When a defective vehicle causes injury or death, the victims and their families have legal options to pursue compensation. While individual drivers who cause crashes can be sued for negligence, automakers can also be held liable under product liability laws if their vehicles are unsafe. This article examines how to build a case against car manufacturers in Georgia and the remedies that may be available. Speak to an Atlanta car accident lawyer to discuss the details of your unique case.
Proving a Defect in the Vehicle’s Design or Manufacture
The first major hurdle in any product liability lawsuit against an automaker is demonstrating that the vehicle had a defect that made it unreasonably dangerous. Plaintiffs must show issues like:
- A flaw in the car’s design, like an infotainment system that distracts drivers due to complex menus, small fonts, poor voice recognition, and navigational errors leading to increased time with eyes off the road.
- A mistake in the manufacturing process that led to something like the use of substandard materials, assembly line errors, or lack of quality inspections resulting in faulty brake lines prone to sudden rupturing.
- The manufacturer’s failure to warn buyers about a known risk that was identified during testing but not disclosed, such as a tendency for loss of control during certain maneuvers or higher vulnerability in certain types of crashes, depriving consumers of making informed purchase decisions.
- The manufacturer’s failure to provide adequate instructions, such as a lack of direction on properly maintaining components most prone to critical failures or insufficient labeling of controls, leading to consumer errors and increased danger.
Plaintiffs need evidence like internal company documents, expert testimony on industry standards, records of consumer complaints, warranty data trends, and data on similar incidents. Proving a vehicle defect is complex but doable with thorough evidence gathering and effective expert witnesses.
Overcoming Legal Defenses from Automakers
Car manufacturers vigorously defend these lawsuits with arguments like:
- The driver’s own behavior, not the vehicle, was the main cause of the crash
- The vehicle is not defective just because it lacks certain advanced safety features
- Federal regulations preempt and prohibit such lawsuits against compliant automakers
Experienced attorneys prepare counterarguments for these defenses that shift blame back onto identified defects. Plaintiffs may need to rebut testimony from the car company’s expert witnesses.
Financial Remedies in Successful Georgia Cases
If plaintiffs in Georgia can prove their case, common legal remedies available include:
- Compensation for economic losses like medical bills or lost income
- Payment for hard-to-quantify noneconomic suffering due to severe injuries
- Punitive damages meant to punish and deter companies from endangering the public again
Settlements prior to trial are also common to avoid the uncertainty of litigation. Experienced lawyers have a track record negotiating fair compensation.
Consult a Georgia Personal Injury Attorney for Assistance
The burden of proof is high, and legal rules are complex in lawsuits against large automakers. This is why it’s so important to contact an Atlanta personal injury attorney like us to discuss your case at no initial cost. We will evaluate your claim and provide expert guidance on holding automakers financially accountable for unsafe vehicles.
With offices in 32 locations across 19 states including Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina, we can help. Call now for a free consultation on (888) 477-0597.