Who’s to Blame if a Defect Causes a Car Accident?
In a car accident that is clearly the fault of a driver, assigning blame is typically easy. An investigation will often point to the error or the driver that caused the accident. The injured party, or victim, can then take steps to file a personal injury suit if they choose to do so. When a defect is the cause of the accident, assigning blame is not always so clear-cut.
The doctrine of strict liability controls motor vehicle defect cases. You can make a strict liability claim if you are able to show that all three of the following conditions exist:
- The vehicle had an “unreasonably dangerous” defect. The defect could have originated during the manufacture of the car, during shipment and handling, or through a failure to warn consumers of the danger.
- The vehicle was being used as intended and the defect caused injury. For example, you may not be able to recover if you decided to drive your Camaro off road.
- The vehicle was not substantially altered from its original condition. In other words, you did not make major alterations that affected its intended performance.
Defense to a Claim
Don’t expect a manufacturer to not defend themselves. The most typical defense to a lawsuit for strict liability is the condition of the vehicle and your prior knowledge. The manufacture will want your vehicle inspected and want to know whether you were made aware of a potential defect and chose not to have it repaired. A manufacturer can also, in some states, mount a defense by claiming that your contributory negligence was a factor in your injuries.
If you have been involved in an accident due to a vehicle’s defect, we are here for you. We have been standing up for victims of car accidents in Austin for years and will do the same for you. Call our office today for a free case evaluation or browse our website for more information about our firm and how we can assist you.