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Who Is Liable In An Accident Caused By A Recall?

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If you were injured in a car accident caused by a recalled part, you may be able to pursue compensation from multiple parties, including the manufacturer. In Texas, product liability laws make any person or entity involved in creating or marketing a dangerously defective product legally responsible for injuries that occur.

Who’s Responsible?

When a part or system failure results in an accident, you may have a viable case against the manufacturer. Recalls are issued to protect consumers from vehicle defects that endanger motorists or limit a car’s proper operation. However, a product recall does not protect them from being held liable, and defects often cause accidents long before the designer or manufacturer takes responsibility.

To have a viable case against the vehicle manufacturer, you must establish that the defective part caused your injuries. The most critical piece of evidence is the vehicle or part itself. Preserving it immediately after the crash is vitally important.

In many cases, you may be able to hold more parties accountable for the crash. The chain of distribution for cars, from designers and parts manufacturers to assembly plants and distributors, means that several parties have a responsibility to protect consumers from the effects of defective parts or design.

How a Vehicle Recall can Impact Your Injury Claim

Before an attorney can say whether your accident caused by a vehicle recall entitles you to compensation, some relevant questions must be answered.

  • Did you know about the recall?  The first question is whether you even received notice of the recall. If not, then you cannot be responsible for not knowing that your vehicle needed to be serviced to correct the defective part.
  • When did you know about the recall?  Assuming you did receive notice of the recall, the next question is when you received it in relation to the crash.  If the notification came the day before, then it is less likely that you can be at fault for failing to correct the defect. On the other hand, if you’ve known for months, you may be partially responsible for the accident, which can ultimately reduce your compensation.
  • How clear were the instructions?  When you receive a recall notice, it should be accompanied by instructions telling you what must be done in response. In most cases, you will need to contact the local car dealership and schedule an appointment to have the defective part repaired or replaced.  A recall notice that does not provide clear directions may offset your failure to respond appropriately.
  • How reasonable were your actions?  If you took appropriate action and the accident still occurred, then the failure to fix a defective part should not impact your case. For instance, if the dealership tells you to continue driving your car until the necessary parts arrive, then it may be difficult to place blame on you for an accident.

We Can Help

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Texas car accident caused by a defective part, contact Milano Legal Group. Our Houston Car Accident Lawyer can discuss your legal options in a free consultation. Message us online or call today (713) 489-4270.

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