While the vast majority of North Carolina car accidents are the result of negligent drivers, some accidents have nothing to do with driver error, and everything to do with the way a car is made.
These accidents are typically the result of a car or mechanical defect, a type of problem that a driver may not be aware of until it’s too late. Data from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration indicates that defective parts play a role in at least 2 percent of accidents on U.S. roadways. The most common defect responsible for collisions involves problems with tires or wheels, which is to blame for 35 percent of accidents. Defective brakes or braking systems are also cited as a common cause for defective part-related accidents.
Automakers and parts manufacturers have a duty to provide safe vehicles and working parts to the consumer. When they fail to uphold this responsibility, they should be held accountable for the ensuing damage. At DeMayo Law Offices we believe that irresponsible and negligent behavior should be met with consequences and that victims hurt by that behavior should be entitled to compensation for their injuries.
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in an accident and you believe a car or mechanical defect may be to blame, contact the experienced legal team at DeMayo Law Offices. We offer a no-obligation case evaluation to review the circumstances of your accident and lay out your legal options for pursuing compensation. Contact us today by calling (877) 333-1000 and scheduling your free consultation. Our North Carolina car accident lawyers can help you through this challenge.
Definition of a Car or Mechanical Defect
Products don’t always work the way they are intended. Unfortunately, the consequences of a product failing to work properly are extremely severe when it comes to cars and car parts.
The standard definition of a car or mechanical defect is a malfunction of any motor vehicle system or part that impacts the safety or normal use of a vehicle. Defects can impact any number of car or mechanical systems in a vehicle including the transmission, hydraulic system, motor, brakes, or any other aspect of a functional vehicle.
A defect can impact the proper functioning of a vehicle suddenly and without warning. There are two different types of defects that can impact the way a car or vehicle functions: a design defect or a manufacturing defect.
A design defect is a significant flaw in the design or concept of a vehicle that can make it unreasonably dangerous to operate. A design defect may make a vehicle structurally unsound, such as making it more prone to rolling. A design defect could also create a flaw where the wheels of a vehicle become stuck, making the car unsafe to operate and leading to accidents where a car can spin out of control.
A manufacturing defect is different. A manufacturing defect occurs when there is a mistake made in the process of making a vehicle part. This error in the process means that the design of the part should work, but the actual part itself is corrupted in some way by a mistake made in the creation of the part. A mistake in the production line can cause a part to be made structurally weaker than designed, or made an ill-fitting shape. These defects are unintended and can significantly alter the performance and safe operation of a vehicle. It’s then only a matter of time before the part fails and causes a catastrophic chain of events that can lead to an accident.
Examples of Car and Mechanical Defects
When an integral part of a car fails, the consequences can be catastrophic. A part failing to work as intended can cause an auto accident, or it can make the outcome of an auto accident worse than it might have been. Some of the most common types of car and mechanical defects include:
- Inadequate rollover protection
- Roofs that collapse
- Electrical system failures
- Electrical fires
- Short circuits
- Wheel and tire failures
- Tires prone to blowouts
- Tires or tire components that break or crack
- Wheels or rims that crack
- Airbag failure
- Airbags that fail to deploy in a collision
- Airbags that deploy when there is no crash
- Airbags that deploy too fast or with too much force
- Seatbelt failure
- Seatbelts that don’t properly latch
- Seatbelts that fail to stay latched
- Unintended acceleration
- Brake failures
- Power steering failure
- Seats and seatbacks that collapse or break
Liability for Automotive Defects
Securing fair compensation for a car or mechanical defect accident can be complicated because there may be several different parties that could be held liable for the event. Those parties could include your insurance company to the manufacturer of the car.
Determining liability takes a skilled and experienced attorney. A complete investigation must be made into the accident in order to determine how it happened, which part or mechanical component failed, how that failure contributed to the accident itself, and how the party responsible for the part failure was negligent in their duty to the consumer.
These complicated components must fit together to establish liability and prove that compensation must be provided to the victim. In general, these tend to be the parties that may be held liable as a result of a defective car or part accident:
In some cases involving defective cars and parts, the car manufacturer may be held liable for damages when an accident takes place. Car manufacturers have a duty to provide reasonably safe vehicles to the consumer. If it can be proven that they were negligent in that duty and it resulted in an accident with injuries, they may be held accountable. To pursue a compensation claim against a large car manufacturer, you must have legal counsel. Car manufacturers are large and powerful companies with teams of lawyers at their disposal, meaning you need someone with the experience and resources to protect your rights and fight back.
A specific defective part may mean that the manufacturer of the parts can be held liable for compensation following a serious accident. In some cases, both the part manufacturer and the car manufacturer can be held liable for a defective part that leads to an accident.
Car Dealership or Parts Dealers
A car dealership or a parts dealer may also be held responsible in the event of a defective car accident. That may also include a used car dealer. Anyone who sold the defective vehicle may bear some of the responsibility, depending on the circumstances of the accident.
You may also choose to file a claim with your car insurance company.
Holding large companies accountable for their failure to protect consumers can be a daunting challenge. However, with the right attorney at your side, you may be able to recover a substantial compensation package that will cover your medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.
An experienced attorney can review the circumstances of your case and give you the advice you need to make a decision on how to proceed. Whether you take a car company to court or negotiate with an insurance adjuster, a skilled attorney has the resources it takes to help you get the maximum amount of compensation.
Do I Need an Attorney for an Automotive Defect Claim?
The answer is unequivocal: yes. Defective car accident cases are very complex. It takes a tremendous amount of time and investigation to prove that a defective part is to blame. Insurance companies and automotive companies are alike in one area: They want to keep their profit margins high.
By tearing down claims of defective parts by saying there is “no evidence,” or shifting the blame onto drivers rather than themselves, those companies get to keep their money while you end up footing the bill for their mistakes.
An aggressive and experienced attorney has the ability to investigate the circumstances of your accident and help pinpoint what went wrong and where. An attorney also knows what it takes to build a strong case that can stand up to the tactics of insurance companies and automakers that may not want to accept responsibility for an accident.
Contact an Experienced North Carolina Car Defect Law Firm
At DeMayo Law Offices we don’t want to see you pay the price for a defective auto accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash and you believe that a defective part may have been to blame, contact us at (877) 333-1000 to schedule a no-obligation case evaluation.
Automakers have teams of attorneys at the ready, waiting to tear apart your claim against them. Make sure you have aggressive representation on your side and get the compensation you deserve, call the legal at DeMayo Law Offices today.