San Diego Auto Defect Lawyers
Compensation for Injuries Caused by Auto Defects
Automobile defects are hard to pinpoint and you might not realize there is a problem until it is too late. When you buy a car, you expect to be able to depend on its safety and viability to get you from Point A to Point B and through life. However, when there is something wrong with its design or manufacture, that defect can cause serious problems for you and for those around you. These sorts of problems are hard to pinpoint, and you might not realize that there is a problem until it's too late.
By federal law, automobiles must meet certain basic, minimum safety standards. In addition, automobile manufacturers are required to take reasonable precautions in the design and manufacture of their vehicles. However, big manufacturing car companies like Toyota or Ford sometimes fail to correctly check their cars for maximum safety. As a result, you end up stuck with a "lemon."
Common Forms of Car Defects
Seatbelt injuries: Seatbelts are one of the most important safety features of a vehicle, and when drivers and passengers buckle up, it’s not likely that they think about the possibility of a faulty seatbelt causing them harm. Unfortunately, there are situations where seatbelts fail to work as they’re intended in a car accident and end up contributing to serious injuries. Whether because of defective buckles, ripped or torn straps, malfunctioning tension-relieving devices, or ineffective passive restraint systems, a number of injuries have been associated with deficient seatbelts. These include head trauma, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, cracked sternum, internal organ damage, ruptured spleen, vertebrae damage, soft tissue damage, contusions, and bowel and intestinal damage.
Brake malfunction: Brakes are a critical component in preventing accidents. Over time, brake systems will experience normal wear and tear, but with the right maintenance and care they should work properly and last for years. However, there are times brakes malfunction due to a defect in their manufacturing or design, and an accident can’t be avoided no matter how well the brakes are maintained. Under product liability law, if defective brakes are the reason a collision takes place, the manufacturer may be held responsible. This will require the help of a lawyer to prove that the defect was unreasonably dangerous and lead to the accident that resulted in injuries.
Sudden/unintended acceleration: Sudden or unintended acceleration happens when there is a glitch in the function of the electronics that controls a car’s powertrain. Unintended acceleration happens when a car’s electronics makes the throttle go wide open so that the driver has no control over returning the car to an idle position when in gear. This can turn into a disastrous situation very quickly. With the advancement of technology and increased use of electronics in vehicles, sudden acceleration has become a rising problem and is attributed to a number of severe injuries and fatalities.
Tire defects: When the tires on a vehicle fail, its occupants are often faced with a scary and dangerous experience. Tire blowouts and other defects can occur as the result of negligence in their manufacture and design. This might be due to incorrect curing temperatures, the use of low quality materials, improper construction of the tire bead and sidewall, or careless testing. When a driver or their passengers suffer injuries from an accident because of a tire recall or old tires that were sold as new, it’s likely that the manufacturer or negligent tire shop can be held accountable for the resulting incident.
Airbag defects: In an effort to save lives and reduce serious injuries, all cars are now required to come with airbags. Though they have done their job for the most part, there have been cases where defective airbags were found to contribute to severe injuries and even death. Airbags can be faulty because of the way they’re installed or the way they deploy. When they deploy with too much force, too slowly, at the wrong angle, or not at all, they put the occupants of the vehicle at risk. There is also an issue with airbags being made of dangerous materials, which can cause harm if a bag is ruptured. The injuries that can be caused by airbags are numerous and include broken bones, internal organ damage, burns, head trauma, spinal cord damage, and facial lacerations.
Child car seat defects: As critical as they are to the safety of children, car seats may lead to serious injury or death because of a defect. Common problems found in child car seats involve defective latches/locking systems, defective handles, sudden release, weak design, flawed construction, use of flammable materials, faulty seatbelt system, and insufficient head or neck support. Each of these factors has the ability to be responsible for a catastrophic outcome in a car accident.
Who Oversees Automobile Defects?
The Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has the authority to require manufactures to recall vehicles with safety-related defects or that do not meet safety standards.
That means that the defect (1) poses a risk to motor vehicle safety and (2) may exist in a group of vehicles of the same design or manufacture.
What if My Car has a Safety Defect?
It is unsafe to drive and the dealer has an obligation to attempt to fix it. If your car is still under the manufacturer's warranty, there is no charge. If it is no longer under the warranty, you may have to pay out of pocket for the fix and submit the bill to the reimbursement once the recall has been issued.
You can also file a safety complaint to The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI).
How Do Vehicle Defects Happen?
From the moment a car is designed, it has the potential of being subjected to errors that may make it unreliable. Design problems, manufacturing errors, inspection negligence, and repair mistakes may cause a vehicle to become unsafe.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed because of a flaw in your car, you need a specialist to examine the vehicle and check for problems. The San Diego product defect attorneys at the Jurewitz Law Group will conduct design tests and file a claim against the automaker to get you the money you need for your damages and for a safe, new vehicle. Call us at (619) 233-5020 or (888) 233-5020 to set up a free consultation.
- Midsize SUVs – They’re Safe, Right?
- Betting On Your Car? Better Be Sure
- What to Do if Your Tires Blow Out
- Safety Issues & Recalls - NHTSA
- Vehicle Equipment Information - NHTSA
- Tire Safety - U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Child Seat Recall Campaign Listing
- Prioritize And Winterize Your Vehicle
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- February 3, 2014
Call the Jurewitz Law Group at (619) 233-5020 and begin your path to recovery with a no-cost consultation today.