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Car Accidents Caused by Auto Defects

Syracuse Lawyers for Motor Vehicle Product Liability Cases

Car accidents caused by auto defects can result in serious injuries. If you were injured due to a defective component or part of a car, you should consult the seasoned Syracuse car accident attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano. In most cases, insurers try to save money where they can. They may not want to pay you the full amount to which you’re entitled. It’s important to retain lawyers with a strong reputation for taking cases to trial when fair settlements are not offered.

Car Accidents Caused by Auto Defects

Modern vehicles may contain many different defects. Some can result in dangerous conditions, while others might be cosmetic in nature. Auto defects can include airbags that don’t deploy, airbags that deploy too fast or with too much force, seatbelts that unbuckle during an accident, seatbacks that break during an accident, collapsing roofs during a rollover, vehicle fires caused by electrical system defects, brake failure and sudden unintended brake failure, power steering failure, and tire failure.

If you were injured because part of a vehicle failed, you may be able to sue the manufacturer for damages. For instance, if your car rolled over on a sharp turn because you could not slow down due to a brake failure, you may have a basis for bringing a product liability lawsuit.

Liability for Defects

Automobile defects may be related to the manufacturing or design of the car. It is critical that occupants of a vehicle be protected in case of a crash in what’s called “crashworthiness.” A defect in a car can result in unanticipated vehicle failure. Manufacturers could also be held responsible for making sure that those inside a vehicle are kept safe from a secondary collision between themselves and the inside of a vehicle that happens after a car crash. In New York, plaintiffs can litigate a product liability lawsuit arising out of a car crash by establishing negligence, breach of warranty, or strict liability.

For instance, to recover under a theory of negligence, you’d need to show the manufacturer failed to use the care that a reasonable manufacturer would use in making or designing a car part, and this negligence caused your injuries. Breach of warranty exists if a manufacturer warranted that a product should perform in a specific way, and if that performance fails, the manufacturer and retailers could be held accountable.

Strict liability requires you to prove: (1) the defendant is in the business of selling and sold a product, (2) the product was in a defective condition and was therefore unreasonably dangerous, and (3) the product hadn’t been altered in any way from when it was sold.

Joint and Several Liability

In some cases, multiple parties are at fault for an accident. New York follows the rule of joint and several liability with regard to economic damages such as medical bills, lost wages, and replacement services. This means that any one defendant could be held responsible for all your damages even if the defendant were only partially responsible for the accident. For example, if an auto manufacturer and an uninsured driver were each 50% responsible for the, you may recover 100% of your economic losses from the manufacturer. On the other hand, defendants will only be held severally responsible for an amount of noneconomic damages equal to their particular percentage of fault when they are less than 50% responsible for an accident. If the damages were $1 million, and the manufacturer was found 40% responsible, damages of $400,000 may be recovered from the manufacturer.

Consult a Syracuse Attorney

Car crashes can result in devastating injuries or even deaths. Often, auto manufacturers have substantial resources to defend against lawsuits brought by those injured in car accidents. It’s critical to have an experienced attorney on your side. Those injured in car accidents caused by auto defects should consult DeFrancisco & Falgiatano about whether there is a basis to pursue damages in a product liability lawsuit. We represent accident victims across upstate New York in Syracuse, Rochester, Watertown, Lowville, Oswego, Auburn, Canandaigua, Wampsville, Ithaca, Lyons, Oneida, Cooperstown, Utica, Elmira, Herkimer, and Binghamton. Complete DeFrancisco & Falgiatano’s online form or call us at 315-479-9000.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
"We were very impressed with how Jeff DeFrancisco represented us at trial and we were extremely happy when the jury found in our favor." D.M., Auburn, NY
★★★★★
"I cannot express in words what an awesome job Charlie Falgiatano and Jean Marie Westlake did in representing my family in my mother's case at trial. There can never be enough thank-yous." D.L., Cortland, NY
★★★★★
"I suffered a serious injury as a result of medical malpractice. My husband and I retained Jeff DeFrancisco to assist us in this case. We were extremely happy with his representation and highly recommend him." Kelley R., Syracuse, NY
★★★★★
Since the insurance company was unwilling to settle the matter my case ultimately went to trial. At trial Jeff DeFrancisco did an absolutely amazing job by obtaining a very favorable result for me." T.H., Oneida, NY
★★★★★
"I highly recommend DeFrancisco & Falgiatano - Charlie represented me for a medical malpractice case. He is the best of the best. He is friendly and I am very happy with the representation he provided." Roger N., Oneida, NY