Manufacturers of Recalled Automobiles Responsible for Injuries?
Posted on Apr 1 , 2013
Manufacturers shoulder a unique responsibility to the public. Simply by releasing a product into the stream of commerce, a company takes on an obligation to guarantee that the item is reasonably safe to use in its intended capacity. Inevitably, some defective products wind up reaching the public market. In the context of motor vehicles, defects can mean more than inconvenience or monetary loss - they may endanger life and limb. Product recalls from auto manufacturers are one common way to address defects: most of us have a friend, family member or coworker who has been affected by a vehicle recall. But what happens when defective vehicles are not recalled in time to prevent serious injury or death in a car accident? Injured Parties May Sue Automakers for Damages Related to Recalled Automobiles. When a safety defect is discovered in an automobile, manufacturers often voluntarily initiate a recall. If they fail or refuse to do so, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration may order a recall through the courts. Since 1966, over 390 million motor vehicles as well as some 112 million pieces of motor vehicle equipment have been recalled because of safety defects. Unfortunately, many such safety defects are not discovered until after they have caused injury or death. In addition, even once a vehicle is recalled, not every owner or operator is informed of the recall or has the chance to get the safety defect corrected. Medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and in the worst scenarios, funeral expenses, can all follow an auto crash caused by a vehicle defect. But, those harmed by such an accident can collect from automakers in a lawsuit whether or not the defective vehicle involved has been recalled. By law, auto recall remedies are available in addition to other applicable legal remedies. That means although your auto manufacturer may offer to fix a safety problem or issue a refund, you may still be able to collect compensation in a lawsuit over injuries or death caused by the vehicle defect. The specific remedies available for those injured by auto defects vary somewhat by state. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact an experienced local attorney to explore potential avenues for collecting the full and fair compensation you deserve