Experienced Vehicle Defect Lawyer
You May Be Able to Pursue a Defective Vehicle Lawsuit if it Was Due to an Automaker’s Negligence
Not all car crashes are caused by careless or dangerous drivers. In some cases, defects in vehicles or vehicle parts are to blame. When things go wrong in a car, SUV, or other powerful passenger vehicle, accidents that cause injuries are likely. Whether it was brakes that failed, a tire that blew out, or another serious malfunction, if you were hurt because of a vehicle defect, you have the right to pursue compensation from the car maker or part manufacturer through a defective vehicle lawsuit. Big auto makers and their parts’ suppliers are not above the law. A faulty vehicle part or poorly designed vehicle can have massive implications for the safety of motorists – and not only for occupants of the defective vehicle, but for others around them on roadways and highways.
The statistics highlight the dangers. According to a study performed by the University of Texas at Austin Center for Transportation Research, passenger vehicle defects contribute to approximately 10,000 crashes each year in the state. On average annually, nearly 100 people die, approximately 350 suffer incapacitating injuries, and about 1,300 experience less serious injuries.
You Shouldn’t Have to Bear the Financial Costs of Your Injuries
You are already paying the physical and emotional price. You shouldn’t have to bear the financial costs. Through a defective vehicle product liability claim, you may be able to hold the auto manufacturer or part maker responsible for the damages you’ve suffered. You could get money to pay your medical bills and other costs.
At Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, our attorneys have decades of experience successfully resolving cases involving negligent companies. If you or a family member has suffered a defect-related injury, we are here to help. Call us today at (713) 973-8888 or toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000 so we can learn about your case. We provide free consultations.
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Common Vehicle Defects that Cause Accidents
There are many vehicle defects that can cause accidents. What is the most common vehicle defect? It is often defective tires on cars that lead to dangerous crashes. Here are some common vehicle defects that may lead to accidents and injuries or increase the severity of crashes:
- Defective tires that separate, blow out or otherwise fail. Defective tires cause 11,000 accidents a year, according to estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
- Airbags that explode and shoot sharp metal pieces into vehicle occupants, or fail to deploy at all. Defective airbags have been responsible for injuring and killing numerous people.
- Seatbelts that fail in crashes due to latch malfunctions or other issues. People trust seatbelts to help keep them safe in crashes, but if a seatbelt is defective that trust is misplaced.
- Brakes that fail because of leaking brake lines, improperly installed braking systems, or defective design or manufacture. When brakes fail and you can’t stop quickly enough or at all, it can lead to deadly results.
- Gas pedals that stick and cause unintended acceleration or an inability to slow down. After several deaths, Toyota was found guilty of covering up safety problems with accelerators in some of its vehicles and had to pay a $1.2 billion fine.
- Defective steering mechanisms that malfunction and cause drivers to lose control of vehicles and crash. These failures can be due to poor design or manufacturing.
- Defective headlamps and other brake lights. When other drivers can’t see you at night, or see if you are braking, potentially deadly accidents can happen.
- Ignition switches that turn off while the car is in motion, leading to dangerous crashes in which airbags can’t deploy. General Motors recalled millions of its vehicles with this problem after deaths and injuries that led to lawsuits—the company was accused of knowing about the problem for years but not fixing it.
- Faulty fuel systems that cause fuel tanks to catch fire or explode in an accident. If the tank didn’t explode, vehicle occupants might walk away with no or only minor injuries in a crash.
As you can see, vehicle defects come in many different forms. Sometimes a specific component can be defective. In other cases, the faulty design of a vehicle might be responsible for crashes and injuries. But whatever the case, vehicle defects can be deadly.
If you’ve been in a crash, we’ll investigate the cause. If it was due to a vehicle defect, or a defect played a role in your injuries, we’ll hold the car maker or parts manufacturer accountable.
Defective Vehicle Design Leads to Injuries and Fatalities
Sometimes it isn’t a single vehicle part, but the poor overall design of cars and other vehicles that is to blame for injuries and fatalities. For example, faulty design was at the root of years of legal battles between roughly one million consumers and Ford Motor Co. over their Ford Explorer sport-utility vehicle. Ford’s SUV was prone to rollover crashes because of instability in its design, making it hard to control. Additionally, the tread on the Firestone tires used on the vehicles was prone to separating, making the dangers even worse. Hundreds of deaths and injuries were blamed on the vehicle. The lawsuits against Ford said that the company was well-aware of the rollover risk, but failed to fix the problem or to notify consumers of that risk.
The Ford Explorer is just one example of a vehicle with design flaws. Car manufacturers owe consumers due diligence when designing and testing their vehicles, but many fall short of this obligation. In many cases, companies know that their product has inherent risks and sell them anyway. It is probably not surprising that recent surveys of consumers have found that American’s trust of automakers is eroding.
If you were injured because of a defective car part or a faulty car design, reach out to us for help. Depending upon the circumstances of your accident, we may be able to get you compensation through a defective vehicle lawsuit. We provide free, no-obligation consultations.
Filing a Defective Vehicle Lawsuit
Look to Our Skilled Vehicle Defect Lawyer for Help
Automakers are responsible for making safe vehicles and for alerting vehicle owners to problems. When they fail in that responsibility, they can be sued in a court of law. Depending on the circumstances, car makers, parts manufacturers and others including auto dealers may be held liable in a defective vehicle lawsuit.
However, claims against big automakers are very difficult and complex. It must be proven that their vehicle or faulty part caused the accident. They won’t admit it easily, because it will affect how their vehicles are perceived among consumers and cause them to lose profits. This can lead to car makers’ trying to hide defects with their vehicles.
Find Out If You Have a Vehicle Defect Lawsuit
If you believe your accident and injuries were due to vehicle defects, we’ll advise you about whether the facts of your case merit legal action. Then we will fight for your right to compensation. When you speak up about your injuries that you believe were caused by a vehicle defect, in addition to potentially getting compensation for your damages, you also hold the automaker accountable.
When car manufacturers are held accountable in lawsuits, it may serve to encourage recalls on possibly dangerous vehicles that keep others safe.
When you trust Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law with your case, our attorney will investigate the circumstances of the accident to establish fault. We’ll examine everything the accident has cost you to determine how much money to ask for in your claim. Then we’ll handle the communications with the car maker, parts maker, their attorneys and their insurance companies in trying to get a fair settlement. In cases where car makers deny liability, we will counsel you about taking your case to court.
Compensation in a Defective Vehicle Lawsuit
Compensation in defective vehicle lawsuits is based on damages. Damages in car accident claims may include the following:
- Payment of current and future medical bills
- Reimbursement for lost wages and lost future earnings
- Compensation for emotional and physical pain and suffering
- Punitive damages if the actions of the automaker and parts maker were especially negligent
If your family member died in a crash due to a defective vehicle, you may be able to collect damages in a wrongful death claim. Spouses, parents, and children in Texas are eligible to file lawsuits for wrongful death. Damages may include compensation for medical bills for your family member’s injuries, funeral and burial costs, lost income, lost inheritance, lost love and support, and more.
We Know What It Takes to Win Against Car Makers
At Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, we know what it takes to file a successful claim. Terry Bryant is a Board Certified personal injury trial lawyer (by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization) and former judge. He is uniquely qualified in these types of cases, and his hand-picked team has worked hard to provide exceptional service to clients for more than three decades. If we take on your case, you can count on receiving exceptional service.
To schedule a free consultation with a vehicle defect lawyer and learn how much compensation you may be entitled to, contact us today.
What You Should Know About Vehicle Recalls
Vehicle recalls are a common occurrence in the United States. Every year, tens of millions of vehicles are recalled because of problems. You may have seen headlines about Ford’s recall of more than 16,000 F-150 trucks because of improperly installed seatbelts or Chevy’s recall of tens of thousands of Bolt electric vehicles because of battery cell defects that can lead to fires. Or you may be familiar with other less recent major vehicle recalls, such as the massive Takata airbag recalls or the General Motors ignition switch recall. Recalls are vital for consumer protection. Unfortunately, they often occur only after consumers have suffered fatal or debilitating injuries.
Vehicle recalls can be issued by government agencies or by automakers themselves. They are often the result of complaints by consumers or lawsuits filed by injured motorists. In other words, by the time consumers are notified of recalls, it is likely that – for many motorists – the damage has already been done. You can potentially avoid a problem that could cause an accident and injure you by checking your vehicle for recalls. Vehicle makers are supposed to alert car buyers in writing about recalls, but if you’ve moved or aren’t the original owner of your vehicle, you may not receive notice.
How to Check Your Vehicle for Recalls
You can check to see whether there are any recalls on your vehicle by visiting the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall website. Once there, simply enter your car’s vehicle identification number (VIN) to learn if there are any recalls on it. You can also read general information about a variety of safety issues related to cars and other vehicles.
If you have been injured in a crash in a vehicle that had recalls on it, contact us today. We can help you discover if your accident was caused by a defect in the vehicle. Speak to a motor vehicle defect lawyer by calling (713) 973-8888 or toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000.
Contact Us to Speak with a Knowledgeable Vehicle Defect Lawyer
Any car accident is frightening. When a car accident is caused by a defective part or design flaw, you might also feel anger and confusion. You rely on your vehicle to get you safely where you want to go, and you probably paid a lot of money for it. You may have spent a lot of time researching safety ratings to choose just the right vehicle. You trusted the company that built your car.
When they violate that trust, you shouldn’t hesitate to hold them accountable. After all, if it wasn’t for their negligence in allowing a defective vehicle onto the market, or in not warning consumers about potential problems, you probably wouldn’t have been hurt and in the difficult situation you’re now faced with.
Reach Out to Us for Help
The attorneys at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law are on your side. Call us at (713) 973-8888 to arrange a free consultation. We work on a contingency basis, which means you pay us only from a successful recovery.