High profile car and auto part recalls are all too common. Unfortunately, too many crash victims fail to pursue product liability claims against car or part manufacturers. Before you settle a car accident claim or lawsuit, make sure you understand exactly who was at fault for your wreck.
What Is a Product Liability Claim?
When a manufacturer, distributor, or retailer offers a dangerous or defective product, they might be liable for the injuries it causes. Your product liability claim might involve a failure to warn, a design defect, or a manufacturing defect.
Any car part can be defective, but when one of a car or truck’s major systems has a defect, the results can be catastrophic. In recent years, defective airbags, tires, lithium-ion batteries, and other systems have led to litigation and massive recalls.
Signs You Might Have a Product Liability Claim
Not all car crashes involve a defective product. Most are caused by negligent drivers who violate Texas’ traffic and motor vehicle laws. However, there are times when a product liability investigation is in your best interest. Below are some examples.
Sudden, Unexpected Acceleration Occurs
Sometimes, a defective car or truck will rapidly speed up, even if you’re not pressing the accelerator. This sudden acceleration might be due to defective throttle systems, gas pedals, or floor mats.
The Vehicle’s Roof Crushed Downward in a Rollover
Cars and trucks should be designed with enough headroom that the average person will be safe in a rollover crash. However, some vehicles have roofs that are structurally weak or too low. In a rollover crash, a defectively designed or manufactured roof can crush in on the car’s occupants causing serious and sometimes fatal spine and head injuries.
There Was a Car Fire
If a car sets on fire, especially after a low-speed collision or when it’s operating normally, a product liability investigation should happen. The vehicle may have had defective wiring, malfunctioning fuel systems, or a poorly-designed engine compartment. In a hybrid or electric car, poorly-designed lithium-ion batteries can cause fires.
The Driver Couldn’t Control the Car or Truck
If a driver suddenly loses control of his or her vehicle, it could be due to a wheel, tire, or steering defect.
There Were Airbag Problems
A defective airbag might go off unexpectedly, fail to deploy, or expel dangerous metal fragments during a crash. This can have catastrophic results. For example, in one of Crosley Law Firm’s past cases, our client’s airbag malfunctioned and deployed after the collision (rather than during the crash). This late deployment damaged our client’s vision, leaving her with a permanent blind spot. We worked with engineering experts to link the defective airbag to our client’s serious injuries.
Related Client Story: An Intersection Collision, Airbag Defect, and Eye Injury
A Tire Blows Out Unexpectedly
While flat tires are inevitable, a defective tire can explode even with proper maintenance. Tire tread defects can also contribute to rollovers and cause a driver to lose control.
Related Article: Tire Defects Cause Fatal Car Accidents Nationwide
A Door or Hatch Opens During a Collision
Sometimes, a defective latch will cause a door or hatch to pop open during an impact. This can cause serious injuries, especially if the vehicle rolls over.
How Do I Determine Who Was at Fault for a Car Wreck?
If you suspect a defective product caused your car crash or made it worse than it should have been, you must preserve the evidence. In other words, keep possession of your car, tires, and all other car parts. If the other driver’s vehicle was defective, you should immediately send a “preservation letter,” demanding that they keep all of the suspect parts. If the defective parts are destroyed or thrown away, it’s virtually impossible to prove the manufacturer’s liability.
Additionally, you shouldn’t settle your car crash claims until you identify all the potential defendants and understand the scope of your claims. If you need help evaluating your liability claims, contact an experienced product liability attorney immediately.
Crosley Law Firm has experience in automotive product liability. The sooner you call, the sooner we can go to work preserving evidence and thoroughly investigating your crash. Product liability cases require extensive knowledge, teams of experts, and aggressive legal strategies. The manufacturers will defend themselves vigorously—and they have the financial resources to put up a long, hard fight.
Crosley Law Firm: We Stand Up to Negligent Companies When Victims Are Injured in San Antonio and Across Texas
At Crosley Law Firm, we have considerable experience handling both product liability and car crash lawsuits. When necessary, we work with renowned technical experts, including engineers, doctors, and accident reconstruction experts. After a car wreck, we can help you understand your options and take steps to protect your rights. Request a free, no-risk consultation by completing our online form or calling 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.