Groups » Five Times You Should Definitely File A Lawsuit Against Your Automobile Manufacturer

A lot of legal developments that have taken place in recent years, has made automobile companies liable to automobile consumers for any problems with the product. With greater levels of social and technical awareness and media outreach, consumers are more aware of their rights and do not hesitate from getting their due claims from local as well as offshore manufacturers.

U.S automobile manufacturers have many times faced liability suits from consumers. Sometimes the problem is not limited to just one single vehicle. This pervasive defect can cause huge problems for the manufacturer. Litigation process against foreign manufacturers too have been simplified. With the scales leaning against the plaintiff’s side when it comes to automobile liability, the manufacturers also have rolled up their sleeves, and are implementing rigid conditions that discourage individuals from filing lawsuit.

With appropriate and adequate legal support, one can successfully file a lawsuit against an erring manufacturer and claim compensation. The five situations and cases where you must file a lawsuit against the manufacturer and are most likely to win and receive compensation are discussed below.

Manufacturing Defect

A missing component in the vehicle, or a foreign object insertion into the automobile are defects that no automobile manufacturer can justify. If it happens to a large number of vehicles, it may also lead to their mass recall. Strict liability applies in these cases and a consumer must file a litigation against the manufacturer in such cases.

However, besides these obvious defects, if an expert witness testifies that the product did not perform at a time and in the manner as it should, it becomes evidence of a manufacturing defect. It is assumed with expert witness testimony that some specifications have not been met. That is why the new automobile failed to deliver. The manufacturer is automatically held liable.

Certain rules and regulations differ across different jurisdictions. Your attorney can navigate you through them while drawing up a case of manufacturer liability. Negligence becomes the primary criteria in such cases.

Design Defect

A design defect is an expansive term and has many connotations associated with it when it comes to litigation processes. In most cases design defect encompasses both negligence, and strict liability criteria. Simply put, when the design of the automobile is not as specified or is fallacious in nature, compromising the safety of the vehicle, it comprises design defect.

Design defect lawsuits are decided on the basis of expert testimony, comparison with other vehicles, and relevant recognized patents.

Failure to Provide Sufficient and Necessary Information to the User

When the automobile manufacturer fails to communicate to the consumer the dangers associated with the product, he can be dragged to the court of law. Whether the consumer is injured because of this or happens to notice this fallacy prior to any injury, he is eligible to file the lawsuit.

A manufacturer must warn a consumer regarding:

> The dangerous attributes of the automobile ( the manufacturer should have knowledge about the danger)

> Such dangerous elements need to be disclosed even if there is no obvious risk of danger.

> On the other hand, the manufacturer must even warn of the most obvious danger, failing which he can be taken to the court of law.

This warning or communication should be issued to all persons whom the manufacturer expects will use the automobile. This message should also clarify the potential and foreseeable consequences of using the automobile in a particular way. When this warning has not been issued or the information provided to consumers is inadequate, a litigation suit can be filed.

In most jurisdictions, the automobile manufacturer has an ongoing duty to inform consumers of the dangers associated with the vehicle, even after the product has entered the market place. Failure to warn is recognized as a defect under Section 402A of the Restatement of Torts.

This implies that the product is defective and unfit to be sold as it does not contain adequate warning. The jury gives the verdict in such cases taking the negligence standard into consideration. Adequate warning is absolutely necessary, as the safety levels come into question, and often judgements are taken in favor of the plaintiff stating absence of sufficient levels of warning.

Injury and Personal Harm

This is the most powerful criteria. If an expert witness testifies the vehicle was indeed dangerous and defective and its unsafe manufacturing played a major role in causing the injuries, a watertight case is established against the automobile manufacturer.

On the other hand even if there is no direct evidence that the defect in the vehicle caused the injuries, the case is still in favor of the consumer. This happens when it is established through expert testimony that the injury was not caused because of the alleged defect, but definitely aggravated because of it. The harm or damage would be much less in another vehicle or if the defect did not exist.

Strict liability in Tort

This influential treatise states that if the producer sells an automobile that is dangerous and can cause injury to the user, he is subject to liability for physical harm. It is not necessary that the seller has directly sold to the ultimate consumer. But, when he knows both that it will reach the ultimate consumer, and is unreasonably dangerous, a lawsuit can be filed against him.

Besides these, there are various other situations where a lawsuit must be filed against the manufacturer. This includes express and implied warranty, inadequate instructions, improper employee conduct, etc.

Similarly, there are various arguments that can be used by the defendant’s side as well including assumption of risk, misuse of product, comparative negligence, disclaimers of warranties etc. With consistent reporting of facts, and competent legal support in terms of product liability lawyers, you are most likely to receive a fair judgment and a compensation for the trouble endured.

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