5 Ways Car Dealerships Can Be Held Liable For Car Accidents: What You Need To Know

While some accidents may be due to driver error or road conditions, others can be attributed to defective vehicles or negligence on the part of car dealerships. Car dealerships can be held liable in car accidents under some circumstances. Here's what you need to know. 

1. Negligent Maintenance

Car dealerships are responsible for ensuring that the vehicles they sell are safe and roadworthy. This entails comprehensively examining the vehicle before selling it, performing any necessary maintenance or repairs, and disclosing any known defects or issues. If the dealership fails to properly inspect, maintain, or repair the vehicle before selling it, which causes an accident, the dealership may be liable for negligence. 

Negligent maintenance can include:

  • Failing to replace worn or faulty parts
  • Failing to identify or repair safety issues
  • Failing to perform required maintenance according to manufacturer specifications

2. Defective Parts or Equipment

Car dealerships may be liable for selling a defective product if the vehicle has defective parts or equipment that cause an accident. This can include faulty brakes, a defective steering system, or other components impairing the vehicle's performance or safety if the dealership knew about the flaw or ought to have known about it but hid it.

The dealership may be liable for selling a defective product from the customer or taking appropriate measures to address it.

3. Misrepresentation

Car dealerships may be held liable for misrepresentation if they make false or misleading statements about the condition, history, or features of the vehicle, and this misrepresentation causes an accident. For example, suppose the dealership claims that the car has never been in an accident when, in fact, it has, and the accident history affects the vehicle's safety. In that case, the dealership may be held liable for misrepresentation. Misrepresentation can also occur if the dealership fails to disclose material facts about the vehicle, such as a known defect or issue.

4. Vicarious Liability

Car dealerships may be held vicariously liable for the actions of drivers who test drive or repair the vehicle. For example, if a driver takes a car for a test drive and causes an accident due to reckless driving, the dealership may be liable for the driver's actions. Similarly, if the dealership allows an unqualified or inexperienced mechanic to repair the vehicle, and the repairs cause an accident, the dealership may be liable for the mechanic's actions.

5. Failure to Disclose Known Defects

Car dealerships have a duty to disclose known defects or safety issues with the vehicle to the customer before selling it. Failure to disclose identified flaws can result in the dealership being held liable for failing to disclose the defect, even if the defect was not the direct cause of the accident. Suppose the dealership knew about a defect or safety issue with the vehicle but failed to disclose it to the customer before the sale, and this defect caused the accident. In that case, the dealership may be held accountable for not disclosing the known defect.

Contact a car accident lawyer for more info.

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What Should You Do If You Get Into an Accident?

If you're in an auto accident and sustain serious injuries, who do you call for help? How do you pay for your medical bills and personal expenses while you recover? If you can't find the answers to these questions, then you need a personal injury attorney. A personal injury attorney works hard to get you the money you need after a life-changing accident. He or she investigates your accident from start to finish. Getting your life back on track after a devastating car accident isn't easy. But with an attorney representing your case, it's possible. If you need additional guidance on how to find a personal injury lawyer or if you have questions about your compensation, read my blog. It gives you the answers and solutions you need now.


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