Picture this, a man is driving down the highway on his way home from spending the holiday with family and friends. The road is clear but something causes him to suddenly lose control of the vehicle and he crashes into a retaining wall. Strangely, the air bags do not deploy when he crashes into the wall. He is critically injured and placed in intensive care after surgery was performed to save his life.
Does this man have an automotive defect claim against the car manufacturer?
Although driver error and negligence can be blamed for most accidents, automotive defects are also frequently to blame. In fact, since the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act was passed in 1966, more than 390 million vehicles have been recalled due to safety defects.
Auto defect claims are often complex and can be extremely challenging to pursue. As such, here are a number of questions that a personal injury lawyer will seek to answer when evaluating the merit of pursuing a case against a car manufacturer:
How severe are your injuries and damages?
The unfortunate reality is that automotive defect claims are extremely expensive to pursue. In order to pursue the case, your attorneys may need to hire an accident Reconstructionist, a design engineer, a life care planner and/or other experts.
Taking on an auto manufacturer is no easy or inexpensive task. So, unless there is serious and catastrophic injury or death, the cost of pursuing the case may outweigh any potential settlement or award.
Was the accident due to a well-known defect?
Some defects have been made well-known to the general public. Some examples include vehicles that have side-saddle gas tanks or rear gas tanks that may explode on impact because they are exposed or in a precarious location. These cases are often easier to research and resolve.
Are your injuries more serious than they should be?
The impact of collisions that occur at high speeds can be so severe that no one could be expected to walk away from the accident and not be injured, defect or not. However, if you or a passenger are seriously injured in minor collision with very minimal impact, this may indicate a defect in the car’s design that may warrant being investigated by an attorney.
Was the accident caused by a defect in the car or one of its component parts?
An accident caused by tire failure is a clear example of a defect in a component part. A defect in the tire can cause the tread to separate from the rest of the tire making you lose control of the car and crash. Other examples are:
- An air bag that inflates without warning when a person is driving
- Brake failure
- The Loss of steering control
Were you or a passenger injured due to the failure of a safety feature?
There have been cases where the occupants of a vehicle were critically injured or killed because their seat belts did not properly restrain them during a collision. Another example is an air bag that deploys with such force that it causes injury to the occupant instead of preventing injury.
Did the vehicle rollover and cause the injuries?
Rollover incidents are seen a lot with sport utility vehicles (SUVs). These vehicles have a higher center of gravity and are prone to rolling over due to the vehicle’s high center of gravity in comparison to its narrow wheel base.
Did the roof of the car get crushed in the accident?
A properly designed vehicle should provide the occupants with a zone of protection that will keep the vehicle from crushing in on the occupants and injuring them. A crushed roof will typically result in serious injuries such as neck or back fractures, paralysis and, in the worst cases, death.
Contact an Experienced Automotive Defect Attorney
The handling of auto defect claims can be challenging and extremely expensive. But if you or a loved one have been seriously injured in an auto accident and suspect that it was caused by a defect in the vehicle’s design or manufacture, call an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your claim without delay. Your vehicle will need to be secured and examined by experts as soon as possible for clues to what went wrong.
It is not a wise idea to try and deal with an auto manufacturer and their team of lawyers without the help of an experienced attorney. You have nothing to lose by calling an attorney, but you have a great deal to lose if you don’t. Call The Hayes Firm: Attorney Finding Service for help with locating an experienced automotive defect attorney who can give you the assistance and guidance you need. Call us toll-free at 1-800-603-6833, or visit us online to request a free consultation.