If a defective car, whether yours or someone else’s, caused a crash in which you sustained injuries, you should seek out a local personal injury attorney. A legal professional experienced in handling defective motor vehicle cases can help you determine who to sue so as to obtain the compensation you deserve.
It should come as no surprise to learn that car manufacturers have the duty and the responsibility to produce cars that are defect-free and safe for you and other consumers to drive. This duty applies not only to the manufacturer itself, in terms of the car’s design and the company’s production line, but also to all other companies down the supply chain:
- Crash testers
- Component parts manufacturers and producers
- After-market accessory manufacturers, producers and installers
- Car rental companies
- Inspectors for any and all of the above
It should also come as no surprise to you, however, to learn that not all companies involved in car manufacturing and selling take their responsibilities seriously enough. When this happens, the result can be an accident in which you sustain major injuries. While you may choose to file a personal injury lawsuit in this case, you may wish to file a products liability suit as well.
Product Liability Theories of Fault
In a products liability suit, you and your lawyer can choose one or more of the following three theories under which to proceed:
- Strict liability
- Breach of warranty
Under the strict liability theory, you can recover damages from the manufacturer or seller of the auto without having to prove that anyone was actually negligent. To win your lawsuit, however, you and your lawyer generally must prove all of the following:
- That the car had an unreasonably dangerous defect that caused the accident in which you were injured
- That at the time of the accident, you (or the other driver, as the case may be) were operating the car in the manner that it was intended to be used
- That you (or the other driver) had not substantially changed the car’s condition from that which existed at the time it was sold or rented
To win a lawsuit based on negligence, you and your car accident lawyer generally must prove all of the following:
- That the defendant owed you a certain duty of care
- That he or she breached this duty
- That you suffered injuries because of this breach
- That the breach was the proximate, that is, main or most important, cause of your injuries
- That your injuries resulted in compensable damages for which the defendant should pay
Breach of Warranty
As you know, all new cars, and the majority of used cars, come with some type of warranty. In general, new car warranties cover some or all of the following:
- Comprehensive, i.e., all parts of the car
- Powertrain, i.e., all the parts that propel the car
- Restraint system
- Emissions system
- Brake system
- Electrical system
- Heating and air conditioning system
In other words, the warranty implies that the car is safe to drive because it has no known defects at the time of sale or rental. If this assurance proves to be untrue, that’s the classic definition of a breach of warranty for which you can recover damages.
Over the years, auto defects have caused thousands of deaths and untold numbers of injuries. Some of the most highly publicized examples of defects include:
- The spontaneous accelerations of Toyotas that left drivers with no way to slow down or stop
- The tread separation problems and consequent blowouts of Firestone tires
- The sudden ignition switch shutoffs of General Motors cars that left drivers with no brakes, power steering or even airbags
- The exploding engines of Jeep Liberties and Grand Cherokees
- The design flaw of Ford Broncos that caused them to tip up onto two wheels, even at speeds as slow as 20 miles per hour
Together, these five defects accounted for 1,964 American deaths.
The most common car defects that can produce accidents include the following:
- Malfunctioning steering components
- Malfunctioning braking systems
- Misaligned suspension systems
- Malfunctioning windshield wipers
- Malfunctioning headlights or taillights
There are other common defects that don’t cause accidents themselves but certainly can cause more serious injuries when accidents happen:
- Seatbelts that fail to latch properly or remain latched in a crash
- Airbags that fail to deploy or deploy improperly
- Malfunctioning door latch mechanisms
- Improperly installed windows
It goes without saying that you can suffer numerous types of injuries in a car crash. Some of the more serious include:
- Traumatic brain injury that could result in a lifetime of physical and emotional difficulties
- Spinal cord injury that could result in your becoming a paraplegic or quadriplegic, needing to use a wheelchair in order to get around
- Eye injury that could result in your losing a substantial amount of your vision or becoming completely blind
- Ear injury that could result in your losing a substantial amount of your hearing or becoming totally deaf
- Crush injury that could result in the necessity of amputating one or more of your limbs
- Burn injury that could result in lasting disfiguring scars
How a Car Defects Lawyer Can Help You
If you suspect that a defective car, yours or someone else’s, caused an accident that injured you, a wise course of action is to consult an experienced local personal injury attorney as soon as possible after your accident. He or she can help you in multiple ways:
- Thoroughly investigate the accident to determine exactly what happened
- Inspect your vehicle and any other vehicle involved in the accident to determine if it or they had any obvious or hidden defects
- Determine who and what caused the defects and therefore who is legally liable for your injuries
- Determine what type of lawsuit to pursue and the theory or theories under which to pursue it
- Ensure that you file your lawsuit within the time frame allowed by your state’s statute of limitations
- Ensure that your lawsuit meets all other state requirements
Choosing the Right Lawyer
At Cellino Law, we have been advocating for accident victims for over 60 years. During this time, we have recovered millions of dollars for our injured clients and have supervised more than $2 billion in settlements. You can therefore trust that our team of deeply experienced and highly dedicated personal injury attorneys can — and will — put our knowledge and skill to work for you. We are not afraid to take on the largest insurance companies, and, if necessary, we are fully prepared to take your case all the way through a jury trial.
You will also be glad to know that we put our clients first and foremost. We never treat you as just another case or number. Instead, we listen carefully to your story at your free initial consultation, answer all your questions and advise you of your options going forward. In addition, if you are still in the hospital or convalescing at home, we can make arrangements to come to you instead of vice versa. Contact us today. There’s no obligation on your part, just straightforward answers from an approachable, compassionate lawyer who’s just as concerned about your situation as you are.
WE CAN HELP
CALL US NOWFree Case Review
FREE CASE REVIEW
- I really appreciated your determination and efforts on handling my case. You have done an outstanding job, and I am very satisfied with the outcome of the settlement. Thank you so so much John.
- My experience during the time of negotiations was extremely positive. Josh Sandberg handled my lawsuit with the utmost integrity. He returned all my phone calls in a timely manner and answered all my questions. Josh made things less stressful. I would highly recommend Josh and the entire staff at Cellino Law.
- We'd like to thank you for all the assistance and time you spent on our case. Your professionalism and honesty will always be appreciated. The staff was always courteous and we were always impressed with your accountability. Your passion and dedication will never be forgotten, nor will you.
- Cellino Law was a great company to work with. From the beginning they came out and met with my uncle and myself and assured us that everything would be taken care of from beginning to end our lawyer state and constant contact with us to make sure that everything would go smoothly and it did. I would definitely recommend anybody to go to Cellino Law for whatever help they need. And specifically please ask for the lawyer that we had Mr. Alan Silverstein. He was amazing and his staff was always attentive. Please go with them for your next law needs.
- Thank you for your time, effort, and hard work on my case. I appreciate your expertise and compassion. I never experienced what I went through and I would have been completely lost without you.
- Thank you for all your help. It has been a long journey. At last, the light at the end of the tunnel. Also, thank Tom for the help and work he put in.