Cars carry a risk, like any mechanical machinery. This risk becomes increasingly alarming with the trend of “self-driving” cars.
Regardless of the driver’s care and attention to maintaining a safe road, mechanical defects can still occur.
A car or motorcycle accident can result in physical pain, as well as emotional trauma. Pursuing a personal injury claim is difficult, but with the right lawyer by your side, filing a claim against the manufacturer and any other responsible parties will ensure this does not happen to anyone else.
Examples of Defects
A manufacturer who provides a product knowing it could harm their consumers can be held responsible for the resulting injuries and/or deaths. Manufacturing defects can happen to any part of the vehicle including:
- Defective brakes
- Transmission failure
- Airbag deployment failure
- Unsecure seatbelts
- Structural collapse
- Gas tank explosion
- Rollover defects
Toyota Unintended Acceleration Defects
A famous example of car manufacturing defects is Toyota, which had to recall nearly 8 million vehicles of varying models. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration identified issues with the accelerator pedals which resulted in unintended and uncontrollable accelerations.
Sadly, these defects resulted in several deadly crashes, claiming the lives of innocent drivers. In response to these tragedies surviving loved ones filed wrongful death claims.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
As mentioned, there are several ways to file a lawsuit against a car manufacturer; the method will be dependent on the circumstances surrounding your injury.
They may be held responsible if:
- Their product is defectively designed in a way that was unreasonably dangerous.
- Their product has a defect in the process of being manufactured.
- They are aware of potential risks or errors and fail to warn the public.
- They are aware of defects and fail to properly recall the product.
If you believe a manufacturer is guilty of the above, then you may want to consider filing a personal injury claim. A personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles can work alongside you to ensure a more successful settlement.
Once a claim is filed, you will have to prove:
- The manufacturer had a duty of care to its consumers to provide a reasonably safe product.
- The manufacturer breached that duty and as so, knowingly made the vehicle unsafe.
- The breach of duty was a contributing factor to the injury sustained
- A defect existed at the time of the accident.
- Damages are suffered as a result of the accident.
Let’s break this down through our Toyota example. Toyota owed its consumers a reasonably safe motor vehicle. This means the vehicle was properly designed and manufactured, and up to date with legal safety standards. A Los Angeles personal injury lawyer would prove this duty existed when the victim purchased the vehicle.
We would then consider Toyota’s breach of duty. According to filed claims, Toyota was aware of the issue for several months prior to their recall. This shows Toyota knowingly made the vehicle unsafe by their failed action. If the vehicles were promptly recalled, injuries could have been avoided.
Let’s say the client accelerated from 25 to 80 on a rural road and veered off the road. As a result, the car flipped. One sustained serious brain injuries, while the other experienced broken limbs.
Had the car gone the proper speed the driver intended, the car would not have flipped. Thus, the injuries would not have occurred. The Los Angeles personal injury lawyer would provide medical statements, witness testimonies, and more to show the related causation.
As we discussed, the defect was the “unintended acceleration” caused by the malfunctioning accelerator pedal. The car was uncontrollably speeding on roads that could not support that speed. Here, a lawyer may provide evidence of Toyota’s knowledge of the defect and any tests proving this defect exists.
Lastly, the personal injury lawyer representing this case would argue for maximum compensation related to brain injuries and broken limbs. For the sake of this example, this could mean medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Had they not been involved in the crash, they would have not lost their wages nor endured pain.
Wrongful Death Cases
Unfortunately, manufacturing-related accidents can lead to fatal outcomes. In these wrongful death cases, surviving loved ones should consider hiring Los Angeles wrongful death attorneys. If filed within the statute of limitations, a Los Angeles wrongful death attorney can pursue the case similarly to personal injury matters.
As an outcome, surviving loved ones may receive compensation for funeral expenses and loss of wages, as well as their loss of companionship. While these cases can be emotionally taxing, it is important to consider holding the manufacturer responsible for their negligence. Justice can also be reaffirming in the grieving process.
Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Attorneys – Los Angeles and Surrounding Areas
As human beings, we can only do our best to abide by road safety. While disheartening and alarming, machines can equally be at fault for car accidents. Individuals whose lives were unfairly altered by a manufacturing mistake deserve to be compensated for their losses.
John J Perlstein is among the top personal injury attorneys in Los Angeles and the surrounding Southern California region. He regularly handles car accident personal injury and wrongful death claims, providing stellar legal services on a contingency basis.
If you or a loved one have suffered at the hands of a manufacturer, it is time for justice to be served. Contact us for a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles.