Car manufacturers are expected to release vehicles that have been properly tested and safely designed. Unfortunately, a poorly manufactured vehicle can lead to serious and even fatal injuries. In some instances, manufacturers may react to defects by recalling a vehicle. Regardless of whether a vehicle has been recalled, Illinois law holds manufacturers accountable for damages caused by their defective products. At Therman Law Offices, our Wheaton and Schaumburg car accident attorneys understand how to present the evidence required to demonstrate that manufacturing defects caused or exacerbated injuries in a vehicle collision. Bringing 35 years of combined experience to our advocacy, our goal is to help injured individuals and their families receive the compensation they deserve.Proving Manufacturing Defects in a Car Accident Case
Different types of defects can affect components of a motor vehicle. While a design defect can exist throughout an entire production run, a manufacturing defect can be more limited in scope. Manufacturing defects that occur during the construction of the vehicle and its components, such as the brakes, tires, and axles, or can be the result of defective parts or machine operator error. For example, a steering column may be defective if it incorporated defective wiring or was misassembled by the operator. Tires that are defectively manufactured can also be dangerous, leading to blowouts and tread separation. When airbags improperly deploy or fail to deploy, these defects can lead to severe harm and fatal accidents.
When a manufacturing defect results in physical harm, the victim may file a legal claim for damages. Strict liability or negligence may be alleged in order to hold a manufacturer legally accountable for damages. Strict liability holds a manufacturer responsible even if they were very careful when assembling the vehicle. An injured individual, as the plaintiff, will only need to show that the product was defective and the defect caused their injuries. If the manufacturer did not know of the defect or did not take negligent action involving the product, they can still be liable. The victim must only show that the defective product caused the injury.
Causation is essential to a strong strict liability lawsuit. The manufacturing defect must be the actual and proximate cause of the accident that led to the injuries. For example, if a plaintiff’s negligence also contributed to the accident, the defendant manufacturer may have a strong claim it was the plaintiff’s conduct, and not the defect, that led to injuries. This can serve as a defense that prevents the plaintiff from recovering damages in their lawsuit.
In certain cases, manufacturers may be liable under a negligence theory of law. Their legal responsibility extends to not take actions reasonably likely to cause a product to harm others. Duty, breach, causation, and damages must be demonstrated, and it is typically more challenging for a plaintiff to prove negligence than strict liability. The plaintiff’s attorney must show evidence that the manufacturer took specific actions that led to the injuries.
An injured plaintiff may also, if the facts support the allegations, assert a claim against parties other than the manufacturer. A car dealership that sold them the vehicle or the defective part can be liable for their harm. A shipper involved in the chain of distribution of the defective vehicle or part may also face liability for their damages.Asserting Damages in a Manufacturing Defect Lawsuit
If you have suffered injuries or a loved one has been fatally injured in a car accident due to a manufacturing defect, a range of damages may be available. In addition to medical expenses associated with the accident, costs incurred for rehabilitation and job retraining can be recovered. Anticipated costs to address ongoing physical and emotional needs must also be calculated. Emotional pain and suffering following an accident are more challenging to quantify, but a decreased quality of life following an accident supports a claim for non-economic compensation. In the event of a fatality, surviving family may assert a wrongful death claim for damages.Consult an Experienced Lawyer in Schaumburg or Wheaton
The attorneys at Therman Law Offices advocate for their clients’ rights to compensation for their injuries, which can include costs for past harm as well as future, expected expenses. Litigating manufacturing defect cases generally requires experienced legal counsel. Our dedicated team is here to help people in need of representation throughout Wheaton and Schaumburg, as well as Norridge, Harwood Heights, Edison Park, Norwood, Rosemont, Park Ridge, Des Plaines, Elmwood Park, Mt. Prospect, and Elk Grove Village. To begin the process of learning more about your legal claim, phone our office today at 312-588-1900 or fill out our online form.