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What does strict liability mean for auto defects in Georgia?

By Butler Prather LLP on January 27, 2016

Many personal injury lawsuits require plaintiffs to demonstrate that the defendant was somehow negligent. For example, a car accident lawsuit may have to prove that the defendant was speeding or texting at the time of the accident.

In Georgia and across the country, you do not need to prove negligence when it comes to auto defect claims. As Georgia Legal Aid points out, manufacturers are strictly liable for injuries that their defective products cause. In order to make a strict liability claim for a defect your vehicle has, you will have to prove the following three conditions: 

  •        That there was an unreasonably dangerous defect present
  •        That the defect led to the injury
  •        That you did not substantially change the vehicle from the condition it was in when sold to you

Breaking these points down can give you a better picture of what your claim will need to show. First, an unreasonably dangerous defect is one that could have developed as a result of the design of the vehicle or while it was built. Further, if a manufacturer fails to warn you about a dangerous vehicle feature, you could have a strict liability claim.

In a successful claim, you will have to show that the defect caused your injury while you were using the vehicle as it was intended to be used. If you took a sports car off-roading, your claim could be compromised.

Lastly, if you substantially change your vehicle in a way that would alter the way it performs, your claim could be found invalid. Putting a spoiler on the back of the car may not be considered substantial, but putting in a new and different engine could.

While this information may be useful, it should not be taken as legal advice.

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