My Car Malfunctioned and Caused an Accident. What Legal Options Do I Have?
Naturally, the details matter when a car malfunction causes a collision. For example, if your aging brakes fail because you neglect to perform a reasonable degree of maintenance on them, you may be liable if your inability to stop causes an accident. But a third party may bear liability in certain situations such as:
- You just purchased a new car or a certified used car, and the brakes failed shortly after purchase
- Even after owning the car for a certain period, the manufacturer recalls it due to a known mechanical issue, but they fail to notify you of the recall or recall after your motor vehicle accident
- You recently engaged an auto repair shop to replace a car part, but the part still failed due to flaws in their manufacture
Under New Jersey products liability law, you may have the right to sue parties connected with the manufacturer of a faulty product as long as you can prove it was not reasonably fit, suitable or safe for its intended purpose based on its design or manufacture. But the law also exempts liability in certain situations, such as when you suffer injury due to an inherent danger of a product that provides clear warnings of the danger.
Personal injury claims involving defective products can be extremely complex, requiring experienced legal counsel to unravel the details, build a case and take appropriate action. Even if you or your insurance company pays damages to someone hit by your car due to faulty brakes, you may have the right to pursue reimbursement for damages from all joint tortfeasors — the parties who ultimately caused the accident through negligence. You need to make sure you notify your insurer or attorney of any product liability issues to help prove you did not engage in negligent behavior that caused the accident.