Many car accidents occur due to the negligent actions of another driver, poor road conditions, and bad weather. However, a significant number of collisions also occur due to mechanical malfunctions and defective vehicle parts — and if you suffered a defect-related accident, you may not know what to do next. Although you may not be able to file a claim against a negligent driver, you do have legal options available to help you recover.
Cars are complex machines made up of multiple parts, each of which play an important role in a vehicle’s safety and functionality. Auto manufacturers must adhere to strict safety standards, but unfortunately, defects can occur at each stage of the manufacturing process. These defects can be extremely dangerous for drivers, leading to accidents and severe injuries.
Some of the most common mechanical defects include the following.
Under Oregon law, product manufacturers must ensure that their products are safe to use and meet accepted industry standards. If a customer suffers an injury due to a product defect, he or she has the right to file a product liability lawsuit against any and all parties along the chain of distribution. This includes the manufacturer, the retailer, and the wholesaler or distributor.
If you suffer an accident due to a car accident defect, you can hold the manufacturer of that part and those involved in its distribution liable for your injuries. However, you will need to prove that the defect was truly responsible for your accident in order to collect compensation. To establish the at-fault party’s liability, you will need to prove four important elements.
Proving these elements will require a great deal of evidence and investigation. You will need to gather medical records, speak to eyewitnesses, calculate your estimated damages, and prove the nature of the defect, among many other tasks. This requires significant resources and litigation power.
Hiring a Portland car accident attorney can provide you with the tools you need to prove your right to damages. Your lawyer can benefit your case in several ways, from contacting expert witnesses who can validate the nature of the defect to preparing and collecting evidence on your behalf. If you have not done so already, contact your attorney as soon as possible to discuss your potential claim.