Holding Manufacturers of Defective Vehicles Accountable – Product Liability Car Accident Lawyers
While the majority of car accidents are caused by driver error, there are a fair number of car accidents that occur because vehicles or component parts are defective, such as defective tires that blowout because of tread separation. Other California car accidents may not be caused by a malfunction connected to a product defect in the vehicle; however, failure of safety equipment like defective airbags or seatbelts may cause more serious injuries or wrongful death to vehicle occupants. If you are injured because of a defective vehicle or a love one dies, you may have a right to bring a product liability lawsuit against the automaker and/or the company that produced the defective component.
Product liability lawsuits against vehicle manufacturers require an experienced California product liability attorney with the resources to take on large well financed automakers. The best California defective vehicle law firms will work closely with auto industry experts who have the ability to analyze and identify vehicle defects that result in California defective vehicle accidents. There are many types of motor vehicle defects that may result in car accidents that cause serious injury or wrongful death including the following:
Rollover Accident Defects: Many SUVs and 15 passenger vans have design defects that not only increase the probability of a collision but also may result in more serious injuries in a collision. Many SUVs and 15 passenger vans are designed with a relatively narrow wheel base and high center of gravity which makes them prone to rollover accidents. If more passengers and cargo that are loaded into a vehicle, the top heavy tendency of the vehicle is increased resulting in a more substantial rollover risk. Although rollover accidents account for only three percent of all motor vehicle accidents, they account for thirty percent of all motor vehicle related fatalities. Many SUVs fail to meet minimum roof strength standards so a California rollover accident can result in roof crush injuries. Many 15 passenger vans lack adequate seatbelts which may lead to a vehicle ejection during a rollover accident.
Faulty Brake Systems: Brake systems in motor vehicles may fail for a variety reasons including defective design or faulty installation. Brake failure may be caused by a variety of defective brake system components including calipers, hydraulic brake lines, rotors and discs. It is hard to imagine a more horrifying situation than driving down the freeway at sixty mph and discovering that you have no brakes.
Tread Separation Tire Blowout Accidents: When tires suddenly fail on a motor vehicle, it can mean a driver loses control of the vehicle which collides with another car, runs off the road or rolls over. When tires are installed on a vehicle that is insufficient for the weight of the vehicle, the vehicle may suffer a California blowout accident after a relatively brief period and very few miles driven. Tread separation is an extremely dangerous cause of blowout accidents because it often occurs when the tread of the vehicle does not appear worn. Steel belted radial tires require proper bonding of the steel belts and the rubber. When defects occur in this bonding process during manufacturing of the tire, it can result in the tread separating from the tire and dangerous tire blowout accidents.
Sudden Acceleration Accidents: These accidents occur when a vehicle suddenly accelerates even though the driver is not trying to accelerate. In recent years, Toyota has had a large number of vehicles recalled because of sudden unintended acceleration accidents. The most famous Toyota sudden acceleration accident lawsuit was settled in San Diego for an undisclosed amount. The Toyota vehicle sedan sped out of control and crashed over an embankment resulting in the tragic death of three vehicle occupants. A vehicle occupant was on the phone with 911 screaming that the vehicle would not slow down when the fatal San Diego crash occurred.
Defective Airbags: While airbags are a valuable safety feature, they can cause severe injuries when they malfunction. Airbags may deploy too soon, too late or not at all. Airbag deploy at rate of up to 200 mph, so it is essential that the airbag be fully deployed before it makes contact with a vehicle occupant. If airbags deploy too late or with too much force, they can result in severe injuries including injury to the head, face or spine and may cause traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, blindness and even fatalities. Sometimes airbags deploy in low speed crashes when they should not deploy resulting in severe injuries. Other times airbags may fail to deploy leaving vehicle occupants unprotected. Airbags often fail or malfunction because of defective sensors or improper positioning of sensors that control airbag deployment.
Defective Door Latches/Locks: Door latching and locking mechanisms may be defective so that doors fly open during a collision causing vehicle occupants to be ejected from the vehicle. The safest place for vehicle occupants during a collision is inside the vehicle so defective door locks or latching mechanisms that permit the door to open during a collision can result in fatal injuries. Door locks or latches also may jam and trap vehicle occupants inside the vehicle during a vehicle fire.
Defective Seatbelts: Seatbelts are the most fundamental form of vehicle safety equipment, but sometimes defective seatbelts leave vulnerable vehicle occupants completely unprotected during a California car accident. There are a number of defects that may result in vehicle occupants being ejected from the vehicle or thrown against hard surfaces inside the vehicle. Defective buckles lead to inertial unlatching of the buckle. Inertial unlatching is particularly dangerous because it is most common in rollover accidents, which are among the most deadly California car accidents. Seatbelts may also have defects that result in false latching. False latching involves the seatbelt appearing and even sounding like the buckle mechanism is fastened though it is not full engaged. During the force of a collision the buckle will disengage. The webbing of the belt may also be defective so that it may be cut or tear during a collision.
These are only a few of the more common types of vehicle defects that may cause catastrophic injuries or wrongful death in a California car accident. If you are injured in a California collision because of a defective motor vehicle, you need a law firm with California car accident attorneys that have experience handling defective vehicle accident cases. California defective car accident attorneys understand the emotional, financial and physical hardships associated with accidents involving unsafe vehicles.
A California defective vehicle accident lawyer can provide careful investigation of the facts, thorough analysis of the law, effective negotiation with insurance companies and persuasive courtroom advocacy. A California defective auto accident attorney also can answer your questions and advise you regarding your legal rights and remedies.