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Product Liability Claims Concerning Motor Vehicle Defects

If you or someone you know has been injured due to a defective truck, car, sport utility vehicle, ATV, motorcycle, or other type of motor vehicle, there may be an opportunity to file a product liability claim. A product liability claim is not limited to the complete defect of a motor vehicle. A claim can also be filed for defective vehicle parts. A few examples of an automobile defect can include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Sport utility vehicle or ATV that is susceptible to a roll over
  • Automobiles sold with defective tires that are susceptible to blowouts
  • Vehicles with defective brakes, steering, transmission or other parts and accessories that function improperly 

Identifying the Different Types of Claims

A product liability claim can be filed under different theories. Depending on the specifics of the incident, the claim may be filed due to one of the following conditions:

  • A poorly manufactured motor vehicle or motor vehicle part
    • When filing a claim under a faulty manufactured part, this typically means that the defect occurred during the manufacturing process. The manufacturing company where the part was assembled may therefore be held liable for the injuries resulting from the faulty part.
  • A vehicle design that is inherently dangerous
    • When a vehicle part has a faulty design, this may typically mean that the entire line of models will be defective.

Potential Defendants in a Claim

When a victim has been injured as a result of a defective product, it is possible that there may be different defendants named. When it comes to products liability claims concerning motor vehicles, the following defendants may be considered:

  • The manufacturing company
    • A manufacturing company will typically be large, and therefore have substantial insurance funds to compensate injuries. Large companies, however, will also have the funds necessary to obtain a large team of attorneys.
  • Vehicle parts manufacturer
    • A vehicle parts manufacturer should not be confused with a vehicle manufacturer. These companies may produce one or more component parts that the manufacturer will then assemble into the final product. When it comes to holding a manufacturing company accountable, seek the legal support of a knowledgeable attorney who can help you determine if one or both manufacturing companies may be held accountable.
  • The dealership where the vehicle was purchased or automotive supply store
    • The party who sold the defective vehicle or defective part can also be held accountable for personal injuries.
  • The parts shipper or middleman
    • Any other company that was part of the chain of commercial distribution may be held liable for damages.
  • The used vehicle dealer
    • The business that sold a used vehicle may be held accountable for injuries resulting from a defective motor vehicle, under the proper circumstances.

The Bottom Line: Obtain Legal Support to File a Claim

A products liability claim can be complex and often result in unnecessary stress. If you have suffered injury or damage as a result of a defective auto part or motor vehicle, it is necessary to understand that there may be an opportunity to obtain monetary compensation. The attorneys at Heiting and Irwin have extensive experience in the field of products liability. These claims have strict time limitations; speak to a qualified attorney who has the right experience.

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Mr. Serrano has been admitted to practice before California State and Federal Courts. He was named to the Super Lawyers’ 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 Southern California Rising Stars List, an honor awarded to no more than 2.5% of attorneys in Southern California each year. View Attorney Jean-Simon Serrano's Attorney Bio Here.

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