Chicago, IL – When someone gets into an accident, they will normally sue the driver who was at fault or the business that owns and operates the vehicle, and then contact their insurance provider. However, in some situations an investigation will find that the vehicle may have malfunctioned or had some kind of serious mechanical problem. There may be other parties aside from the driver joined as defendants in the lawsuit if they are found to be negligent for their role in the creation, sale, or repair of the vehicle. 

Products liability cases

Part of the civil law deals with imposing liability on anyone who puts a product into the stream of commerce that causes harm while being used for its intended purposes. This can happen either due to a design that was mass produced without being noticed as problematic, or one specific manufacturing error that only affected a small number of vehicles. Many car manufacturers issue recalls so that they can avoid liability for these mistakes before accidents happen. This kind of lawsuit is essentially meant as a deterrent to ensure that various manufacturers and businesses test a product to ensure that it is safe before it is mass produced and marketed. 

Ways that businesses are found to be liable

There are three main ways that business will be found liable for defective and dangerous products. 

The first is for a breach of warranty. This is the least common remedy, but it can be used to show that the product did not function as intended for the consumer. There is an implied warranty for every item purchased that it will function properly for its intended purposes. This works similar to a contract between the seller and buyer, but this theory usually limits liability to the seller only, which is why it is a less common and effective remedy in many cases. 

Negligence is another common way that liability is shown against anyone who produced or sold a defective product. The victim essentially has to show that one or more entities who were involved in the manufacture and distribution of the dangerous product breached their duty of care and should have discovered problems while the item was able to be inspected or repaired. 

Strict liability is a strong theory of liability for a plaintiff. This essentially means that any or all parties in the chain of custody for the manufacture, distribution, and sale of the product is responsible for any harm that it causes. In the case of car accidents, this can include the manufacturer, as well as dealerships and repair shops. 

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