Claims for Auto Defects in Dallas
- August 27, 2014
- Vehicle Defects
Not all car accidents are the result things like driver negligence and bad weather. Some accidents that result in injury are due to a defect in the design or manufacture of a vehicle. The laws are somewhat different when it comes to cases that involve vehicle defects and an experienced Dallas vehicle defect attorney will understand how to manage the situation better than a lawyer that has limited experience dealing vehicle defect litigation.
Unlike a car accident injury that was caused by driver negligence, auto defects will be governed by the standards of product liability law. This factor plays a significant role in how the law is applied and what needs to be proven to recover compensation.
With a product liability case, the claimant does not need to prove that the manufacturer was careless or negligent. Instead, they need to demonstrate that the vehicle had an unreasonably dangerous defect that caused them to sustain an injury. This could be anything from a faulty braking system to defective safety features or flaws in the body or frame. However, the claimant can lose some or all of their rights to compensation if it can be shown that they were operating the vehicle in a way that was not its intended use or that the vehicle had been altered in such a way that it contributed to or caused the defect.
In personal injury law, the most common form of damages are compensatory damages. This is awarded to the claimant for injury and material damage to compensate them for their loss. Compensatory damages will certainly be a part of any vehicle defect case, but punitive damages may also be a part of the litigation. In the most basic sense, punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant in the hopes that it will give them greater cause to avoid the behavior that resulted in injury or loss to the claimant.
When you are dealing with an automobile manufacturer, it is different from dealing with a smaller business or an individual. When an automobile manufacturer learns of a defect or flaw in their product, they might choose to analyze the situation from a cost-benefit standpoint. That means that they will determine the cost of fixing the problem and compare that to how much they would stand to lose as the result of lawsuits that are connected to the defect. If the cost of litigation is lower than the cost of fixing the problem, then they may choose not to issue a recall or repair the affected vehicles.
With the risk of not only paying compensatory damages, but also punitive damages, the manufacturer has a greater financial incentive to take steps to avoid litigation. The idea is that the car manufacturer will be more likely to err on the side of caution because of the increased financial loss that will result.
Cases that involve vehicle defect can be very complicated and the need for an attorney is of paramount importance. In many of these cases, the defendant is a wealthy corporation that can pour vast amounts of resources into defending their interests. That is why claimants that have suffered injury as the result of a vehicle defect need a well-equipped Dallas vehicle defect attorney that has experience with this type of litigation.