Can I File a Claim if a Defective Vehicle Part Caused My Accident in Massachusetts?

Some harmful accidents occur because vehicles were equipped with defective parts. For instance, a crash may happen because a vehicle was equipped with faulty brakes or poorly manufactured tires. Further, a devastating collision may occur because a malfunctioning electrical system caused a vehicle’s headlights to go out.

You can file a claim if a defective vehicle part caused your accident in Massachusetts. However, the route to compensation may be difficult without support from our legal professionals. You may need to present complicated evidence to prove that the part at issue was defective. Furthermore, the defendant will likely hire teams of people to refute key elements of your case.

After suffering a crash, get assistance from our Boston car accident lawyers by calling the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407.

Filing a Claim Based on a Defective Vehicle Part in Massachusetts

As previously mentioned, you may be permitted to file a claim against the at-fault party if a defective vehicle part caused your accident. Typically, such a case will involve one of three distinct types of negligence:

Defective Design

An accident may occur because a vehicle’s part was defectively designed. A defective design means that the very blueprint of the vehicle, including its components and parts, was inherently flawed or unsafe.

To establish a strong claim based on a defectively designed part, you will need to demonstrate that an alternative, safer design was available but not implemented by the manufacturer. This involves a thorough investigation into the design choices made by the automaker and how they directly led to the accident. Fortunately, our Chelsea, MA car accident attorneys can help perform such an investigation in your case.

Defective Manufacturing

Further, a crash may happen because a vehicle’s part was defectively manufactured. In such a case, the focus shifts from the design to the actual production of the vehicle and its components.

A defect in manufacturing implies that during the assembly process, a mistake or flaw occurred, making a specific part of your vehicle dangerous when used as intended. This can include issues such as faulty welds, substandard materials, or assembly line errors.

To build a solid case centered on a defectively manufactured part, it is crucial to document the defect and demonstrate how it caused your accident. Expert analysis is typically used to pinpoint the specific error at issue.

Failure to Warn

In some instances, the negligence that leads to a car accident is not related to the design or manufacturing of the vehicle itself but rather to the information provided to the consumer.

Failure to warn is a form of negligence that revolves around the duty of manufacturers, distributors, or sellers to inform consumers about the potential risks associated with vehicles and their parts. If you were not provided with sufficient warnings or instructions regarding the proper use of your vehicle or the possible dangers related to certain components, and this lack of information contributed to your accident, then you may bring a strong claim against the at-fault party.

Establishing this form of negligence requires demonstrating that the accident could have been prevented or mitigated if you had been properly informed of a risk. This often involves reviewing manuals, warning labels, and communication from the manufacturer or dealer to determine if the appropriate information was provided.

Examples of Defective Vehicle Parts that Can Cause Accidents in Massachusetts

There are a wide range of different vehicle parts that may cause accidents when defective. For instance, your accident may stem from any of the following:

Faulty Suspension

Issues with the suspension system, such as worn-out shocks or damaged control arms, can compromise a vehicle’s stability. When the suspension fails to function correctly, the car may become difficult to control, especially when navigating uneven roads or making sudden maneuvers. This instability can result in accidents, including rollovers or collisions with other vehicles.

Malfunctioning Electronic Stability Control

The electronic stability control (ESC) system is designed to help drivers maintain control during slippery or swerving conditions. However, defects in the ESC system can lead to accidents. When ESC malfunctions, it may not intervene appropriately to prevent skidding or oversteering, increasing the risk of the vehicle spinning out of control and causing accidents.

Defective Fuel Injection Systems

Issues in the fuel injection system, such as faulty injectors or fuel leaks, can create a hazardous situation. Defective fuel systems can result in engine fires, putting both vehicle occupants and nearby motorists at risk. These incidents can lead to severe accidents and extensive property damage.

Braking System Malfunctions

Braking system defects encompass more than just faulty brakes. Problems with the anti-lock braking system (ABS) or brake sensors can impact a driver’s ability to stop the vehicle safely. When the braking system fails, it can result in longer stopping distances, making rear-end collisions and intersection accidents more likely.

Transmission Control Unit (TCU) Failures

Defects in the transmission control unit (TCU) can cause erratic gear shifts that make it difficult to control a vehicle’s speed. Unintended acceleration or difficulties in slowing down can lead to harmful crashes, especially in high-traffic situations or when merging onto highways.

Inadequate Lighting Systems

Problems with the lighting system like malfunctioning headlights, taillights, or turn signals can severely affect a vehicle’s visibility on the road. Defective lighting systems make it challenging for the driver to signal their intentions, react to sudden changes in traffic, and navigate safely during low-light conditions.

Faulty Power Door Locks

While seemingly minor, defects in power door locks can have safety implications. If these locks malfunction during a collision or in an emergency situation, occupants may struggle to exit the vehicle promptly. This delay in exiting the vehicle can pose additional risks during and after an accident.

Call Our Massachusetts Car Accident Attorneys Today for Help with Your Claim

Seek help from our experienced Lowell, MA car accident attorneys at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan by dialing (617) 925-6407 for a free assessment of your potential claim.