Car defect injuries are not to be taken lightly. Any injury caused by a vehicle defect has the potential to be severe. It is important to report any such issues to the proper authorities for a few reasons.
The first is to protect other innocent individuals whose vehicle might contain the same defect. The second reason to report such injuries is to receive compensation for your injuries, pain, and time needed to heal.
A strict liability claim can help you recover punitive damages for any injuries due to a car defect.
Types of Defects
Strict liability cases are reserved for cars possessing a safety-related defect. A safety-related defect is one that causes an injury to either a driver or a passenger.
Typical examples of these types of defects include problems with braking, acceleration, seat belts, airbags, or tires. Certainly, there are many other types of safety defects. If you do suffer an injury from this type of defect, it is important that you report the issue to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). They assist car manufacturers in determining the need for national recalls.
Non-safety related defects are those that do not create an injury. It is rare for these types of cases to go to court, but it does happen. A non-safety defect is one that detracts from the cosmetic value of a vehicle.
Such a defect can affect the performance of your vehicle as long as it does not pose a safety risk. Examples of this include excessive oil consumption or a radio that does not function properly. The value of a vehicle may be diminished from such defects, and any car accident lawsuit filed would be on this basis.
This is the type of case that is filed for a consumer in the case of a product defect. It was created in response to problems presented in negligence cases. To prove a manufacturer is negligent, you must prove there was a reckless disregard for the safety of the consumer when designing the product. This is extremely difficult to prove and does not exactly address the problem.
In a strict liability case, the burden of proof lies in the ability to demonstrate that the product failed when it was used in its intended manner. Legal counsel must show that a consumer was injured while using the product as per the manufacturer instructions.
Counsel must also prove that the product, in this case a vehicle, was not altered in any way. In the case of a vehicle, there are several alterations one can make that have no cause and effect on one another. If there is an alteration, you must prove it had no effect on the stock parts of the vehicle that failed.
If you receive a recall for a repair it is crucial that it be done immediately. Any strict liability case is significantly more difficult to win if the injury occurred after a recall notification. In some recalls, if you do not get the service, you are liable for any damages that occur.