Modern cars are arguably far safer than their older counterparts, and they come equipped with safety features that we would not have even deemed possible a decade ago. What used to be cutting edge technology now serves as a baseline for car safety.
We have safety features such as adaptive cruise control, emergency braking, lane keep assist, and blind spot warning systems. Some cars even come with auto-parking features. While these active features are extremely beneficial, they will always be susceptible to failure. A general rule with any piece of engineering is that the more complex a system, the more points of failure there are.
The danger with relying on these features completely is that when they do fail, it’s going to have dire, and even fatal consequences. How exactly should we respond if a defective safety feature causes an accident?
The first thing to understand is that when working with brand new products, they always fall under the principle of strict liability, which refers to the assumption that the features of the product ought to work without fail. This is essentially an unwritten warranty.
If your car’s safety features failed, and this failure caused your accident, you need to do more than just point out your injuries, as these alone are not enough grounds for you to receive compensation. You must first prove that you were operating your car as intended, and that there was indeed a defect with your car. In this instance, there are two types of product defects that apply:
A design defect occurs when the fundamental functionality of the product or feature is inherently flawed. A product that’s bad by design will inevitably fail. Even if one component is found to be poorly designed to the point that it causes the whole system to fail, a manufacturer may be held liable.
A manufacturing defect occurs during the assembly of the product. In this instance, the design is functional, but the manner in which the product was put together is flawed. The law does not necessarily distinguish design defects from manufacturing defects. You need only prove that either or both types of defects existed.
The Legal Impact
When faced with a product liability case, most manufacturers will fight to minimize the financial impact of the lawsuit. The reason behind this is that if their faulty product results in injuries, the manufacturer not only faces a product liability lawsuit, they will also face a personal injury lawsuit, which compounds the damages that they will have to pay the claimant.However, this is justified based on the premise that if you’re buying a brand new product, it is expected to work flawlessly. Customers give their trust and money to manufacturers based on the guarantee that their products will work.
It’s also important to understand that car accident-related injuries are very impactful. Besides the immediate injuries and financial impact, these accidents may often leave victis with expensive medical bills and a loss of the ability to work. It’s for this reason that the only way to secure a fair and full compensation is to hire experienced lawyers like the ones at Harrison White, P.C. law office.