When defects in a vehicle’s design or manufacturing cause car accidents, the fields of car accident and product liability law can quickly merge. Product liability claims that involve motor vehicles typically fall into one of two main categories:
- Defective vehicles or parts. Under this type of claim, a person alleges that a vehicle or at least one of its parts was improperly manufactured. This would most likely be the result of an error that occurs in a vehicle manufacturing facility where the vehicle or parts were made, during shipping or at the dealership location.
- Vehicles with a dangerous design. Properly manufactured vehicles can have design elements that make them dangerous, in which case the automaker itself would be held liable. In many cases, these design defects are not discovered until they’ve already been on the market for a long time.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your claim, the defendant could be the manufacturer of the vehicle, a parts manufacturer, a car dealership, an auto supply store, the shipper of the vehicle or a used car dealer. Even if you were not the owner of the defective vehicle that caused the accident, you could still have the ability to file a product liability claim.
Also, when product liability claims overlap with traffic accident claims, you could still file both types of lawsuits if there was negligence on the part of the other driver in the accident as well. These suits would not be tied together, as there would be different claims and different defendants. It is just important to note that filing one does not preclude you from filing the other.
For more information on how to file a lawsuit against a motor vehicle manufacturer, speak with the Bradenton product liability attorneys at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh.