Most people believe that the common causes of car wrecks or accidents are usually driver error or inattention such as texting while driving, speeding, drunk driving, running red lights and stop signs. However, many people don’t realize that vehicle defects can also cause or contribute to serious car accidents. These vehicle defects range from defective tires, airbags, seatbelts, gas tanks, seats, ignition switches, to virtually all components of a vehicle or truck. When a vehicle’s components are defectively designed or manufactured, drivers and passengers often end up suffering serious – and sometimes fatal, and catastrophic injuries.
In most car accident cases, victims seek financial compensation based on another driver’s negligence. “Negligence” is a complex legal term, but in general what it means is that someone else’s inattention or carelessness has caused someone to be injured. Those things mentioned above such as texting, speeding, drinking and driving, and running red lights – are all common examples of negligence in car wrecks or vehicle accidents.
Vehicle defect cases are different in that they can also be caused as a result of improperly designed or manufactured vehicles. Vehicle defect cases are subject to the law of “strict products liability.” “Strict Products liability” means that a product’s manufacturer and any other company or retailer selling the product is responsible for your injuries and losses if they result from the products defective design or manufacture. An example of this is an airbag which fails to deploy because of a defective switch by the airbag maker. Although the airbag maker didn’t cause the car wreck or accident it may still be responsible for your injuries and losses causes by the failure of the airbag to deploy.
However, this does not mean that vehicle defect cases are simple and easy. Uncovering defects can be some of the most challenging, costly, expert intensive, and time-consuming cases in the legal arena. As a result, many law firms do not accept these cases. Vehicle and vehicle component manufactures defend these cases with the best teams of lawyers and experts. Pursuing a vehicle defect claim starts with conducting a thorough investigation to determine not only the cause of the crash or collision but often the cause of the injuries.
Unfortunately, many people do not find out that their vehicles are defective until it is too late. While manufacturers are required to issue recalls to correct known defects, it often takes a vehicle crash or accident to uncover the defect in the first place. Of course, some manufacturers have been known to hide defects as well. A well-known example is the ongoing Takata airbag switch recall in which the airbag maker, covered up evidence that the inflator switches used in more than 78 million airbags were prone to failure in vehicles made by 14 different automakers installed in cars from model year 2002 through 2015.
You can check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) SaferCar.gov to see if your vehicle is subject to a recall. But, we can’t emphasize enough that NHTSA’s recall list is not comprehensive of all of the defects that are out there. If you have been injured in a vehicle wreck or accident and believe that a defect may be to blame, the best thing you can do is to contact an experienced vehicle defect attorney to investigate your claim.
At the Felix Gonzalez Law Firm, we provide experienced legal representation for vehicle defect and other car accident claims in San Antonio, Bexar County, and the surrounding counties and areas. To find out if you are entitled to just compensation, call us at (210)298-6666 or request a free consultation online today.