Car Accidents Caused by Auto Defects in Anne Arundel County
In most cases, when you purchase a product that is broken or defective, all you have to deal with is the relatively minor inconvenience of returning the product or exchanging it for one that is not defective. However, if your vehicle has a defective part, it can put you and the other passengers in your car in serious danger. Defective auto parts have been known to cause devastating accidents resulting in serious injuries and fatalities. We take for granted that, as long as we wear our seat belts and follow the rules of the road, we will be safe in the vehicle we are driving. Unfortunately, that is not always the case as approximately 44,000 of the 2.2 million car accidents reviewed in a recent survey were caused by defective parts, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Types of Auto Defects
Auto defects fall into the following two categories:
- Design Defects: A design defect is particularly concerning because it can affect an entire product line, and not just one vehicle. For example, an entire line of vehicles could have a defective accelerator pedal.
- Manufacturing Defects: This type of defect occurs as a result of a mistake or flaw in the manufacturing process. For example, a floor mat that is installed improperly can cause an unintended acceleration in that vehicle. Fortunately, manufacturing defects tend to affect a smaller percentage of vehicles.
According to the NHTSA, the following are examples of common auto defects that can compromise the safety of the driver and other motorists on the road:
- Defective accelerators
- Air bags that get stuck or that deploy when they should not
- Electrical defects that cause fires
- Wheel defects that cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle
- Defective steering components
- Fuel systems that leak and cause fires
- Defective windshield wipers
- Seats that unexpectedly fail
- Any other critical component of the vehicle that breaks, or fails to function properly, causing the potential for accidents, injuries, and loss of life
Liability in Auto Defect Accidents
If you were in a wreck that was caused by an auto defect, it is possible that the car manufacturer or the car dealer may be held liable for your injuries. An experienced car accident lawyer can guide you through this complex process and explain everything you need to know, including the following:
- You must be able to prove that the accident was caused by the auto defect. The most difficult thing to prove is whether the accident was caused by a design defect or a manufacturing defect, and this is not always easy.
- Any injured party can file a lawsuit. Any individual who has been injured as a result of an auto defect can sue to manufacturer, regardless of whether he or she is the owner of the vehicle.
- Vehicle misuse will not prevent the victim from being able to pursue a lawsuit. A certain degree of misuse, including speeding, is generally anticipated in a product liability case. The car manufacturer can still be held liable for an auto defect, even if the individual was driving too fast at the time of the accident.
When an automobile manufacturer produces vehicles that have defective parts, the injured party may file a product liability lawsuit to pursue compensation for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and, in some cases, punitive damages. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, the victim may file a claim against the automobile manufacturer, the manufacturer of the defective part, the distributor, or the car dealer.
Anne Arundel County Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Auto Defects
If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a car accident that was caused by a defective auto part, do not hesitate to contact the highly skilled and experienced Anne Arundel County car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We are on your side and will work tirelessly to ensure that the responsible parties are held liable for your injuries. Our dedicated team will seek the maximum financial compensation that you deserve, protecting your rights every step of the way. To set up a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.