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Car Accident

When Is a Car Manufacturer Liable for an Accident?

Salerno & Leavitt June 24, 2022

Not all car accidents occur because of a driver’s error or negligence. Some collisions are the result of vehicle defects and defective automobile parts. When a crash occurs because of a defect, the process of seeking compensation can become more complicated.

In cases involving vehicle defects, a victim can pursue a claim against the car manufacturer and other parties in the chain of distribution. However, proving that the manufacturer is liable can be a daunting task, which is why these cases often require the assistance of a skilled attorney.

At Salerno & Leavitt, we assist accident victims in all kinds of cases, including those that involve vehicle defects, in Omaha, Nebraska, and Council Bluffs, Iowa. We have the necessary resources to help you investigate your accident, identify the defect, and hold the car manufacturer liable for your damages and losses.  

Common Defects That Lead to an Accident or Injury

Some of the most common types of vehicle defects that increase the risk of an accident or severity of injuries include:

  • Airbag defects. When a collision occurs, airbags may fail to fully inflate or may not deploy at all. As a result, the defect puts vehicle occupants at risk of severe injury.

  • Defective brakes. When brakes fail, they may prevent the vehicle from coming to a complete stop. Faulty brakes can contribute to a devastating crash resulting in life-threatening injuries.  

  • Tire defects. Defective tires can fail, causing a driver to lose air pressure without warning and, as a result, lose control of the vehicle.

  • Electrical system defects. A collision may also occur due to defects in the car’s electrical system.

  • Defective steering components. Defects in the steering wheel may cause a driver to lose control of the vehicle, leading to a serious accident.

When a vehicle defect occurs, it is important to contact a knowledgeable attorney to conduct an in-depth investigation and determine the exact cause of the defect.

When a Manufacturer Can Be Held Liable

A manufacturer can be held liable for an accident when the vehicle is defective. A skilled attorney can examine the facts of your case and help you understand your legal options for compensation.

Under the law in Nebraska and Iowa, car manufacturers owe the public a duty to provide vehicles and parts that are reasonably safe and free from defects. When a vehicle is defective and someone gets hurt because of the defect, the car manufacturer can be held responsible. The seller, distributor, and other parties in the chain of distribution may also be named as defendants in a product liability lawsuit.

When suing a manufacturer for a car defect, you must prove the following elements:

  • The vehicle or its parts were defective.

  • The defect caused or contributed to your accident and injury.

  • The defect was not the result of your own negligence or misuse.

If you can prove the elements above, you may be entitled to compensation for your financial losses and injuries. It is essential to work with an experienced attorney to protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.

Types of Defects in Automobile Accidents

When an automobile accident occurs because of a vehicle defect, the first thing you need to understand is what caused the defect and who can be held responsible for it. Product liability laws in Nebraska and Iowa recognize three types of defects:

  1. Manufacturing defects (the product deviates from design)

  2. Design defects (the design of the product makes it unreasonably dangerous to consumers)

  3. Failure to warn (the manufacturer failed to warn consumers about the product’s proper use)

Once your attorney establishes the nature and type of the defect, they can pursue a product liability claim against the car manufacturer and other parties in the chain of distribution.

How a Knowledgeable Attorney Can Help

If you suspect that your collision was the result of a vehicle defect or defective automobile parts, consider speaking with an experienced attorney to assist you with your claim. At Salerno & Leavitt, our car accident attorneys can review the facts of your case and help you understand whether you can hold the car manufacturer liable for your accident. We proudly serve clients in Omaha, Nebraska, and Council Bluffs, Iowa. Call us today for a free case review.