Auto Product Liability for Defective Auto Parts
Whether due to negligence in the designing or manufacturing process or due to the carmaker’s willful carelessness, defective auto products continue to make it onto the market and into vehicles on the road every year. Thousands of serious auto accidents and deaths occur as a result, many from defective airbags, which could have been otherwise prevented. Under federal and state law, product manufacturers, distributors, and designers are legally required to ensure that their products do not pose an unreasonable risk of injury or illness to consumers.
If you believe that you or a loved one has been involved in a traffic auto accident in Sacramento as a result of a defective auto product, please contact Demas Law Group, P.C. With our 20 years of experience and success in personal injury law, we have the knowledge and the resources to get the best possible outcome for your case. You may be entitled to significant compensation from the responsible party. Call us now at (916) 444-0100.
Do I Have a Sacramento Defective Auto Product Lawsuit?
In order to have a successful personal injury claim for a defective auto product accident, it is essential to prove that the injuries or deaths were caused by the defectively designed or manufactured auto product. Providing adequate evidence for a defective auto product can be particularly difficult, especially in the aftermath of a crash; however, an experienced attorney will be able to investigate the cause of the accident, working with accident reconstruction specialists and forensic engineers.
In the event that the auto product was being used as intended and the defects directly led to accident or injury, a personal injury lawyer from the Demas Law Group, P.C., can build a strong case against the responsible party.
What are the Most Common Causes of Defective Auto Products?
At any point from the design of a product, to its creation, marketing, and distribution, a single unnoticed error or wrongful decision can result in a defective product that may contribute to or directly cause injury or worse. In many cases, product liability accidents can be traced back to negligence or oversight, whether due to cutting corners or rushing to get the product on the market, resulting in hundreds or thousands of dangerous products making it to consumers before the defect is discovered.
Auto product liability claims often fall into one or both of the following categories:
- Defective Design – The product design is unreasonably dangerous like a car door latch that doesn’t open properly.
- Manufacturing Defects – Errors that are made during the manufacturing of a product that makes it dangerous to use.
The liable party for a defective auto product can include the designer, manufacturer, dealership, or shipper. Consult with a knowledgeable lawyer to determine whether you have a case and who may be held accountable.
Auto Defect Lawyers Fighting to Protect Your Consumer Rights in Sacramento
At the Demas Law Group, P.C., our dedicated personal injury attorneys can help you determine the best course of action for your auto product liability case. We will fight on your behalf, applying our years of experience to help you obtain the financial compensation you need and deserve to cover the many expenses that follow a defective auto accident, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and funeral costs. Please do not wait to call our toll-free number (888) 776-0977 or contact us online to set up a free and comprehensive consultation.
Auto Defects FAQs
What should I do if I suspect an automobile defect caused all or some of my injuries in a car accident?
How do you know if your car crash and/or injuries were caused by a design or manufacturing defect? You probably won’t know for sure without an investigation carried out by a qualified attorney, accident reconstruction specialist, and a knowledgeable mechanic or engineer. In order to prove that your car was defectively designed, you will have to prove three things before a court of law: that the part in question was defective; that it was sold to you that way, and that it caused your injury or accident. Because of this it is critical to keep the following as evidence:
- Any parts, instructions, and labeling that came with your car
- Purchase documentation
- You’re wrecked car
- Injury or death documentation
We highly recommend you contact a professional personal injury law firm experienced with handling automobile defect cases, such as the Demas Law Group, P.C. This is a specialty area of the law, so finding someone who has already successfully settled or won in court with these types of cases will give you peace of mind, and save you time and money.
Product liability is an area of law that holds manufacturers, distributors, and retailers responsible for injuries their products cause to the public. In California, the doctrine of “strict liability” applies in most automobile defect cases, which has greatly leveled the legal playing field for auto defect accident victims in our state and across the nation. Strict liability does not require proof of fault on behalf of the designer, manufacturer or seller. In a strict liability claim, the injured party need only show that:
- the product was defective
- the defect existed prior to the manufacturer releasing the product, and
- the defect caused the victim’s damages.
The injured party may prove that a product is defective from any of three types of defects: design defects, manufacturing defects and “failure to warn” defects.
Car manufacturers have the financial wherewithal to fight auto defect claims vigorously, but as explained above, the doctrine of “strict liability” levels the legal playing field for ordinary citizens seeking just compensation for their injuries. Formerly, a plaintiff had to show willful negligence on behalf of the defendant, which can be extremely difficult and prohibitively expensive to prove in court. Today, the legal focus is on the product: why did the part fail, and who is responsible for the injuries that failure caused? Having said this, pursuing such claims requires resources and expertise. You need financial resources to investigate and press forward with a claim, as well as the expertise to properly research all of the facts and develop a solid strategy prior to commencing a lawsuit against the manufacturer. A case that is well researched and thoroughly investigated has much better chances of success against a large product manufacturer and their insurer. Hiring an experienced auto defect attorney is crucial in product liability cases against car manufacturers.
As mentioned above, if you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a faulty car part, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Even if you were not injured in the accident, an attorney can help you with filing a complaint and guide you as to what steps you can take to prevent other people from getting injured by the same auto defect in the future. At Demas Law Group, P.C., the initial consultation with a personal injury attorney is always free of charge.
In California, you have two years from the date of your injury to file a product liability lawsuit. The statute of limitations in California is firm. It begins the date of your injury. A statute of limitations is a window of time someone is allowed to bring a lawsuit against the manufacturer of a product that injured them. For example, if you badly cut your finger on a defective electric carving knife, you must bring your lawsuit within two years of the day you were injured.
If you file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations is over, a judge will most likely reject your case. No matter how strong a case you have, it won’t go to court. Don’t let this happen to you.
No, in fact, the process often works in reverse. Government recalls of defective automobiles, tires and other products often result after many people complain about or file claims against the same defective product. In many cases, the manufacturers themselves will recall products after receiving negative feedback from the public, before any government action is taken. Consider automobile companies like Audi in the 1980s and the Honda Prius in the past decade. Both companies denied their vehicles had fuel surge problems until enough people filed suit that it became undeniable. The bottom line is this: If you think your car or another car mechanically failed and caused an injury accident, you should immediately contact one of our California product liability attorneys at Demas Law Group, P.C.
If you have been injured in an accident due to an auto defect, you should not file a complaint with the government before speaking to an attorney. Any statements you make will be recorded and any inaccuracies can be used against you if a lawsuit is filed later on. If you become aware of an auto or tire defect before it leads to an accident, there are avenues to report it listed in the resources below.
Where can I get more information about filing a claim and receiving compensation for my suspected auto defect accident case?
Please visit our General FAQs for answers to this and other questions.
Below, you can find government websites that allow you to input your product information – car model, make of tire, etc. – to see if other customers have filed complaints or if a recall of that product has been issued. We’ve also included more information on roof crush and rollover accidents, including a list of the seven most dangerous vehicles on the road today.
- National Highway Transportation Safety Administration maintains a database containing every automobile and tire recalled since 1966. All you need is the product information. http://www.recalls.gov/nhtsa.html
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Q&A: Rollover and roof strength: http://www.iihs.org/research/qanda/rollover.aspx
- Consumer Reports on how the government sets standards for roof strength: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/02/rollover-101/index.htm
- Excellent guide on proper tire maintenance from the Rubber Manufacturers Association: http://www.rma.org/tire-safety/
This literature may be considered attorney advertising or an offer of professional services, according to rule 1-400 Rules of Professional Conduct by the State Bar of California. The information does not constitute a guarantee, warranty or prediction regarding the outcome of your potential legal matter.