Defective Auto Products Injury Attorney
Legal Representation For Victims Injured By Defective Auto Products
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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.
Carmakers 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 seatbelts, which cause severe or fatal accidents and injuries.
What is an auto defect?
An auto defect is a fault by design or manufacturing flaw that affects the function or safety of a motor vehicle. Defective auto products can affect all kinds of vehicles including:
- Passenger vehicles
- Commercial vehicles
What are the most common auto defects?
Vehicles work by extremely complex systems working together. Together, thousands of individual parts are responsible for getting you to where you need to go and keeping you and your passengers safe. Common malfunctions that are easy to spot include:
- Seat belts
- Braking system
Defects in these systems can lead to fatal situations if they fail during a crash. In some cases, such as airbags deploying without a crash, or failed brakes, defects in these systems could lead to a crash.
What are the most common defective auto products?
Defects aren’t just limited to the actual vehicle itself. There are several products that make up a motor vehicle. These parts can come from several different manufacturers which can make several companies liable in the event these products are the cause of someone’s injuries.
- Vehicle accessories
- Child restraints
Further, products intended for the car can be defective. For example, car seats are one of the most recalled consumer products on the market. Between 1997 and 2017, almost 37 million car seats were recalled.
Overlooked 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:
While tire recalls are relatively common, being able to pinpoint tire defects as the cause of a wreck is rare. Tire failures or blowouts are a major cause of rollovers and other crashes. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 seatback collapse, the occupant is also exposed to serious injury as a result of other safety systems (seatbelts, airbags, etc.) that cannot function properly.
If you were injured or you lost a loved one because of an auto product defect, we want to hear about it. Our firm of experienced auto product liability attorneys can help.
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:
- Defective design. So that all items produced, distributed, and sold share the same danger
- 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
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.
Our Carlson Law Firm Defective Auto Products Experts
Brantley White is an “AV” rated lawyer in the Martindale-Hubbell legal directory. He focuses his practice on defective tire litigation, automotive product liability, commercial truck wrecks, and general negligence cases including workplace accidents and premises liability cases. Brantley’s trial experience spans two decades and includes numerous seven and eight-figure verdicts in both general negligence cases and product liability cases.
Brantley has successfully resolved many cases against Ford Motor Company, General Motors and Chrysler by meticulously gathering evidence to prove the availability of safer alternative designs including the following: stronger roofs (reinforced roof pillars), improving vehicle stability (by managing vehicle height to width ratios to prevent rollovers), preventing post-collision fuel-fed fires (fuel line cut-off valves and safer fuel tank placement) and the inclusion of safer vehicle restraint systems (improved seat belt design and airbag sensors). Brantley’s success in multiple areas of automotive and tire product liability cases has resulted in his “AV” rating and national reputation and many lawyers associate him on their cases to maximize case value. Brantley has successfully recovered more than $250,000,000 in settlements and verdicts for his clients from lawsuits alleging defects in automobiles, tires, and vehicle child restraints.
His representative experience includes one of the largest personal injury verdicts in Waco Federal Court history on behalf of a motorcyclist who was severely injured after being struck by a tractor-trailer; a substantial verdict for the family of a Laredo man killed by a Burlington Motor Carriers tractor-trailer as well as the largest single injury tire product liability verdict in Texas for an individual injured by a defective BF Goodrich tire.
Mr. White’s knowledge in litigating and trying cases involving dangerous premises defects and activities has resulted in settlements exceeding $50,000,000 and the following 7-figure premises liability jury trial verdicts: Samaniego v. Garrett Paving, Nueces County TX (negligent supervision of worksite; Weiss v. Rough Creek Lodge, Dallas County TX (dangerous condition on property); Hines v. Railserve Inc., Fulton County GA (negligent supervision of employees).
How An Auto Defect Lawyer at The Carlson Law Firm Can Help
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.
The Carlson Law Firm knows which car makes, models, and components have a history of causing accident injuries. We handle all auto defect cases such as SUV rollovers, seatback 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.
Don’t let another moment pass without an experienced, aggressive Defective Auto Products advocate on your side. Our firm has compassionate attorneys ready to protect your rights and fight for your recovery. After a serious injury or loss caused by an auto defect you may be facing significant challenges from your physical recovery to your financial recovery. Contact us for a free consultation with a Texas auto product liability attorneys at any of our locations in San Antonio, Killeen, Austin, Waco, Round Rock, Temple, Laredo, Corpus, Lubbock, and Bryan — We serve injured clients nationwide.