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We often mention that lawsuits could be a possibility following a car accident. These lawsuits are filed against parties whose negligence is deemed to have played a role in the accident. Sometimes lawsuits are filed against drivers of other cars involved in the incident. Other times however they are filed against automobile makers for defects found in the vehicles. A case involving a fatal crash allegedly due to a vehicle defect was recently resolved in a neighboring state. While the crash did not occur in Wisconsin, the outcome of the case could have a bearing on others throughout the nation.
The lawsuit named the maker of one of the vehicles involved in the crash--Toyota--as a defendant. The basis of the case was that a defect with the accelerator of the car caused the crash to occur. More specifically the accelerator became stuck while at the same time the brakes did not work. Though the 1996 Camry in question was not involved in the recall of Toyota vehicles for that same reason in 2009 and 2010, a jury nonetheless determined that Toyota was 60 percent liable for the incident. The other 40 percent liability was placed upon the driver of the Camry who earlier served several years in prison for vehicular homicide.
As a result of that liability, Toyota was ordered to pay close to $11 million to the plaintiffs.
Readers should take away from this recent decision the fact that when pursuing a personal injury lawsuit following a crash, it is important to look at all potential defendants not just the driver. On some occasions other individuals, and even entities, can play a role.