If I lost control and crashed due to a factory error with my car, should I sue the manufactuter?

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If I lost control and crashed due to a factory error with my car, should I sue the manufactuter?

The wheel came off causing me to lose control. It was determined that it was caused by a factory error. I purchased the vehicle certified pre-owned vehicle; it is still under warranty.

Asked on April 6, 2012 under Accident Law, New York

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

This area of law is products liability.  You could sue the manufacturer and the seller of the car for negligence and strict liability.

Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable manufacturer would have exercised to produce a product that is not defective). 

Strict liability is liability whether or not due care was exercised.

Negligence and strict liability are separate causes of action (claims in your lawsuit).  In a products liability case, the manufacturer is liable for the defective product.  The seller of the product is also liable even if the seller could not have known the product was defective.

Your damages would include property damage to the vehicle and if you were injured your damages would also include your medical bills, pain and suffering and documentation of any wage loss when you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor or are declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary which means having reached a point in your medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills and is determined by the medical reports which document the nature and extent of your injuries.

Prior to filing a lawsuit against the manufacturer and seller, it may be possible to settle the case with their insurance carriers.  If the case is settled with both insurance carriers (manufacturer and seller), NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case is settled with one party's insurance carrier, but not the other, only name the party with whom the case has not settled as a defendant in your lawsuit.  If the case is not settled with either defendant, name both of them (manufacturer and seller) in your lawsuit for negligence and strict liability.  If the case is NOT settled, you will need to file your lawsuit prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

 


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