Can Auto Manufacturers Be Liable for an Accident?

two drivers talking about a car accident

While auto manufacturers do their best to ensure their products are safe to use, some of them can either make mistakes or make choices based on their profit margin rather than the health and safety of their consumers. Vehicle defects can be particularly deadly, because cars are already a dangerous product in and of themselves. On the highway, people reach speeds of 65 MPH or more. If a person’s car has a defect at that speed, the consequences could be tragic. In these circumstances, an auto manufacturer could be held accountable for any vehicle error caused during production.

The process of proving the liability of a vehicle manufacturer can be difficult. In order to establish fault, you must work with a doctrine of strict liability. If all of the following conditions exist, the manufacturer may be held liable:

  • The vehicle or one of its parts had an unreasonably dangerous defect that injured you
  • The defect caused an injury while the vehicle was being used in the way it was intended
  • The vehicle was not substantially changed from the condition in which it was originally sold

Over the past few years, Takata has been under fire for selling defective airbags causing many injuries and wrongful deaths. Their manufacturing errors led to one of the biggest product recalls in U.S. history after they caused a total of 139 reported injuries and at least 2 deaths. Takata allegedly knew about the faulty product since 2004 but failed to notify the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in previous recall filings.

A recent trend in these cases has also seemed to increase awards of punitive damages for people who successfully bring a claim against a manufacturer. Punitive damages are awarded above and beyond other damages and are intended to punish the manufacturers and encourage them to fix inherent defects in their vehicle designs.

If you were injured by a defective vehicle product, don’t hesitate to call us. Our Harrisburg products liability attorneys are dedicated to helping victims of injury recover compensation for the harm done to them. Metzger Wickersham has been in business since 1888, helping people with various types of legal matters. We focus our practice solely on representing injured and disabled individuals in personal injury, workers’ compensation, and Social Security Disability claims. Our attorneys have developed a reputation for aggressively defending the rights of our clients. Let us see what we can do for you.

Contact us at (888) 286-2850 or fill out our online form to schedule your free case consultation today.

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