Most auto accidents result from driver error or negligence, while faulty vehicle parts are sometimes to blame. If a vehicle model is defective, the vehicle manufacturer may recall the specific model to rectify the fault.
Unfortunately, some issues may persist even after a recall endangering your life, your passengers’ life, and the lives of other road users.
What triggers a recall?
Notice of recall for a defective vehicle occurs when it is proved that a specific vehicle model has caused a series of accidents or is seen to have the potential of causing an accident. This can be due to a design or software malfunction or a feature that is unique to the specific model.
Once a defect is identified, the auto manufacturer can contact persons who own the model to notify them of the recall. In the recall notice, the automaker cites the reason for the recall and the date and time they may need to return their vehicle to have the problem fixed.
When recall repair causes more problems
Often the fixes are quick and do not require too much work. Sometimes the fix may not eliminate the problem, putting the vehicle owners and others on the road at risk. If the vehicle causes an accident under such circumstances, the vehicle manufacturer will be liable for the damages suffered in the crash.
The first step in getting a reprieve for damages suffered would be notifying the automaker about the issue. In most cases, the manufacturer will offer to settle the matter out of court by covering the damages caused, including hospital bills, property damage, and pain and suffering. However, the process is not as smooth as it sounds, especially if the damages suffered involve catastrophic injuries.
Involve a lawyer
“It is never a good idea to go after a big business without a qualified lawyer by your side,” says injury attorney Jon Ostroff of the Ostroff Injury Law. According to lawyer Jon Ostroff, negotiations have better outcomes when you are represented by a lawyer. The car manufacturer will always have a lawyer at their side, meaning they will have the upper hand.
There are instances where the vehicle manufacturers may not be willing to bear liability. Under such circumstances, your lawyer can help you file a claim. The first thing you will need is evidence, the most critical being the faulty part.
Establishing fault with a vehicle part may require input from an expert witness, for example, an automotive engineer.
Other evidence may be pictures and video footage of the scene, medical records, witness statements, and police reports. The burden of proving your case and recovering damages lies with your attorney once they are done collecting evidence.
Opportunity to settle out of court
The automaker will have another opportunity to settle out of court in the claims process; the case goes to trial if they don’t. At trial, the amount of compensation is determined by the court based on the facts of the case.
Most cases settle before going to trial due to the uncertainty of the trial verdict, but it calls for some compromises on both sides to reach a consensus.