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Some drivers prosecuted for accidents caused by auto defects

Many North Carolina motorists may have owned vehicles that were subject to recall in 2014. Many of those recalls were for safety defects, and some of the cars had been operating on the road with these unsafe parts for years. Drivers have been involved in serious accidents because of these defects, and there have even been some extremely unfortunate occurrences where people have been prosecuted and convicted for their part in car accidents that now appear to have been caused by defective parts.

For example, a woman was driving when she had a car accident in 2010, resulting in the death of a passenger. Although the woman claimed that her car lost steering and brake control without warning, and that she was therefore unable to control the car at the time of the accident, she was charged with involuntary manslaughter and felt that she had no choice but to plead guilty.

Recent revelations from the manufacturer of the automobile she was driving have cast doubt upon the case against her. Since the accident was very likely caused by a defective ignition switch, she petitioned the court to have the conviction vacated. She also filed a suit against the manufacturer that sought fair compensation for the harm that had been done to her.

It is sometimes difficult to pinpoint who should be held responsible when a person is injured in a motor vehicle accident. As these cases have shown, there are times when the driver of the car involved in the accident is not at fault. An attorney for an injured victim can often determine who should be held financially responsible through a review of the official investigation report and other evidence.

Source: Insurance Journal, “Drivers Convicted, Jailed for Crashes Now Blamed on Car Defects”, Margaret Fisk, Sept. 2, 2015


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