Schmitt Law Firm, LLC - Kansas City personal injury attorneys

When to sue an auto manufacturer for a car accident

Car accidents are still shockingly prevalent in the state of Missouri. According to data from the Missouri Department of Transportation, 283 injuries took place as a result of vehicular collisions in Kansas City in 2015. You hope you never end up being part of those statistics, but anything can happen.

After a vehicle collision, most people turn their attention toward suing the other driver. However, sometimes crashes are a result of component defects. In that case, it may be more appropriate to bring legal action against the manufacturer. Here are several instances where attorneys may recommend just that: 

There is an unreasonably dangerous design to a vehicle

This has typically applied to top-heavy SUVs. As such, they are more prone to flipping over on their sides. The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act states vehicles require certain protections that safeguard drivers and passengers. As a result of this act, numerous vehicles have faced recalls to protect the American public. The discovery of a new dangerous design could lead to a new recall. 

A defect exists within a crucial component

Manufacturers may face lawsuits if an investigation proves a critical part was too badly damaged to adequately protect citizens. These critical parts include:

  • Transmission
  • Drivetrain
  • Fuel system
  • Exhaust system
  • Frame and body
  • Electrical system
  • Suspension systems
  • Steering systems
  • Engine assembly
  • Brakes

Depending on the part, it may be more prudent to seek legal action against the parts manufacturer. Many times, batteries and tires are made outside of the main vehicle manufacturer, so a separate lawsuit may become viable. 

There are certain factors that can affect the success of one of these lawsuits. For example, if a driver uses a vehicle in a way that goes against its initial intent, then a lawsuit becomes much more difficult to file against a manufacturer. Additionally, some drivers make substantial alterations to their vehicles. These changes can impact how liable the manufacturer becomes in the future. 


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Ben Schmitt

Attorney Ben Schmitt

Mr. Schmitt has over 25 years of legal experience in Missouri and Kansas, and he has been first chair in over 100 jury trials in state and federal courts. He is recognized by the Kansas City Business Journal, Super Lawyers, and Martindale Hubbell as one of the best personal injury lawyers in Missouri and Kansas.