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Who is Responsible for Defective Car Injuries?

June 5, 2012
Colson Hicks Eidson

Like all product liability claims, lawsuits involving injuries from a defective vehicle can be complex and involve a myriad of potentially liable parties. Make sure your product liability attorney has experience in defective vehicle lawsuits, and it will improve your chances of a successful recovery for your injuries.

Your vehicle passed through many different hands before you drove it off the lot. If the defective vehicle is “pre-owned” or used it may have had more than one previous owner. All of these entities could share in the liability for your injuries:

  • Manufacturer – In products liability cases involving motor vehicles, the manufacturer is typically a large company. This means it may have more money to compensate you for your injuries.
  • Parts manufacturer – If your case involves a defective part, such as the tires or the battery, be sure to include the manufacturer of that part if it is a separate company from the vehicle manufacturer.
  • Car dealership or automotive supply shop – Whoever sold the vehicle or the specific defective part may be liable to you for your damages — even if you were not the actual buyer.
  • Middleman or shipper – Any company, including the shipper or other middlemen, that was part of the chain of distribution between the manufacturer of the defective vehicle or part and the dealership or other retailer where it was sold may be liable for your damages.
  • Used car dealer. Even if the vehicle involved in your case was bought used, the dealer who sold it may be liable in certain cases.

Do you suspect your vehicle might have a defect?