An Injured Victim Can Look to Many Parties for Compensation If Defective Auto Parts Contributed to His Injuries
Defective auto parts can result in accidents in many ways. They can contribute to an automobile accident caused by another party or cause injuries in a single vehicle accident—such as if a power window traps a child’s arm or a defective brake fails in a thunderstorm. Defective auto parts can be the original manufactured vehicle parts or after-market auto parts sometimes installed by repair shops after an accident because they are less expensive. These after-market auto parts are free from government oversight, unlike those produced by car manufacturers, and are often more likely to fail due to their inferior quality.
Who Should Be Sued When Defective Auto Parts Caused the Victim’s Injuries?
If a person suffers injuries caused in part by defective auto parts, he could have both a personal injury and product liability claim. Potential defendants who could be responsible for compensating the victim include:
- Negligent driver. If another driver’s negligence in part caused the accident, he could be partially responsible for compensating the victim.
- Vehicle manufacturer. The automobile company who manufactured the vehicle could be partially liable if its defective parts contributed to the victim’s injuries. However, this manufacturer probably would not be liable if the person bought the defective part separately.
- Auto parts manufacturer. If the victim’s accident was caused by parts manufactured by a parts manufacturer, such as a battery or tires, the parts manufacturer should be one of the parties sued.
- Car dealership or auto supply shop. The car dealership could face liability if it sold a vehicle with a defective auto part. When the victim purchased the part from an auto supply shop, the auto supply shop should be included in the lawsuit.
- Shipping companies or other middlemen. All parties in the chain of distribution of the defective part could face responsibility when a person is injured. This can include the shipping company or other middlemen responsible for transporting the defective part or vehicle from the manufacturer to the dealership or repair facility.
Accidents where a defective part contributed to the injuries can be much more complicated than a straight auto accident case. It may be difficult to sort through who the responsible parties are and to prove that a defective product caused the victim’s injuries. In these cases, it is important to retain an experienced attorney who handles both car accident and product liability cases.
If you or a family member suffered injuries caused by a defective auto part, call me at 888.716.8021 for a FREE consultation to learn about your legal options and how I can help you.