Defective Products & Car Accidents In Charlotte
A majority of the accidents in Charlotte are caused by negligent drivers. These are drivers that drive while drunk, fail to yield, drive while distracted and so on. But there are a significant number of accidents that occur because of things such as defective design or defective components of a vehicle. For example, a few years ago millions of Toyota vehicles were recalled because of problems with gas pedals and floor mats. Apparently, these defects on Toyota vehicles caused 89 deaths and 57 injuries. In such a situation, the vehicle manufacturer is liable for the injuries and deaths.
Under product liability law, a manufacturer, retailer, or wholesaler of a product can be held liable for an injury that directly results from the use of that product. You can sue the manufacturer of the automobile or the manufacturer of the component parts. Product liability law is very complex partly because a number of different parties can be held liable for injuries caused from the use of a defective product. That means you need an experienced car accident lawyer that can work with experts to identify the defect that led to your accident and gather more evidence on your behalf.
Types of Product Defects Involving Motor Vehicles
For your product liability claim to succeed, you must prove that the product that injured you was defective. A party may be held liable for the following types of defects:
- Manufacturing defect: These are defects that occur during the manufacturing process. This defect may be the result of an error in the manufacturing facility or defect caused by mishandling during shipping.
- Design defects: The design of a product happens before the product is even made which means that even if the vehicle is manufactured properly, its design may cause accidents. For example, there have been SUV designs that cause the vehicle to be prone to rolling over.
You have to prove that the product defect caused you injury for you to get compensation for medical bills, potential disability, lost wages and more. You can’t sue because of a defect that has not caused you any harm or loss.
Not Everyone Can File For Product Liability
You may not be able to file for product liability if you changed a component in the vehicle and as a result you got injured. For example, if you make modifications to the engine of a vehicle using a component not approved by the manufacturer, then you don’t have a case if that component causes an accident. People who do not follow the instruction manual on how to operate a vehicle may not be able to file for product liability if they get injured or suffer loss because of their defiance. To know whether you are eligible for compensation, consult an experienced car accident lawyer.
Statute Of Limitations
North Carolina has a 3 year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. This means that you have to file for product liability within 3 years after the date when you got injured or suffered loss. Your lawyer can advise you on when it’s appropriate to sue.