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What role does carelessness play in motor vehicle defect cases?

When we talk about carelessness in this particular context, we are talking about carelessness on the part of the vehicle manufacturer. Every state's laws are different, of course, but it is interesting to note that a vehicle manufacturer's liability in accidents where product defect is being claimed, the victim does not need to show carelessness as an element.

Whether you are driving a car or truck in Texas, or riding a motorcycle, if you suffer an injury due to some defect in the vehicle, a theory of strict liability may be used to make your claim. What may be required, however, is that you be able to show that three specific conditions existed.

First, you need to be able to show that the motor vehicle or some component of it was unreasonably dangerous to begin with and that you were injured as a result of that defect.

The defect could be in any one of the many systems that make up the vehicle -- body, brakes, the cooling system, steering, suspension or even the exhaust system. And the defect could be the result of design, poor construction, improper handling during preparation and delivery, or stem from a failure on the manufacturer's part to issue adequate warning about the product's dangers.

The next condition that's required is that you show that you were using the vehicle the way it was intended to be used. For example, if you try to go off road in a Mazda Miata and something happens, you might not have a case.

Lastly, you have to be able to show that the vehicle's condition at the time of the accident was much the same as it was when you originally bought it.

Of course, if a manufacturer or seller can show that your action or lack of action was a factor in your suffering your injury, that could minimize the compensation you might be entitled to.

In any event, if you have questions, speaking with an experienced attorney is the way to get the answers you need.

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