What legal rights does someone have if they've been injured in a car accident with a car that has been recalled?

In general, when a person is injured as a result of another person's negligence, the injured party may pursue a claim against the party or parties that caused the injuries. Any personal injury case depends on liability, damages, and whether or not you can collect from the negligent party or parties.  Some states follow the doctrine of comparative negligence. Under this doctrine, a claimant's action is not barred unless his negligence exceeds the combined negligence of all defendants, but the claimant's recovery is diminished in proportion to his degree of negligence.

When the injuries are a result from a defective motor vehicle, both the recall laws and the product liability laws come into play.  Companies that design and manufacture products have a responsibility to ensure that anyone exercising reasonable care within the expected parameters of usage expected for the product will not be injured. In some product injury cases, you don’t even have to prove the manufacturer or vendor was negligent… only that the product was defective due to faulty design, error in manufacturing, or that the manufacturer did not provide sufficient warning of potential risks or failed to provide adequate instructions. These kinds of cases fall under the concept called “strict product liability.” These lawsuits can be brought against anyone participating in the chain of manufacture for that product, from the manufacturer, to the designer to the retail store. There are limits to product liability law in these cases such as when the product is too old or if the consumer was careless in using the product.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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