Many of us rely on our cars, trucks, and other motor vehicles to help us safely get us from place to place. Unfortunately, defects in motor vehicles sometimes cause them to be dangerous. Far too many people find this out the hard way. Product liability cases deal with products that are dangerously flawed. One specific type of product liability cases is motor vehicle product liability. Motor vehicle product liability involves vehicles with defects that make them unsafe and cause harm to consumers. If a product does not meet ordinary and reasonable safety standards, and if a person is injured as a result, the injured party may seek compensation through a motor vehicle product liability claim.
Understanding Motor Vehicle Product Liability Cases
In recent years, you may have heard of several lawsuits involving defective motor vehicles. There have been SUVs that were prone to rolling over. A number of cars were distributed into the stream of commerce despite having tires prone to blowouts. There were also several reports of motorcycles that would shake or “wobble” when high speeds were reached. Some other common examples of motor vehicle defects that lead to product liability claims include defects in:
- Electrical systems
- Fuel systems
- Cruise control system
- Body and frame
The two most common types of motor vehicle product liability claims involve defectively manufactured vehicles or vehicle parts and vehicles that are unreasonably dangerous in design. A claim involving a defectively manufactured vehicle or vehicle part means that there was some error in the making in the car or the car part. While the vehicle or part may have been safely designed, the danger arose in a manufacturing mistake. This differs from claims that involve vehicles or vehicle parts that are unreasonably dangerous in design. With this type of claim, the vehicle or part could have been perfectly manufactured, but would still be unsafe because of a dangerous design flaw.
There are several different parties that may be held liable in a motor vehicle product liability case. In fact, all parties involved in the “chain of distribution” of the motor vehicle or the motor vehicle part may potentially carry some liability. The chain of distribution refers to the path the product, in this case, the vehicle or vehicle part, takes from the design and manufacture stages all the way to the consumer. This means that potentially liable parties may include:
- Vehicle manufacturer
- Vehicle part manufacturer
- Car dealership
- Used car dealer
- Automotive supply store
Should you wish to seek compensation pursuant to a motor vehicle product liability claim, you must be able to prove that:
- The vehicle or part had a defect rendering it unreasonably dangerous;
- The vehicle defect was the cause of injury;
- The vehicle was being used in a reasonable way at the time the injury occurred; and
- The vehicle was in the substantially same condition it was when it was sold.
Pennsylvania Personal Injury Attorneys
Defects in motor vehicles or motor vehicle parts can lead to devastating injuries. If you have been injured due to a defective motor vehicle, talk to the trusted attorneys at Cooper Schall & Levy to discuss your legal options. Contact us today.