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Car Accidents Caused by Defective Auto Parts: What Are Your Options?

Posted on October 29, 2020 in

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.

What Are The Most Common Mechanical Malfunctions in Cars?

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.

  • Brake failure: Faulty brakes are one of the most common defects that can lead to an accident. Our brakes are necessary safety mechanisms, and if they fail, you can collide into another vehicle, object, or person and suffer a collision.
  • Tire blowouts: Proper tire maintenance is necessary for a safe vehicle. Even if you do maintain pressure, check for wear and tear regularly, and replace your tires every few years, a defective tire can easily blow out on the road, leading to an accident.
  • Ineffective wipers and defrosters: In inclement weather, you need to see out of your windshield to drive safely. Wipers and defrosters move water and snow out of your line of vision, but if these mechanisms do not work properly, you can lose this important benefit.
  • Faulty steering systems: To maintain control of your vehicle, you need a functioning steering system. Unfortunately, many parts of this system can fail, from fluid lines to the suspension, ball joints, and tie rods. If you cannot steer, you can easily lose control of the car.

Who Is Liable for Defective Auto Parts?

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.

  • You suffered an injury or losses.
  • The auto part is defective.
  • The defect directly caused your injury.
  • You were using the part as the manufacturer intended.

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.

Contact Tillmann Law For a Free Consultation

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.