Is it Possible to Sue a Car Manufacturer for a Car Accident in New York?

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    Car accidents happen for all sorts of reasons. When people think of what causes car accidents, most of the time, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the driver making a mistake or running into a nasty pothole. However, car accidents can also happen because of things that go wrong with the vehicle itself. New Yorkers expect their motor vehicles to work safely and effectively, so when something goes wrong and gets you injured, you may be looking to see if you can sue the manufacturer for your injuries.

    Fortunately, you are able to sue car manufacturers for your injuries in a car accident. You are able to file a lawsuit based on a theory of product liability to prove that the manufacturer is responsible for your injuries. You can take car designers and manufacturers to court and allege that their product was dangerous or defective and ultimately caused your injuries.

    Call our New York car accident lawyers from The Carrion Law Firm at the number (718) 841-0083 for a free case review.

    Can You Sue Car Manufacturers for Car Accidents in New York?

    You are absolutely able to sue car manufacturers in your car accident lawsuit in New York. If you are planning to sue a manufacturer, it is likely that your lawsuit will be based, at least in part, on a theory of product liability. “Products liability” is the term for the area of law covering injuries caused by, well, products that do not work correctly or are inherently dangerous. The idea is that designers and manufacturers of goods are not supposed to make things that will easily hurt people, and generally, making a product safer involves greater cost to the manufacturer. Therefore, the public has a legal remedy when a manufacturer sells something that is dangerous or defective.

    Defining “Defective”

    To successfully win a car accident lawsuit against a manufacturer for a faulty vehicle, you need to prove in court that the vehicle was “defective.” In law, a defective product is one that is designed in such a way that it will be dangerous during ordinary use or a product that is built incorrectly somewhere along the line, and that mistake is dangerous.

    One important thing to note is that not all products that are dangerous are defective. If a product needs to be somewhat dangerous in order to function properly, that will not be considered a defect. For example, powered brakes are basically universal on most motor vehicles. They are a known, proven technology that makes cars much safer. However, many dump trucks do not have powered brakes because the amount of power and energy required to make a dump truck stop would make it impossible for the truck to perform the task it was made to do. Some examples of defects that are not required for a product to function would be airbags that deploy too late or incorrectly wired electronics in a motor vehicle.

    If the defense can prove that it would not be feasible to make their product in an alternative, safer way, your case will likely not be successful. Because of this, it is important for our Brooklyn car accident lawyers to examine your situation and determine whether the defect in your vehicle is appropriate for a product liability claim.

    Examples of Manufacturing Defects in Cars

    It may be helpful to know exactly what a manufacturing defect could look like in a motor vehicle. Indeed, there are some very well-known, infamous examples of motor vehicle defects, but there are also problems with cars that can cause accidents that may not be as immediately noticeable.

    Gas Tank Placement

    Perhaps the most famous example of a dangerous car defect is the gas tank placement on the Ford Pinto in the 1970s. In that car, the gas tank was placed directly between the bumper and rear axle of the vehicle. Combined with the Pinto’s small size and other ill-advised design features, the gas tank was particularly prone to rupturing on impact and catching fire, which eventually resulted in deaths and an expensive lawsuit against the company.

    While modern gas tanks are much more sensibly placed and better designed, it may be worth looking into the design of the vehicle involved in your accident if a gasoline fire is involved.

    Substandard Materials

    Some materials are suitable for motor vehicle construction, and others are not. While cars are not going to be made of blatantly unsuitable materials like paper mache, a manufacturer may be swayed to use cheaper materials or parts in order to cut costs. Additionally, the manufacturer may not properly inspect or vet their materials, which could lead to a problem on the line. For example, suppose a manufacturer gets a shipment of metal that does not get inspected. Unbeknownst to anyone, it is structurally weak and has microscopic cracks in it. That metal is then used for the rear axle of a car, which fails at a crucial moment, injuring the driver. In that instance, the manufacturer built and sold a defective vehicle.

    Self-Driving Systems

    Partially and fully self-driving vehicles are becoming more and more common on roads in the United States. These vehicles rely on sophisticated technology in order to operate in a safe way. If the self-driving software is not up to snuff, is incorrectly installed, or is incorrectly programmed, it could lead to an injury, and the car manufacturer may be liable.

    Speak to Our New York Car Accident Lawyers Today

    The Carrion Law Firm’s Bronx car accident lawyers are ready to help you with your case when you call us at (718) 841-0083.