There are about 60,000 single-vehicle accidents in Georgia each year, according to the State Department of Public Health. Many of these incidents are not caused by driver error or negligence, but by mechanical malfunctions or faulty components. Terrence R. Bethune is a car crash lawyer dedicated to helping injured individuals near Atlanta and the surrounding communities. If you have reason to suspect that your accident was caused by a mechanical malfunction, Mr. Bethune can help you investigate the situation and try to hold the responsible party accountable.
Georgia Law Protects Consumers
State law allows people hurt by the carelessness of another person to recover compensation. For car accidents caused by a dangerous driver, the situation is governed by negligence law. In the event that a mechanical malfunction caused the collision, however, products liability law may provide the injured person a remedy.
The rationale behind a products liability lawsuit is that manufacturers of consumer goods should make safe products. When a person is injured by a defective item, he or she can file a claim against the manufacturer, designer, or seller of the item. To prevail, the victim must prove the following elements:
- The product was defective;
- The defect caused the victim’s injuries;
- The item was not substantially changed from the time it left the control of the defendant; and
- The victim was using the product for its intended use or in an otherwise foreseeable manner.
There are several ways in which a product can be flawed. The first is a manufacturing defect that occurs during the production process. The main differentiating characteristic between a manufacturing defect and a design defect, the second type of defect, is whether the defect was innate to the design of the item or simply a production error.
Failure to warn is another category of flaw in Georgia. This not a physical problem with the product, but a failure by the manufacturer or designer to provide adequate instructions or warnings of the dangers associated with it.
Causation in a products liability case is similar to that of a negligence claim. The product must be both the legal and factual cause of the victim’s harm for this element to be fulfilled. This means that the injuries must have been a foreseeable result of the defect and that they would not have happened if the product had not been faulty. As long as the product was in substantially the same condition at the time of the accident from the time it left the manufacturer, the third element is met. Finally, the item must have been used in the way that it was designed to be used, or in a way that was foreseeable, for the defendant to be liable.
Individuals who successfully prove their product liability claims can collect compensatory damages from liable defendants. These awards reimburse a victim for the financial, emotional, and physical injuries that he or she suffered as a result of the defective device.
Discuss Your Car Malfunction Claim With an Attorney
If you were hurt in a collision on the road, you may be able to recover compensation. A tire, transmission, or another mechanical component may have malfunctioned, and an experienced lawyer can help determine who holds liability for your injuries. Capable auto accident attorney Terrence R. Bethune has helped countless people in the Atlanta area seek damages for their harm. To see if he can help you, visit our contact page or call 1-800-INJURED.