Some motor vehicle accidents are caused by drivers. However, other can be caused by other factors such as dangerous roadways or even the cars themselves. A defective part on a vehicle can cause a driver to lose control in any number of situations. One situation could be an accelerator that gets stuck while the vehicle is being driven. Another example could be a defective braking system that won’t permit a vehicle to slow down.
Law of product liability
Motor vehicles are incredibly complex pieces of machinery with any number of parts that can be defectively dangerous. When a product is made available to the public and causes injury, its manufacturer, distributor, retailer, and others who pass it on into the stream of commerce can be found liable for the injuries that the product causes.
Strict liability evolution
The legal hurdles for holding an entity liable in a products case are somewhat lower than in a negligence case. In products cases, it can be extremely difficult and cost prohibitive for an injured person to prove when and how a manufacturer or other entity was negligent when manufacturing a product.
Product liability elements
The legal doctrine of strict liability permits a person who was injured by a dangerously defective product to prove liability without having to show that the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer was actually negligent. The injured party needs only show three elements, and it can get quite complicated. That is the main reason why you need a qualified products liability attorney to help you through this process.
First, it is required to show an unreasonably dangerous defect in the product that injured them as a consumer. That defect can show in the product’s design, manufacturing, or shipping and handling processes. Second, the product must have been used in the manner in which it was intended to be used. The classic example is pounding a nail with a pair of pliers, and the pliers malfunction and injure the user. In this situation, there’s probably no product case because pliers weren’t intended to be used to pound nails. Lastly, the product should not be substantially altered from the condition in which it was sold.
Defenses to product cases
Because of strict liability, defenses to product liability cases are restricted. Improper use of the product, or ignoring warnings or directions on labeling and packaging are often seen. The plaintiff’s own negligence is also used as a defense. The injured person’s comparative fault might also be used to reduce damages in a comparative fault jurisdiction.
If you believe that a product was responsible for injuries to you or somebody close to you, contact David Van Sant today, or fill the online contact form. The first consultation is free – no fees for services are due unless a recovery is obtained for you. Make an appointment today.