Defective Auto Glass Attorney
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Along with the different functions performed by your vehicle’s auto glass; windshields, windows and other glass products also have protective qualities that 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 and become a dangerous element of an accident. Vehicle ejection can occur among a variety of accident types, but did you know quality auto glass can sometimes help prevent ejection in the worst case scenario?
Defective Auto Glass and Vehicle Ejection
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that drivers and passengers who are fully or partially ejected from their car, truck or SUV are three times more likely to die in an automobile accident than those who were restrained inside the vehicle.
Defective auto glass can play a major role in allowing occupant ejection in auto collisions and rollover accidents. In combination with a seat, seat belt or airbag failure, an auto glass defect can turn a survivable accident into a fatal disaster.
Despite data highlighting the increased safety of laminated glass in contrast with tempered glass, some manufacturers continue to use less effective products in an effort to keep manufacturing and production costs down. Although laminated glass usually remains intact, even when shattered or broken into pieces because of the plastic reinforcement, tempered glass will shatter completely. Shattered glass leaves vehicle occupants vulnerable to car ejection and injuries caused by broken glass, such as laceration and cuts. Despite findings regarding the increased safety of laminated glass, sometimes, more cost-efficient tempered glass is still used for moonroofs, windows and other glass regions of a vehicle.
Ejection from a vehicle often produces fatal or debilitating injuries. But despite dangers associated with ejection through windows, deficient glass can also provoke partial ejection of limbs and other body parts, leaving them vulnerable. Partial ejection that occurs, even when seat belts are in use, can sometimes stem from the inadequate glass. Vehicle ejection not only occurs through windows that roll up and down, fixed windows made of tempered glass can leave occupants wide open to ejection, should glass become damaged or shattered during an accident.
SUV’s and Trucks: The Dangerous Risk of Rollover Accidents
SUV’s and trucks are at a particular risk of enduring a rollover because of the higher center of gravity that accompanies the vehicles’ design. Because sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks are often higher of the ground and display a boxier, taller design, they can easily become overturned when tripped up or involved in an accident.
Although a rollover accident is dangerous in and of itself, due to the roof crush caused by poorly designed and manufactured roofs, the type of glass used in the vehicle often says a lot about its safety during a rollover crash. Upon impact during a rollover, the roof of a vehicle can become crushed, relying on the reinforcement of the windows surrounding the roof to protect it from crushing and providing greater integrity to the roof pillars of a car. Defective auto glass that shatters may weaken the roof by taking away the extra stability offered. In contrast, laminated glass often remains intact, keeping drivers and passengers within the vehicle as it rolls and preventing some instances of partial ejection.
Despite new findings regarding the methods of keeping drivers and passengers increasingly safe, some auto manufacturers still rely on the cost-effectiveness of products as they make design and production decisions rather than embrace what is best for consumers. For mere dollars, vehicle manufacturers have the ability to add elements of safety, protecting vehicle occupants from unnecessary injuries and death caused by defective auto products.
Laminated Glass vs. Tempered Glass
Recent regulations in the auto industry have set standards regarding the type of glass that can be used in windshields. In the past, tempered glass was commonly used throughout vehicles. This glass was known to shatter violently upon impact.
Laminated glass in vehicles has been used to limit occupant injury and death since the 1950’s. Most windshields are now required by federal statute to be made of laminated glass. Upon impact, the glass may break, but the laminate material is designed to keep the occupant in the vehicle.
While a laminated glass windshield may help prevent occupant ejection in rear-end or head-on collisions, it does little to protect drivers and passengers in other scenarios such as rollover or roof crush accidents. This is because the big automakers refuse to make side windows out of the laminated glass to save on the relatively small additional cost it would cause.
Common Injuries Caused By Defective Auto Glass
Injury from broken glass is usually the result of the forces generated by the car crash. Two vehicles colliding at slow speeds can create a catastrophic problem involving the glass. Even though new car designs by automotive manufacturers include windshields that are equipped not to shatter, the design is not always effective during high-velocity crashes.
In addition, rear and side windows are not crafted with the same material as the windshield and typically cannot withstand high impact forces. Broken glass pieces from the rear and side windows can fly in nearly every direction during the impact of the crash. Victims suffering broken glass injuries are generally defenseless and completely vulnerable when sitting inside the vehicle at the time of the collision.
Some of the injuries involved include deep level laceration, skin cuts, shock, severed limb, and fatality caused by excessive bleeding. Each one specifically includes:
- Deep Level Laceration – These types of lacerations are often the result of the penetration of glass into the skin. The sharp glass pieces create wounds and cuts in muscle fibers and underlying skin tissue, and at times can cut all the way to the bone. These types of lacerations can be extremely dangerous for numerous reasons including the potential of amputation caused by infection and/or permanent disfigurement.
- Skin Cuts – Less severe injuries caused by the broken glass are often referred to as surface-level skin cuts. Surface cuts happen when the skin is torn or cut without penetrating into the deeper body tissue. These types of injuries typically require minimal treatment, which might involve wound cleaning, stitches or other methods for stopping the bleeding.
- Shock – It is highly common for a victim of a car accident to experience psychological trauma after the collision. This is especially true when victims become aware that some part of their body is bleeding profusely as a result of broken glass injuries. A victim in shock can have a trauma condition that is difficult to control. Car crash victims experiencing shock can easily die if the condition is not handled immediately and properly.
- Severed Limb – Broken glass shards are usually sharp and large enough to penetrate through tissue and bone, completely severing the limb of the victim involved in a car accident. Individuals suffering severed arteries are particularly vulnerable to various medical conditions that might require the limb to be amputated.
- Fatality – Victims often bleed profusely when broken glass pieces cut arteries in the leg or neck. Death by bleeding can happen in moments if medical attention arrives too late.
How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help
If you or someone you love has been injured in a vehicle accident or rollover crash because of inadequate or defective auto glass, call our defective auto product lawyers as soon as possible for a free consultation. Our experienced lawyers, professional medical consultants, investigative team and caring staff will help you uncover answers to some of the questions surrounding your accident or the accident of a loved one while seeking just compensation for your injuries and loss. We care. We can help.