Danger could come from within your vehicle
It’s not always just driver negligence that causes a motor vehicle accident; it’s a defect in the car itself. In these cases, an injured party must take legal action against a third party, which can be the auto company, the parts manufacturer or even the mechanic who negligently serviced the car.
Drivers injured as a result of a poorly manufactured or designed motor vehicle may be able to file an injury claim for products liability. Compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages are often awarded, such as property damage to a home from a car fire.
Takata airbag recall
Since 2014, the Japanese airbag maker Takata has issued a recall for airbags installed in a variety of vehicle models across the globe. The Houston Chronicle reported, after the death of a Houston teen in April, that nearly 30 million vehicles were still affected by Takata's defective airbags, which have injured and killed motorists when deployed. These airbags, according to the Chronicle, have been reported to explode and cast shrapnel into the drivers, who depended on the airbag to protect them.
Big automakers must be held accountable
GM recalls millions of vehicles due to deadly ignition defect
Today, cars have more safety features than ever, but with all the new advances and design changes, some vehicles have major design and manufacturing defects that pose major risks to drivers and passengers. This was made abundantly clear this year when General Motors was forced to make 60 recalls affecting more than 29 million cars worldwide and covering a host of issues. The most significant was an ignition switch defect that prevented airbags from deploying on impact. This flaw has been linked to numerous car accidents in Houston and more than 12 deaths, a number that’s expected to grow as investigations continue in the ensuing months.
Products liability claims for motor vehicles
To prevail in a products liability claim, the plaintiff must establish that a defect caused an accident. How the deficiency came about is a crucial question and may involve:
- Design defect. A products liability claim of this nature applies to vehicles with a design that poses unreasonable risks to drivers. Sometimes the designs feature innovations in the industry and, because of their newness, the risks are not known until the car is on the market for some time. The classic design defect case involves the Ford Pinto: The position of the car’s gas tank made it easy for it to rupture and ignite in a rear-end collision.
- Manufacturing defect. This kind of claim pertains to vehicles that are not dangerous by design but instead were manufactured in a way that created unreasonable dangers. These cases often involve manufacturing issues, such as poorly welded parts and weak or inferior materials. Defective tires were to blame in hundreds of roll-over incidents involving SUV after the tread separated from the tire, causing a loss of control and stability.
- Defective maintenance. A car may become defective following improper care. In many cases, this is the fault of the owner; however, an auto mechanic can introduce a defect by performing a repair in a negligent manner.
Seek options from an Houston, TX auto defect attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a product defect, consult with an attorney. You may be entitled to compensation that can help pay your medical bills and for other damages associated with a defective automotive product injury. The Law Office of Shane R. Kadlec has years of experience in handling defective product cases across Texas. Shane Kadlec takes decisive action and seeks fair and swift settlements so you can focus on your physical recovery after suffering from a vehicle defect. Set up a free consultation with him today.
"Shane showed genuine concern about my well-being. He not only gave me excellent legal service, he did so with compassion and integrity."--Tracy