Mechanical conditions may sometimes cause car accidents when a vehicle fails to perform as it should. When this type of accident occurs, the owner or driver of the vehicle may not always be the party that is held liable. Even when manufacturers recommend that motorists do the proper maintenance, vehicles can still fail to perform as expected. When this occurs, the manufacturer of that vehicle may be held liable for damages and injuries. Mechanical failure comes in many forms such as defective brakes, burst tires, faulty engines, or problems with safety controls. You often hear on the news about manufacturers being forced to recall their products, in this case automobiles. In 2010, Toyota was forced to recall 5.5 million vehicles for pedal entrapment due to the faulty design of the gas pedals in its vehicles. As a result, the auto manufacturer paid a civil penalty of a maximum of $16,375,000 million.
As the owner of an automobile, you should take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of your vehicle by having yearly inspections and routine maintenance, such as checking and replacing brakes, rotating the tires, and changing the oil. Even when you take the necessary precautions, accidents can still happen. Most mechanical problems are due to defective parts. Leading manufacturers, such as Toyota, are forced to recall hundreds of vehicles every year due to flawed parts that have the potential to cause dangerous accidents. Cars are composed of hundreds of essential parts that can cause an accident if not properly maintained.
When you report a problem to the manufacturer, they should take immediate steps to correct it. A manufacturer has a duty to correct these issues and warn its consumers of impending harm. If they do not, then they have breached this duty and can be held liable for any damages or injuries. Consumers may sometimes file a class-action lawsuit against the manufacturer, dealer, or any other party that may be at fault. As a victim, you are entitled to compensation for medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Punitive damages may also be awarded depending on the circumstances of the case. The court can award punitive damages when the defendant’s actions demonstrate gross negligence or indifference to human life.
If you or a loved one was injured or killed as a result of a mechanical failure, our experienced lawyer, Brian Steed Tatum, can help. We will evaluate your case and help you figure out what parties may be liable and what legal options you have. We specialize in personal injury law and have helped many victims throughout North Carolina and South Carolina. If a fair settlement offer is not reached, we will take your case to trial. It is our duty to fight for your legal rights and help you obtain the compensation you deserve. For a free consultation, please call (704) 307-4197.