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Thousands of people are injured and killed in car accidents every year because of defective auto products. Some of the defects such as seatbelt failure are obvious. Other faulty parts, such as a small steering or brake component, require a serious investigation to discover. Every component of every car needs to be designed with consumer safety in mind.

Car makers and the manufacturers of tires, brakes, seats, seat belts and other auto parts and products can be held liable for the injuries and damages caused by defective design or construction. This is known as a product liability claim. These are often incredibly complex cases, and it can take a highly experienced attorney to aggressively pursue damages after an accident caused by dangerous or defective auto products.

The team of experienced auto defect lawyers at The Carlson Law Firm can provide skilled and aggressive representation in product liability claims against manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of defective automotive products like tires, airbags, and seat belts, which cause severe or fatal accidents and injuries.

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Common Types of Vehicle Defects

Several key types of defects may either lead to an auto accident or may contribute to the severity of the injury that a vehicle occupant experiences in the collision. These include, but aren’t limited to:

Defective Tires

Tire failures or blowouts are a major cause of rollovers. Throughout the years, evidence of dangerous tires sold by some of the largest manufacturers in the world has shown that tires are not suitable for use. Tread separation is one of the most common reasons for a tire blowout and can be attributed to poor tread design, which causes separation while the car is in motion. At highway speeds, the defective tires “blow out” caused by the tread separation causing serious accidents including rollovers, spinouts, and other single vehicle accidents.

Crushed / Collapsed Roof

When a vehicle rolls over in an accident, in many cases the roof collapses, causing injury to the vehicle’s occupants. Some 24,000 people are severely injured each year by crushed roofs in rollover accidents in the United States, and more than 10,000 are killed. Crushed roofs contribute to approximately more than a quarter of serious or fatal injuries in more than a quarter of rollover crashes. When a roof collapses in a rollover accident, it may cause serious injury to the occupants of the vehicle, including quadriplegia or paraplegia. It can also result in traumatic brain injury to the vehicle’s occupants, as well as other serious injuries, even death.

Brake Failure

Brake systems in cars are extremely complex, involving parts such as discs, rotors, calipers, and hydraulic lines – all of which must work together properly in order for the brakes to function and stop the vehicle safely. If brake failure occurs, the driver and his or her passengers – as well as innocent bystanders – may be at risk of a serious accident and subsequent injuries or death.

Defective Auto Glass

Despite the different functions performed by the auto glass; windshields, windows, and other glass have protective qualities that can prevent vehicle ejection and even reinforce the roof of a vehicle during rollover accidents. But while auto glass serves an important purpose when it comes to safety, using defective or inadequate products can actually cause harm drivers and occupants, and become a dangerous element of an accident.

Seat Back Failure

The proper position of the seat is critical to the effectiveness of vehicle safety systems. When the back of a bucket seat breaks or collapses in a crash, not only is the occupant exposed to serious injury from the seat back collapse, the occupant is also exposed to serious injury as a result of other safety systems (seat belts, airbags, etc.) that cannot function properly.

Defective Airbags / Airbag Malfunction

A defective airbag is one that fails to deploy or deploys when it is not supposed to. Over the past year, airbags have been in the news for many of the wrong reasons. Several automakers have been forced to issue NHTSA recalls for defective airbags. Airbag defects have caused spinal injuries, fractured necks, head and brain injuries, facial injuries, and eye injuries in motorists. When an airbag deploys when an accident has not occurred, it may cause a driver to lose control.

Car Fires

Vehicle fires can be caused by electrical malfunctions, fuel tank location or by failures of the fuel lines or fuel tank. Electrical fires begin in or around the dashboard. Fires from faulty fuel lines or tanks start under the car or on the street below and spread rapidly as leaking fuel ignites. Both types of fires are often the result of defective vehicle design or manufacturing defects. A car fire can be a devastating after-effect of a car crash, leading to severe injuries and even death.

Defective Auto Products: Product Liability Law

A product is defectively designed if it fails to perform as an ordinary consumer would expect when used in an intended or foreseeable manner (the “consumer expectations” test). It also fails to perform if the product’s design caused injury and the manufacturer of the product fails to prove that the benefits of the design outweighed the risk of danger inherent in such design (the “risk/benefit” test).

A Product May Be Dangerous On One Of Three Grounds:

The product was defectively designed, so that all items produced, distributed, and sold share the same danger.
The product was defectively manufactured, in which case the entire product line is not inherently dangerous, but only a specific individual product is faulty.
The product is dangerous because of a lack of sufficient instructions regarding its assembly and use, or it fails to adequately warn of dangers associated with use of the product.
Defective Auto Product Attorneys At The Carlson Law Firm In Texas

What To Do If You Believe Defective Auto Parts Caused Your Injury

If you’ve been injured in a car crash, we want to help. Even if you are not sure a defective auto product caused your injury and just want to investigate the possibility, there two things are essential to remember. First, take all possible steps you can to ensure that the vehicle, and all components on the vehicle, are maintained and are not sold, dismantled, salvaged or otherwise lost or altered until you have a chance to retain a lawyer to investigate potential claims and have someone inspect the vehicle.

Second, if you think you may have a potential product liability claim, contact an auto defect lawyer before any of your claims related to the incident are settled, as settlements with other parties or insurers could impact your ability to preserve evidence and pursue or recover under a products liability theory.

NHTSA Recalls - Defective Auto Products

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) publishes safety standards for vehicles sold in the U.S. Most of the time, most manufacturers strictly adhere to these standards, but sometimes a vehicle does not meet these safety standards. In these cases, either the NHTSA or the car manufacturer may issue a car recall.

You have certain rights as a consumer when your vehicle is part of NHTSA recalls. Depending on the circumstances and the severity of the defect, you may have the right to repairs, monetary damages, or other remedies.

An auto defect lawyer will be able to find out if the auto product that caused your injury is part of an on-going recall.

How an Auto Defect Lawyer at The Carlson Law Firm Can Help You

The immediate and thorough investigation of defective auto products claim is crucial in determining the precise causes of a car, truck, motorcycle or SUV accident. Our team of accomplished Product Liability Attorneys will work with any necessary independent accident investigators and automotive industry experts to preserve and analyze evidence that may be crucial to your case. If we find that defective auto products were to blame, we will fight for maximum recovery in insurance settlement negotiations or at trial, if necessary.

We know which car makes, models, and components have a history of causing accident injuries. We handle all auto defect cases such as SUV rollovers, seat back failures, and failed systems and parts. We have extensive experience in the area of product liability law and can help you get the money damages you deserve.

There's a Carlson Law Firm Near You

With 12 locations throughout Texas, there’s a Carlson Law Firm near you. We have law offices located in Killeen, Temple, Waco, Round Rock, Austin, San Antonio, Laredo, Bryan, Lubbock, and Corpus Christi.

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