A defectively designed automobile may give rise to liability on the part of the vehicle’s manufacturer. There are situations where the design of the vehicle actually causes the occupant’s injury or makes those injuries more severe. Examples of automobile defects include, but are not limited to the following:
- Fuel System Failures: the car experiences a post-collision fuel fed fire (PCFFF) i.e. the vehicle erupts into flames due to an inadequately designed fuel system or a puncture in the fuel tank.
- Roof Crush \ Rollovers: in a roll over accident the support structures for the roof fail and cave in on the occupants, causing neck injuries or paralysis.
- Door Failures: the vehicle’s door system is activated in an accident allowing the occupant to be thrown from the vehicle.
- Airbag Failures: vehicle’s airbag fails to activate or activates with extreme force causing serious head and/or neck injury to the occupant.
- Seatbelt Failures: the seat belt has too much slack and fails to restrain the passenger in a collision.
- Inadequate Side-Impact Protection: the vehicle has no reinforcement in the doors to help withstand a side-impact collision.
- Defective Tires: tires fail earlier than normal, especially when there is only moderate or light wear on the treads, it is possible that the tires themselves are defective.
Countless Americans are killed, disfigured, and crippled each year in automobile collisions and mishaps. Many of these injuries are caused or contributed to by design defects in the automobiles and a failure of the manufacturer to provide a crash-worthy vehicle. We have all seen racecars collide at very high speed and the driver walk away with minimal injury. Admittedly, these vehicles have state of the art safety features that a regular passenger car does not. However, the technology is available and many of the features that we see in cars today were first developed in other areas.
The auto industry has the technology to build safer motor vehicles. What we have seen is that all too often economic considerations override safety. In an effort to cut corners, important safety features are omitted or not adequately provided. Automotive product liability cases not only provide compensation for the victims, but they provide an economic incentive for vehicle manufacturers to make safer and more crash-worthy vehicles. Each state has different laws governing product liability cases. Call an experienced product liability lawyer for an assessment of the product liability laws in your jurisdiction.