto parts attorneys have witnessed time and time again how dangerous auto accidents can be, especially when key safety features fail. We expect our cars to be reliable and safe, but when an auto part fails, it can lead to extreme trauma, both physically and mentally. After such devastation, you deserve proper compensation, and we at Tenge Law Firm, LLC want to help you get it. For excellent legal help and advice, call our firm at (303) 665-2929 today to discuss your case in a free consultation.
The Different Types of Auto Defects
Alarmingly, there are many ways that your car could malfunction. These defects and malfunctions can quickly turn fatal, especially if they result from a serious car accident. If your car hasn’t been inspected recently, we highly encourage that you check your manual and visit your mechanic if you are nearing an inspection date. Knowing that your vehicle is in peak condition can not only give you peace of mind, but also ensures that you are properly protected while on the road. Potential defects to be aware of include:
- Weak roofs
- Poor seat designs
- Defective or cracked tires
- Malfunctioning airbags
- Worn down or improperly installed brakes
- Seat belt failures
- Fuel system defects
Some of these defects may be the cause of your accident, such as the failed brakes or popped tires, but others could malfunction during an accident, such as with a weak roof or a failed seat belt. In either scenario, the malfunction could be catastrophic, leaving you with serious injuries.
The Dangers of a Defective Car
A defective auto part can cause serious damage, just as any car accident can be. The problem is that it is hard to anticipate a defective auto part accident. When you see a truck heading your way, you can try to veer to the side. While it may not prevent the accident altogether, it may at least limit the level of damage. Similarly, if the car in front of you comes to a sudden stop, the brake lights can give you enough of a warning to slam on your own brakes. You may not be able to come to a complete stop, but you can at least slow down slightly.
However, an auto defect is impossible to predict. After all, if you knew that your car was defective in the first place, you would have had it fixed or replaced. This means you may not be able to have the time to veer out of the way or bring your car to a stop when your vehicle suddenly begins to break down. This could result in a high-speed collision, which can be incredibly devastating. Common high-speed accident injuries include:
- Brain damage
- Skull fractures
- Broken bones
- Crush injuries
- Eye injuries or vision loss
- Severe burns
- Deep lacerations
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Loss of limb or amputations
- Spinal injuries
These kinds of injuries can take months, sometimes even years, to heal properly. That is, if they heal at all. Such extreme damage can result in permanent disability, from the loss of an arm to paralysis. Whatever the case may be, you are likely in a position of extreme pain and shock. You are likely also wondering just who is responsible for your accident.
Who Is Liable for Your Damages?
Finding the party liable for your auto defect can be difficult, as there are many parties involved with the design, manufacturing, shipping, and maintenance of a car or auto part. Figuring out which party was responsible for your defect can take time, expertise, and resources. However, in our experience, there are a handful of parties that are most often at fault. Those include:
The manufacturer: The company in charge of the design and the manufacturing of the car or auto part has a very important responsibility towards their customers. They should always run tests to make sure their designs are safe and function and implement strict quality control when it comes time to actually make the part. If they fail to do this, it could lead to them selling a defective and dangerous part.
The shipping company: Once a car or car part is made, it must be transported. This could be done using trucks or boats, depending or where the car was made and where it needs to go. During the shipping process, if cars and auto parts are not loaded or secured correctly, they can become damaged or rusted, leading them to becoming defective.
The dealership: When the car makes it to the dealership, it must be properly stored so that it is not exposed to the elements and does not rust, wear out, or fall apart. If the dealership does not do this, then they may be the ones responsible for your auto defect accident. Dealership should also routinely check for recalls and pull any recalled parts off the shelves.
The mechanic: After buying your car and using it for a while, you may then take it to the mechanic for a tune-up or a part replacement. It is a mechanic’s job to spot any critical defects and offer to repair them. If the mechanic neglects to inform you about a serious defect, does not notice the defect despite it being obvious, or repairs it incorrectly, then they may be the one at fault for your injuries.
Proving Liability in an Auto Defect Case
Determining the cause of your accident is only one aspect of your case; the other side to it is proving how the at-fault party caused your injuries through negligence. When it comes to auto defect accidents, to do that you must be able to show:
An owed duty of care: When it comes to auto parts and cars, manufacturers, shippers, dealerships, and mechanics all have a duty of care to keep their clients and customers safe. In order for you to be owed a duty of care, you must be a customer or client of the at-fault party.
The duty of care was breached: If the duty of care was broken, either through blatant action or negligence, then the at-fault party would be legally liable for any injuries caused.
The breach led to your injuries: You must directly connect the failed auto part to your specific injuries. If a defective seatbelt caused internal damage, then you could argue that the manufacturer is at fault.
The auto part was within its expected life span: Cars constantly undergo wear and tear. This means that auto parts have a certain life expectancy. If your auto defect happened because a part was simply used too long, then it would be difficult to prove that a manufacturer or mechanic is at fault.
Call Tenge Law Firm, LLC for Excellent Legal Help
Car accidents are traumatic enough without the complications of an auto defect claim. These cases require an in-depth investigation to ensure not a single angle or piece of evidence is missed. This can be incredibly hard to do while recovering from your injuries. While we at Tenge Law Firm, LLC cannot reverse what was done, we can at least help you recover proper compensation. Our legal team can thoroughly review your case and collect evidence of negligence in order to hold the at-fault party accountable for your injuries. To get the legal aid of an expert Boulder product defect attorney, call (303) 665-2929 today.