Written by attorney Edward Joel Lake

Liability for Defective Used Auto Parts in an Injury Accident

Liability for defective used auto parts that cause an auto injury accident may lie with anyone involved in the chain of distribution, from the manufacturer to the retailer or wholesaler who sold the used parts. Much will depend on the circumstances, such as whether the defect was part of the design, original manufacturing process or if alterations were made to the product that made it defective. There can be lots of confusion when determining liability, which should be discussed with a defective products attorney in Long Island to review all potential liable parties.

Parties That Could Be Liable for Defective Used Auto Parts

One of the most common parties named in a defective product lawsuit is the manufacturer. This could be a small business or a large manufacturing company. When it comes to motor vehicles, sometimes more than one manufacturer – including the vehicle manufacturer itself -- could be liable.

An example would be a brake system that fails in a used vehicle. In addition to a claim naming the manufacturer of the brakes, injured victims also may be able to include the manufacturer of the vehicle. Even if the vehicle and brakes were used, if the original design was defective, the manufacturer still could be liable.

Sometimes outside parties involved in the chain of distribution, such as engineers, contractors and consultants, can be responsible. If the defect was a result of instructions not being clear or warnings not being included with the product, technical experts could be liable.

In addition to those involved in the making of the defective parts, parties in the selling phase could be held responsible. Retailers, wholesalers, distributors, suppliers, used/new car dealerships and automotive supply stores who sold defective used auto parts are some examples.

Establishing Liability in a Defective Used Auto Parts Claim

Of course you will need to prove that the parties named in the lawsuit are responsible for the resulting injuries. There are a few elements necessary to build a strong case.

The first is proving that you were injured. A copy of the police report and medical records can help establish an auto injury accident.

The second element is proving the used auto part was defective. The part itself may need to be examined to determine if it is defective. For example, if the defect was part of the design of original manufacturing of the product, the manufacturer may be liable. But if a secondhand auto parts retailer altered the product or sold products that were known to be (or should have been known to be) defective, the secondhand auto parts retailer may be responsible. There must be no evidence that the victim altered the part or used it in an incorrect manner.

The last element is connecting the defective part to your injury. In other words, if the brakes were defective but had nothing to do with your accident and the resulting injuries – such as if somebody rear-ended you while you were at a stop light – you wouldn’t have a product liability case.

If you have questions concerning the possibility of filing a defective product claim, talk to an attorney. A defective products attorney on Long Island at Gacovino, Lake & Associates can help with cases involving defective vehicles or parts, including defective used auto parts, which cause an auto injury accident.

Free Q&A with lawyers in your area

Avvo personal injury email series

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer