Vehicle part manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure the reasonable safety of their products. Motorists entrust their lives to automakers. Unfortunately, not all automobile part manufacturers take the proper steps to protect consumers and the public. Defective auto parts have compromised millions of vehicles over the years, causing numerous injuries and deaths. If you have been injured by a defective auto part in New Castle, learn how to file a claim.
First, collect evidence to begin building your product liability claim. As the plaintiff or filing party, it will be up to you or your Pittsburgh defective product attorney to prove the claim you are making. You bear the burden of proof, which is a preponderance of the evidence. This means you must establish what you are claiming as more likely to be true than not true. You must present compelling evidence against the defendant. Do your best to gather:
- The defective auto part and its packaging
- An accident or police report
- Photographs from the scene of a related car accident
- Video footage of the incident
- Eyewitness statements
- Expert witness testimony
- Any letters sent to you by the automaker
- Your medical records to document injuries
A Pittsburgh auto defect lawyer can investigate your accident to search for evidence of a defective auto part. Then, your attorney can present this evidence in a compelling way to an insurance company, judge or jury. While you may not have to prove negligence under the legal theory of strict product liability, you will need to show that your vehicle contained a defective auto part and that this caused your accident and injury.
Identify the Liable Party or Parties
Next, you will need to identify the party or parties to name as the defendants in your product liability claim. The most obvious choice is the manufacturer of the defective auto part. However, this may not be the only option. You may also have the right to file a claim against the distributor, seller, retailer, installer, designer and many other parties. Identifying all responsible parties can help you maximize your financial recovery by granting access to additional insurance policies.
File Before the Deadline
Pennsylvania has a statute of limitations on all product liability claims. This is a deadline of two years from the date of the harmful incident. If a defective auto part took a loved one’s life, you have two years from the date of his or her death to file a Pittsburgh wrongful death claim rather than the date of the accident. Waiting too long will risk your ability to receive financial compensation, as almost all claims that exceed the statute of limitations are dismissed by the courts.
Submit Your Claim and Proof of Losses
A product liability claim begins with a demand letter being sent to the product manufacturing company. This letter should describe the accident, list your damages and give an amount of compensation that you are demanding to resolve your claim. It should be accompanied by proof of your related losses, such as bills and receipts. The manufacturer’s insurance company will then have a chance to respond, either by accepting liability and offering a settlement or refuting liability. You or your attorney can negotiate for a higher settlement or take a rejected claim to trial in Pennsylvania.
Hire a Pittsburgh Auto Defect Attorney for Assistance
Before proceeding any further with a defective auto part claim, contact a Pittsburgh personal injury attorney for a free consultation. These cases can be complicated – especially if a manufacturing company is denying liability or devaluing your losses. An experienced car accident attorney in Pittsburgh can help you understand and protect your rights as a car accident victim. Contact a Pittsburgh auto defect attorney at Dallas W. Hartman P.C. to learn more about the process of filing a claim for a defective auto part.