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Wrongful death lawsuits stemming from vehicle defects

While many wrongful death lawsuits are filed each year in response to a family member having been struck by another driver, those alleged to have occurred as the result of a design or manufacturing defect are quite common as well. In fact, most annual car recalls filed each year and done so in response to accidents.

Among the more common types of motor vehicle defects causing injury include brakes, cooling or temperature system, engine or electrical system failures. Also quite common are steering or transmission system issues, design flaws having to do with the passenger compartment, or the overall body or frame of the vehicle. In holding car manufacturers liable for damages sustained, strict liability standard applies.

In the case of this legal standard, it can be applied in proving that the defect was unreasonably dangerous and that the manufacturer failed to provide adequate notice of just how unsafe it was. For this rule of law to apply though, it's important that the vehicle was being used as it was intended to be and was not substantially modified, as far as operation is concerned, from its original state when the injury is said to have occurred.

It's not all that uncommon that, in responding to a wrongful death lawsuit, a manufacturer will argue that it's been too long that the owner has been in possession of the vehicle for them to still be held liable for any defects. They may also wage a claim of comparative negligence in which they assert that the victim's own actions were either partially or fully to blame for the end result.

Successfully filed wrongful death lawsuits allow for families of wrongful death victims to not only recover medical and funeral expenses, but punitive damages as well. Punitive damages, in this case, would be aimed at punishing the vehicle manufacturer and having them correct defects to the car's design to ensure other similar injuries don't occur in the future.

Proving a wrongful death case, in which some type of manufacturer defect is suspected, can be quite complicated and involve the use of experts to help solidify a plaintiff's claims. If you have a family member that's lost his or her life as a result of a suspected design or manufacturing defect, a San Bernardino, California, wrongful death attorney can be able to provide guidance in your legal case.

Source: findlaw.com, "Defective motor vehicle lawsuits," accessed April 25, 2017

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