Padilla Law Group, LLP

What are the elements of an auto part defect claim?

Consumers in California buy automobiles with the expectation that they are safe to operate on a daily basis. While this is generally the case, sometimes vehicle defects create situations where innocent motorist are seriously injured. These victims can face significant losses that are emotional, physical and financial in nature. This is why some of these victims choose to seek compensation through an auto product liability lawsuit. To succeed on one of these claims, an individual must prove three legal elements. The first is that the defective auto part was unreasonably dangerous. This characteristic may arise at any point along the manufacturing and supply chains. Therefore, a defective design may be enough to satisfy this element. So, too, may errors in shipping the auto part. Even an inadequate warning may be enough to show that the product was unreasonably dangerous. The second and third elements of an auto product liability claim are similar. The second is that the vehicle product in question was being used as intended at the time the injury was suffered. The third element is that the product was not substantially altered in a way that affected its intended use. Therefore, those who have substantially altered their vehicles may struggle to show that they were injured by a defective auto part, although it's not impossible. If these elements can be shown, then strict liability can be imposed. If successful, a victim will simply need to show the extent of the damages imposed upon him or her. It may sound easy enough to prove only three legal elements, but the truth of the matter is that defense attorneys have numerous strategies to try to combat these types of claims. Therefore, it is often wise for victims of defective auto products to seek assistance from skilled legal professionals.



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