Who Is Responsible for Injuries Caused by Defective Auto Parts?
We’re all familiar with North Carolina traffic injuries that have been caused—or made more severe—due to defective auto components. Several times every week, the news reports some tragedy on state highways or rural roads. We’ve become used to hearing stories like these:
- A tire blowout on Interstate 40 causes a 2011 Ford SUV to roll over in traffic on a Saturday afternoon. Four other vehicles are involved in the resulting crash.
- A minor rear-end auto collision in Wilmington—something that would be little more than a fender-bender in other circumstances—becomes catastrophic when defective seat belts fail. The front seat passenger is propelled through the windshield. Her face has severe lacerations, and she loses the sight in one eye.
- An electrical system fire in a second-hand Toyota fills the passenger compartment with smoke. Coughing, the driver loses control of his vehicle in a shopping center parking lot and slams into a pedestrian and her three-year-old daughter. The toddler does not survive.
Who’s at fault?
If injuries—or fatalities—result from the use of defective car parts in North Carolina, in most cases the manufacturer of those parts will bear legal liability. The manufacturer has a duty to provide his customers with items that are safe under ordinary use, and defective automobile parts clearly fail that test.
But there are exceptions to this general principle. For instance:
- If a repairman or an auto mechanic recognizes that replacement car parts are dangerous, but chooses to install them anyway, then he—and potentially his employer—will bear responsibility for any losses that follow.
- If a car part wholesaler or dealer receives an order from an auto repair company, but substitutes cheap, imported, counterfeit merchandise for approved replacement parts, then that wholesaler may be held accountable for injuries when the defective parts break down at a crucial moment.
Determining responsibility: It’s no easy game
This illustrates why you really need to call a seasoned Wilmington car accident lawyer when you believe a faulty car component is responsible for injuries to yourself or a passenger in New Hanover County. At Speaks Law Firm, we have the resources to conduct a thorough investigation to find out who is truly responsible for your North Carolina auto accident. Contact us today at 910-341-7570 or toll-free at 877-593-4233 to get a FREE copy of our North Carolina Auto Injury Book and to schedule a no-charge, no-obligation conference with one of our skilled attorneys.
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