How to Prove That a Vehicle Defect Caused a Crash

Car Accidents,Personal Injury • November 15, 2023

Vehicle defects can substantially compromise road safety leading to catastrophic accidents with serious repercussions. When these faults go undetected or unaddressed, they pose dangerous risks to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians alike. In personal injury claims where a vehicle defect may have caused the crash, it’s crucial to prove this defect in order to successfully pursue compensation from the manufacturers or other responsible parties.

Types of Defects

Understanding the different types of vehicle defects is key in determining where a failure occurred and who may ultimately be liable for injuries sustained in a car accident. A Jersey City car accident attorney can help you deal with the aftermath of a collision caused by:

Design Defects

In cases involving design defects, there was something inherently dangerous about the product even before it was made. This means that every vehicle with that particular build will potentially have the same problem due to a mistake or oversight during the design phase – for example, inadequate fuel line connections leading to fire hazards.

Manufacturing Defects

Manufacturing defects differ in that the issue arises not from the design itself, but from a problem during production. In these cases, a flaw occurs when building the vehicle or parts. For instance, fasteners that are not tightened appropriately when built.

Warning Defects

Warning defects refer to incidents where manufacturers fail to adequately inform consumers of known dangers associated with their vehicles’ use or functioning. This absence of instruction can lead to misuse that results in injury, which is why clear and thorough warnings are crucial.

“A manufacturer or seller of a product shall be liable in a product liability action only if the claimant proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the product causing the harm was not reasonably fit, suitable or safe for its intended purpose because it:

a. deviated from the design specifications, formulae, or performance standards of the manufacturer or from otherwise identical units manufactured to the same manufacturing specifications or formulae, or b. failed to contain adequate warnings or instructions, or c. was designed in a defective manner.”

Recognizing the type of defect involved in a crash helps pinpoint responsibility and supports your claim in demonstrating how the product was unsafe or lacked proper indications for safe usage.

Proving That a Vehicle Defect Caused a Crash

Proving a vehicle defect led to an accident involves satisfying several legal elements. As the plaintiff, you need to demonstrate:

  1. The existence of the defect in your specific vehicle at the time of your accident, not merely that such defects are possible or have been found in other vehicles.
  2. That this particular flaw made your car unreasonably dangerous beyond what a reasonable person would expect when operating it under normal conditions.
  3. That the defect was present while the vehicle was still under the manufacturer’s control, suggesting that it originated before you took ownership and was not due to external factors like repairs or alterations.

How To Bolster Your Case

When pursuing a personal injury claim on the grounds of a vehicle defect, you—the plaintiff—bear the burden of proof. This means that establishing fault is your responsibility within the legal proceedings. To successfully argue that a defect caused or contributed to your crash, thorough preparation and diligent investigation are critical.

Here’s how you can strengthen your case:

Hiring Legal Representation

Bringing in an experienced Jersey City personal injury lawyer to guide and assist in investigating all aspects of the accident is fundamental. A lawyer with this expertise will know exactly what evidence is needed for bolstering your claim.

Thorough Investigation

Your attorney will gather concrete evidence, seeking the help of automotive experts and engineers, if necessary, to analyze the vehicle closely to observe any potential flaws that could’ve played a role in causing your accident.

Your attorney also plays a pivotal role determining the damages you experienced as a result of the accident. Without proving you suffered damages, you won’t be successful in your claim.

If you have questions about vehicle defects or need help with a legal claim, don’t hesitate to contact Brady Reilly & Cardoso, LLC today to schedule your no-cost initial consultation.