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Car Accidents / 3.29.2024

How Does an Auto Part Defect Affect Car Accident Liability in Mississippi?

Car Accident Cases are Made More Complex by Auto Part Defects

Car accidents are not always cut and dry, and they are made even more complicated by the existence of an auto part defect on your vehicle or the vehicle that struck you. There are multiple parties that may be liable in such circumstances, and the legal process may differ as well.

It takes the guidance and expertise of an experienced personal injury attorney to determine liability in these complicated car accident cases. If you believe your car accident involved a defective auto part, contact Richard Schwartz & Associates today for more information. 

Who Can Be Held Liable for a Car Accident Caused by a Part Defect?

There are three primary parties that can be held liable for car accidents caused by a part defect. 

  • The manufacturer that made the part
  • The repair shop that made repairs based on a manufacturer recall
  • A driver if they were aware of a product recall and failed to act

In some cases, liability in your car accident claim may fall on more than one party. When this happens, a claim can be filed against each liable party. It is not necessary to pick and choose against whom to file a claim. However, liability must be proven by showing there was a duty to you and that this duty was breached.

How is Liability Determined in Car Accident Cases Involving a Defective Part?

A car accident reconstructionist can determine the cause of a car accident, including whether or not a defective part existed and whether that defective part contributed to the accident. This can be a time-consuming and expensive process that may be difficult to facilitate on your own. 

An investigative personal injury attorney and their team can help you determine if the defective part caused the accident, or if another party might be responsible.

There are several types of liability that may arise in a car accident case with a defective auto part, including:

  • Strict liability
  • Vicarious liability or Respondeat Superior
  • Tortious misrepresentation
  • Breach of implied warranty
  • Negligence

The two most common forms of liability in car accidents with a defective part are strict liability and vicarious liability. 

How to Seek Compensation in Car Accidents Caused by Defects or Repair Mistakes

Both manufacturers and repair shops have liability insurance that covers damages in car accidents caused by a part defect or mechanic error. It is typical to begin a car accident case by filing a claim with the liable party’s liability insurance. However, insurance companies are not always fair, and lawsuits are also an option.

Seeking compensation in a car accident case where a defective part is a direct cause of the accident can be made more complicated by the fact that more than one party may be liable. In addition, there may already be a class action lawsuit against the manufacturer for the defective part, or other cases elsewhere in the country. 

What Compensation Can I Get for a Car Accident Caused by a Defective Part?

Depending on the circumstances and the extent of your injuries, damages could include:

  • Medical bills
  • Future medical treatment
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering

You may also be able to get punitive damages if there is gross negligence on the part of the auto repair shop or the manufacturer. However, punitive damages are rare. Mississippi law also allows survivors to file wrongful death claims that could include other types of damages when the victim succumbs to their injuries.Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents Caused by a Defective Part

Mississippi Code § 15-1-49 establishes the statute of limitations for personal injury cases at three years from the date of injury or the date when the injury was or should have reasonably been discovered. However, it is often not discovered right away that a specific part was the cause of the accident. Because of this, the clock on the statute of limitations may be delayed in these cases.

Let Richard Schwartz & Associates Handle Your Case

Often a car accident reconstructionist discovers that a part was defective and caused an accident even when none of the drivers involved were aware of an issue. When that happens, you need an attorney intimately familiar with the various forms of liability, the ability to prove liability, and the means to take your case to trial if necessary.

At Richard Schwartz & Associates, our attorneys and firm are award-winning trial lawyers. We handle many car accident cases just like these. If you were in a car accident and suspect a defective part might be to blame, don’t settle for an inexperienced attorney. Contact us today at (662) 222-0286 for a free consultation.

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