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Can product liability play a role in car accidents?

In most car accidents there is someone to blame. Many times the person at fault in a car collision is the driver of the car that caused the accident. This is really the most common explanation following a car crash. In cases like these, the victim in the accident has legal rights to pursue a claim in damages against the at-fault party where appropriate. Other times there may be extenuating circumstances involved that led to the accident. For instance, product liability can play a role in accident scenarios.

Product liability is a type of liability that deals with situations in which defective products are involved. Where an accident or a mishap of some kind occurs and an accident investigation determines that no one a party to the accident was at fault, the next logical place to look to see how the accident may have happened falls within the realm of product liability. This is where it can be shown that the defective nature of the product caused the accident. With respect to car accidents, if neither party was at fault, they would then have to prove that the automobile design was flawed, thus leading to and causing the crash.

A products liability case is not an easy case to make. Ultimately, the parties bringing the case have to show that there was a problem in the way the product was put together either in its design, its labeling or its manufacturing. If this can be shown, then the maker of the product can be held liable for the accident. In bringing a product liability case to court, certain elements have to be satisfied in order to prevail in the case. Even though most car accidents are due to human error, there are instances where other factors may contribute.

Source: FindLaw, “Car Accident Basics,” Accessed Jan. 26, 2015