Defective Product Lawsuit: Examining the Chain of Distribution for All Terrain Vehicles

Have you been injured while riding your all-terrain vehicle (ATV)? Was your injury caused by a defective part? If so, you could be entitled to receive compensation for any losses related to your injuries. This article will discuss defective product liability in cases involving ATV's.

Chain Of Distribution

Part of the process of a personal injury lawsuit is determining which parties are at fault. Figuring out who had involvement in causing your injury requires an understanding of the chain of distribution.

The chain of distribution refers to each of the separate entities involved in manufacturing the ATV and getting it to you. In the case of your ATV, it could involve several different parties:

  • Parts manufacturer – the company that created the parts that make up your ATV.
  • Vehicle manufacturer – the company that was responsible for putting the ATV together.
  • Distributor – the company that transported your vehicle to the retailer.
  • Retailer – the company that sold you the vehicle.

In a defective product lawsuit, any of the companies in this chain could be potentially liable for your injuries. In order to maximize your compensation, you will need to know which one of these companies played a part in your vehicle's defect.

There are certain situations where blame is not readily apparent. In this case, you may need to list a John Doe defendant in your complaint if your state allows it.

Parts Manufacturer

In some situations the parts that are used to manufacture a given vehicle may be faulty. This is usually due to human error and the failure of the company to exercise effective quality control techniques.

Here's an example. If the company that manufactured your vehicle's brakes did not do a thorough job, it means that the vehicle manufacturer built your vehicle using bad brakes. When you finally get to ride the vehicle and the brakes fail, it could cause a serious accident that results in serious injuries.

Vehicle Manufacturer

The vehicle manufacturer is the company that takes the parts that are sent to them and builds your vehicle. They are responsible for making sure that the parts they use are of good quality. They are also responsible for making sure that they assemble the vehicle correctly.

If the vehicle manufacturer received parts that were made correctly, but assembled the vehicle incorrectly, it could easily cause a serious injury. In this case, the vehicle manufacturer would bear some of the responsibility for your injury.


The distributor is the company that transports the vehicle from the manufacturer to the retail store. They are responsible for making sure that they are not transporting defective vehicles and they also make sure that nothing happens to the vehicles on the way to the retailer.

If the distribution truck is carrying your ATV and it happens to fall over, it could cause a defect in the vehicle. If it is found that the defect occurred as a result of the way it was transported, the distributor could be to blame for the accident that caused your injury.


The retailer is the store that you buy your ATV from. When the retailer sells you a vehicle, they are supposed to make sure they inspect the vehicle for defects. Failing to properly examine a vehicle could put you in a position that could cause you to be injured. If the retailer received a defective vehicle from the distributor and failed to check it for damage before selling it to you, they will be partially to blame for your injuries.

Understanding the chain of distribution is essential to receiving compensation for losses related to your injuries. If your ATV accident happened because of a defective product, consult with a personal injury attorney, such as from Kirkpatrick & Zeitz, who can help you with your case.