Auto Accidents Newsletters
Cars and trucks can be damaged in a wide variety of ways and by a wide variety of instrumentalities, both while they are in operation and while they are parked and at rest. Comprehensive coverage under motor vehicle insurance policies has been devised in order to provide owners and operators of vehicles with protection against the risk that such damage to a vehicle will occur.
The essential elements of proof that a plaintiff has to establish in a products liability action against a manufacturer or seller of a motor vehicle are that the vehicle as sold contained a defect that created an unreasonable risk of death, personal injury, or property damage when used for its intended purpose and that the defect caused an accident or similar occurrence, such as a vehicle fire, that resulted in the loss for which the plaintiff seeks to recover damages. Claims of vehicle defect can include allegations of inadequacies in the design of a motor vehicle, errors in the manner in which its parts were manufactured and assembled into a complete car or truck, or failure to warn the purchaser or user of the vehicle of some risk inherent in its use.
Collision coverage and comprehensive coverage in policies of motor vehicle insurance are interrelated with one another, as both types of coverage are intended to protect an owner or operator against loss resulting from damage to a covered vehicle itself rather than insuring against legal liability for personal injury or property damage suffered by others that results from operation of the covered vehicle.
A plaintiff in an automotive products liability case against the manufacturer or seller of a motor vehicle generally has to prove that the vehicle at the time of sale contained a defect that created an unreasonable risk of death, personal injury, or property damage when the vehicle was used for its intended purpose and that the defect caused an accident or similar incident, such as a vehicle fire, that resulted in the damage or loss for which the plaintiff seeks to recover damages. Under traditional legal principles, any party involved in the chain of transactions leading up to the retail sale of the vehicle, including the dealer who sold the car or truck, could be held liable in such a case. Motor vehicle dealers, like any party against whom a legal action is brought, would like to limit their potential liability to matters for which they can be shown to have a direct and undeniable responsibility.
The massive collapse of an interstate highway bridge in Minnesota in 2007 has served as a stark reminder of the problems created by the aging infrastructure in the United States. Numerous less dramatic examples of the consequences of failure to properly maintain and repair highways and associated structures such as bridges and tunnels have led to the bringing of legal actions claiming damages for deaths, personal injuries, or property damage caused by such occurrences. Such actions can involve both governmental units and contractors who perform highway repair and maintenance work on behalf of those governmental units.