Head-on CollisionSouth Bend, IN- Faulty ignition switches, airbags and other automobile defects led to a record number of vehicle recalls this year. Sadly, some of the recalls were spurred on by fatal or injurious accidents. This raises the question: What are a victim’s rights?
In their analysis of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, Bloomberg News found that as of December, 60.5 million vehicles were recalled in 2014. That’s nearly double the previous record of 30.8 million vehicle recalls which was set in 2004.
Recalls were issued for a number of auto makers, but the two most notable recalls this year involved General Motors over faulty ignition switches, and Honda over defective air bags manufactured by Takata.
Auto recalls are typically spurred on by either manufacturing defects or design defects. In some cases, these defects are minor and more of a headache for the owner than an actual danger. But the GM recall shows that sometimes defective or faulty auto parts are tied to serious accidents.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one as a result of a defective auto part or design, you should contact an Indiana accident attorney immediately to discuss your accident. After examining the details of your accident, they will determine if a manufacturer or design defect was the cause of your accident and will help you build your injury claim.
As of this writing, the faulty ignition switches in certain GM models have been tied to 42 deaths and 58 injuries. What’s worse is the fact that GM knew of the dangers of the faulty ignition switches for nearly a decade before they issued the necessary recalls.
With defective auto part accidents, anyone who was injured as a result can hold that manufacturer responsible for injuries or deaths. Vehicle owners, passengers in the owner’s vehicle, owners and passengers of other vehicles, and pedestrians can sue an auto maker for compensation if their injuries can be tied to a defective auto part.
Even when an accident is caused in part by a motorist’s actions, injury or wrongful death victims can file a suit against a manufacturer. The issue of comparative negligence will come into play in these cases. For instance, if a person was speeding when their accident occurred, they must take partial responsibility for their accident. A court may determine they were 25 percent responsible for a collision and that amount may be deducted from the settlement they receive. If other parties were injured, the party deemed partially responsible for an accident will have to pay 25 percent of that victim injury or wrongful death award.
When a person suspects their accident was caused by a manufacturer defect, the biggest challenge they face is proving their accident was the direct cause of that defect of faulty part. In some cases, such as with the GM recall, the victim can easily establish that their accident was caused by design or manufacturing defect. But that isn’t always the case, and victims must be able to prove an automaker is responsible for any resulting injuries or deaths. This is a task that requires the know-how of a personal injury attorney such as Matt Tucker with Tucker IP and testimony from auto accident experts.

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