Every year, various people are subjected to vehicle accidents that lead to very serious injuries or even death. If you have fallen victim to one of these unfortunate accidents, then you may have a claim of product liability. Some very serious motor vehicle defects have come to light over the past few years, including ones that include SUVs that are prone to rolling over and motorcycles that have issues with wobbling when they hit certain speeds. Now you can find out more about these product liability cases and how to identify possibly defendants.
Various Claims and Defendants
So, what are the two different types of claims you can expect from a case involving a defective vehicle? In one case, you may have a defectively manufactured vehicle or vehicle parts. These types of claims involve vehicles or parts that were improperly manufactured, which could have been an error at the facility. It can also include cases where there was a problem during shipping or at the dealership where the items were sold. Another case might be vehicles with an all-around unreasonably dangerous design. In this case, the vehicle or parts may have been manufactured properly. However, they could still have an unreasonably dangerous design that results in injury or other damages. Most of these cases will involve vehicles or parts that were on the market for a while and it took some time discovering that they were actually dangerous.
There could be multiple defendants involved in the chain of distribution of the product as well. Who are some of the possible defendants that you could identify in your product liability case?
- Manufacturer: The manufacturer involved is usually a pretty large company, which may mean that they have more money to compensate you for your injuries. However, it could also mean that they may have a team of high-priced lawyers to defend them in your claim.
- Parts Manufacturer: You should always include the manufacturer of the specific part that was involved in developing the product. The vehicle manufacturer and the parts manufacturer could both be held responsible.
- Car Dealership or Supplier: The specific person or company that sold you the vehicle or part could be held liable in your case, even if you weren’t the physical buyer of the product.
- Middleman/Shipper: Middlemen and shippers are part of the chain of distribution between the manufacturer and the dealership where the product was sold.
- Used Car Dealer: In some cases, you may have bought the vehicle used from a dealership. This still means that you are able to compensate for damages. However, your circumstances will apply.
Remember: You will have to prove your claim in order to win your lawsuit. The three things that you must prove are that you were injured or suffered losses, that the vehicle involved in your case was either defectively manufactured or dangerously designed, and that the manufacturing defect or dangerous design was the cause of your injury. If you were driving recklessly as the plaintiff in your case, the case may not bring about the compensation that you expected it to. The manufacturer or other parties must have been solely to blame for the injuries you were subjected to.
Recent Trends of Punitive Damages
In many recent times, it has become a popular trend for vehicle product liability claims to bring about punitive damages. These awards are given to compensate a plaintiff when serious or malicious wrongdoing has taken place. They punish or deter the wrongdoer (in this case, a manufacturing company that didn’t take special precautions) from behaving the same way. Not only are these damages meant to punish the manufacturers, but also are set to encourage them to fix the defects that result in so many injuries. “Cost-benefit” analysis can be used to decide whether to change a potentially defective vehicle design.
Product liability cases of any kind can be extremely complex laws. This is why it is typically in your best interest to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney that understands these laws. Each state has its own laws and statutes that will affect your action. Call WTW today to schedule a consultation and start working toward the compensation you deserve!