Unfortunately, motor vehicles that contain one or more defective parts can lead to motor vehicle accidents. When you’ve been involved in an Oklahoma accident due to a defective car part, you can hold the manufacturer or seller liable for your injuries. However, you’ll need to understand how to prove your case.
Strict liability claims
Personal injury claims generally require that the plaintiff prove that the defendant was negligent in order to be awarded compensation. In claims involving dangerous products, that is often not the case. These cases are governed under the law of strict liability. To prove your case, three conditions must be met.
First, the vehicle must’ve had an unreasonably dangerous defect. Second, this defect must be the cause of your injury when you were using the vehicle as directed. Lastly, the car must not have been substantially changed from how it was originally sold.
Seeking punitive damages
While your personal injury lawsuit may result in compensation for medical expenses, lost income, and your pain and suffering, you may also be eligible for punitive damages. These are damages that go above regular compensation for a person’s injuries. The whole concept behind punitive damages is to punish the defendant so that they don’t commit the same act in the future.
It’s common for vehicle manufacturers to assess the cost difference between a recall and the cost of undergoing litigation due to the defective part. If the business determines that litigation charges will be cheaper than doing a formal recall, design change and part replacement, they will knowingly let vehicle drivers continue to use defective products. Punitive damages are a great way to motivate these manufacturers to change their behaviors.