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Defective Motor Vehicle Lawsuits

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What Is a Defective Motor Vehicle?

A defective motor vehicle claim is where an automobile does not perform according to the proper industry standards. In terms of consumers, this can create a very dangerous situation while the person is driving on the road or highway. In some cases, motor vehicle defects might not be apparent until later on, after the car has had some usage and is already in operation.

Motor vehicle defects can sometime affect large groups of consumers, especially if the defect has to do with a mechanical design problem. Some motor vehicle product liability claims are filed under class action lawsuit rules.

Does the Entire Vehicle Need to Be Inoperative to File a Claim?

Not necessarily—a product liability claim usually needs to show that the car was defective in some manner, and that the defect caused the plaintiff’s injury or losses. Defects can be classified into three main types:

Most defective motor vehicle claims involve some sort of design or manufacturing defect. For instance, if the car’s gas pedal is designed poorly so that it "sticks" and the car won’t stop, there may be a viable claim for a defective vehicle. Or, if the car’s gas pedal was designed correctly, but manufactured improperly, it could also lead to a claim.

Thus in most cases, only a separate portion of the car is defective. However, if it’s enough to cause an injury or other type of issue, it can form the basis for a lawsuit.

What Are Some Common Car Defect Injury Claims?

Some common car defect injury claims include:

  • Head, neck and spinal injuries due to faulty brakes
  • Collarbone injuries due to defective seat belt and safety harness systems
  • Various toxic injuries
  • Collision-related injuries (such as whiplash, etc.)

In addition, a person can also be reimbursed for other costs, such as purchase costs of the vehicle, repair costs, insurance fees, and other costs. This may however depend on the facts for each type of defect claim.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

Defective automobiles can create serious hazards for drivers and other passengers. You may wish to hire a lawyer if you believe that you’ve been affected by a defective motor vehicle. Your attorney can help review your claim and can file it with the court if needed. Also, if you need attend any court hearings or meetings, your lawyer can be on hand to provide you with legal advice and information.

Photo of page author Jose Rivera

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 01-31-2017 09:15 PM PST

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