In a typical car accident injury case, an individual would need to show negligence on behalf of another party. However, car defect cases in Arizona and elsewhere in the country are tried under strict liability laws. There are three conditions that must be met to win a case against a liable manufacturer under such laws. First, the car must have had an unreasonably dangerous defect that led to an injury.
This defect could have occurred while the car was being designed, during manufacturing of the vehicle or during shipping to a dealership. Second, the car must have been used as intended when the crash occurred, which generally means on terrain it was designed to navigate. Finally, the car may not be altered in a substantial way after it was purchased. A substantial change would be one that would lead to a change in the vehicle's performance.
A manufacturer or dealer may argue that the driver had known about the defect ahead of time. This may be determined by the car's condition or a description of how the owner used the car. In some cases, a victim may be deemed to be partially at fault for his or her own injuries. However, it may be possible to win a strict liability claim if a manufacturer had not told a vehicle owner about a possible defect.
If an automobile design defect leads to injuries, an injured victim may be entitled to monetary damages. Compensation may help to pay for medical bills or recoup lost wages. Punitive damages could also be added to a verdict to punish the manufacturer for the defect. An attorney may be able to help an individual file a case against a defective car maker. Cases may be settled in court or through informal talks.