A National Injury Law Firm


Auto Design Defects

Auto Design Defects Cause Your Accident Injuries? Take On the Manufacturer with Help from a Cook County Car Accident Lawyer.

Most injury claims and cases are based on the negligence of the defendant who is liable for the plaintiff’s injuries. But when auto design defects cause an accident, the route to compensation is different. Plaintiffs pursue defective product claims with a Cook County car accident lawyer who uses the doctrine of strict liability. This means that some manufacturing or design defect made it inherently dangerous to begin with, which allows you to bypass negligence altogether. And if the manufacturer was negligent in dealing with a defect it knew existed, your case can become even stronger.

The common allegations of strict liability in a defective vehicle include:

  • The vehicle or one of its components was unreasonably defective. The flaw can either be in the vehicle’s design or in the way it was manufactured, shipped or modified by the dealer.
  • The auto design defect caused an injury as your vehicle was being used in its intended manner.
  • You had not substantially changed the vehicle from the condition in which it was originally purchased.
  • The vehicle manufacturer failed to warn you that a defective part in a vehicle made it dangerous.

Examples of Defective Vehicle Design and Assembly

Car and truck manufacturers all over the world have been forced to recall millions of vehicles to replace defective parts. We are all aware of Toyota’s recent recalls for defective floor mats, along with other flawed components in the company’s vehicle acceleration systems. The problems General Motors is having with its defective ignition systems have already caused many injuries and a few wrongful deaths. And the extent of the millions of Takata airbag recalls affects between 24 and 31 million vehicles. Other common vehicle claims and cases surround defective tires and seat belts.

Recalling vehicles with defective parts costs these manufacturers untold millions of dollars. This is compounded by manufacturer’s reluctance to order voluntary recalls. Often, they finally comply when forced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), growing coverage in the media and the pressure placed on them by experienced defective product liability lawyers.

When deciding whether a design was flawed, injury or wrongful death claims and cases usually hinge on the answer to either of the following questions:

  • Was the device’s original blueprint unreasonably dangerous to the point that the harm the defective device represented was reasonably foreseeable?
  • Was the manufacturing or installation process of a device flawed or did it modify the device to the point where it became dangerous?

Manufacturing defect cases are quite complicated because the victim’s lawyer must prove that if there had not been a design error, then the accident likely would not have occurred. Further complications lie in the condition of the vehicle after the accident, especially if the damage is too great to prevent comprehensive testing of the suspected defective part. Often, such cases hinge on your Cook County car accident lawyer finding similar accidents caused by the same defective device.

Defective Vehicle Claims by Manufacturers

Vehicle manufacturers and dealers may defend your strict liability claims, especially if they can prove you knew about the auto design defect but continued to use your car or truck without having the problem corrected. The strength of their claim lies in their establishing the condition of your vehicle prior to the accident or from your admissions as to how your vehicle was used. In states that rely on contributory negligence (where liability can be shared by both plaintiff and defendant, such as in Illinois) a successful defendant can be forced to pay only a percentage of total damages (medical costs, past and future lost income, pain and suffering, possible disability and/or wrongful death).

Buttafuoco and Associates’ experienced defective product injury attorneys offer a free consultation. Contact us anytime by calling 1-800-NOW-HURT. So If you or a member of your family has been injured or suffered wrongful death due to defective vehicle design or manufacture, contact us at your earliest opportunity so we can review your case.