In Alabama, as in other states, those who are injured in motor vehicle accidents — whether a car, truck, or motorcycle accident — may be entitled to damages, depending on the circumstances surrounding the harm at-issue. Many people unfamiliar with personal injury litigation may be confused about the particular circumstances under which they might be entitled to bring a claim against the defendant for damages. In fact, they might not be sure who the defendant actually is!
So, what happens if you experience a brake failure? Can you sue, and (if possible) who can you sue?
If you’ve been injured in an accident that was caused due to a brake failure, then Alabama law may give you a right of action for damages against the relevant manufacturer — either the brakes manufacturer, motor vehicle manufacturer, or some other distributor in the supply chain that is responsible for the defect.
Confused about how liability is applied? Let’s take a closer look.
In Alabama, a product may be defective if it is unreasonably dangerous for its intended or foreseeable uses. Whether a product is “unreasonably dangerous” depends on the circumstances, however, and the industry space that the product occupies. For example, if motor vehicle brakes fail 10 percent of the time, most industry experts would agree that the failure rate is indicative of an unreasonably dangerous product.
Brakes may be defective due to their design, or due to some manufacturing issue that caused it to become defective. For example, if the manufacturer used cheaper materials to manufacture your brakes, and this caused the brakes to fail more often, then you would likely have a product liability claim brought on the basis of a manufacturing defect.
Despite the fact that product defect claims in Alabama are “strict liability” claims, they can be extremely challenging to successfully litigate. Product manufacturers have extensive resources at their disposal, and further, have a tendency to be quite aggressive in defending against product defect lawsuits — manufacturers generally believe that by aggressively defending lawsuits, they can discourage others from coming forward with similar claims.
If you’ve had your brakes modified or otherwise handled (i.e., maintained by your auto mechanic) after the purchase of your vehicle, then the product manufacturer may also attempt to avoid liability by arguing that they someone else interfered with the product as it was originally sold.
Here at Cross & Smith, our attorneys have decades of experience handling a variety of personal injury claims on behalf of Alabama plaintiffs, including those that involve motor vehicle accidents caused by defective equipment.
We are client-focused litigators who are committed to the provision of comprehensive, tailored advocacy. Unlike many of our competitors, we see our clients as critical partners in the litigation process. By working closely with our clients, we gain insight into the particularities of their case — this gives us a substantial informational advantage that we can then use to negotiate favorably on their behalf.
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you secure the compensation that you deserve, we encourage you to send us a message online to schedule a free and confidential consultation with an experienced Tuscaloosa injury attorney here at Cross & Smith.