After a serious car accident due to a defect in a vehicle or another party’s vehicle, a victim may wonder who is at fault for their injuries and the associated costs of that injury.
Design defects in a car accident case are highly complex, and a Chandler personal injury attorney will need to determine if the defect was caused by the automobile manufacturer or the owner of that vehicle. There are different levels of defects that may cause an accident, from tires to safety equipment and more.
Therefore, it is best to explore the basic principles in a defect case, and how a car accident may result in a defect claim against the driver, manufacturer, or the retailer of the vehicle.
Arizona Takes Defects Differently than the Other States
Most states deploy the theory of strict liability for a manufacturer of an automobile or the manufacturer of tires on that vehicle. However, Arizona has consistently erased the theory of strict liability, per the Arizona State Bar Association. Instead, they are replacing that legal standard with what looks like the negligence standard from decades ago.
That means that the courts are no longer focusing on if the distributor or manufacturer acted reasonably or prudently when assessing risks. Instead, they are looking to see if the manufacturer or distributor knew about the defect at the time the product was released and then failed to act reasonably.
What Does that Mean for a Design Defect in a Car Accident Case?
If a design defect caused a motor vehicle accident, that means that the car’s design was inherently dangerous or defective. However, a Chandler personal injury attorney must prove to the courts that the vehicle manufacturer or the defective component’s manufacturer was aware of the defect.
Instead of saying that they were strictly liable, an attorney must show that they knew there was a defect; therefore, there was a risk of accident or injury.
While this does complicate the issue, it does not mean the case is impossible.
In fact, if the plaintiff was injured by a design defect in a vehicle or another component, such as the tire, he or she could still file a claim against the responsible party. However, an attorney must assess which party was liable and determine if they knew there was a risk.
For example, in a design defect case against a tire manufacturer, the manufacturer might have been aware that their tires explode in hot temperatures. They discovered this during testing, and while it occurred rarely, they knew about the potential harm. However, they decided to release the tire without notifying distributors or retailers of the warning, and without providing a warning to the consumer purchasing the product.
If an accident occurs because of that design defect, your Chandler personal injury attorney would argue that the company knew about the risk and sold the tire regardless.
Design flaws and car accident claims are complicated, so contact a Chandler personal injury attorney at Tobler Law to explore your options. Schedule a free consultation at 480-898-9700 or request more information online.