Automobile manufactures design cars, trucks and SUV’s to withstand crashes. In fact, many federal standards set the minimum safety standards manufacturers must adhere to. For instance, federal laws require seat belts, airbags, among other safety related items. Beyond those regulations, manufacturer owe a duty to the general public to design and manufacture vehicles that are safe and not unreasonably dangerous. If they do not, they can be subject to a product liability lawsuit.
Like all car wrecks, crashes caused by vehicle defects can be life-altering, causing unexpected deaths or serious and permanent disabilities. In addition to the physical pain and emotional anguish of these injuries, families also frequently find themselves with staggeringly high medical bills. Serious injuries require serious treatment, and even with insurance, the costs can add up quickly. Add that to the cost of not working while recovering from a catastrophic injury, and the bills can be overwhelming for anyone.
Our experienced Missouri auto product liability lawyers can help victims pass those costs back on to the company that sold them an unsafe, defective car or car part.
If a part on your vehicle fails and causes a crash, the manufacturer can be held legally responsible for all damages. Motor vehicles are consumer products just like toys and appliances, and all manufacturers have a legal responsibility to design and manufacture safe vehicles. Car manufacturers also have a duty to warn consumers about vehicle safety risks. Often, if there is a safety issue, you will get a recall notice in the mail. Sometimes, the federal government forces the manufacturer to send these notices.
Because of these rules, automobiles and their parts are routinely recalled. The federal government listed a total of 43 recalls of automobiles and equipment in October of 2011 alone. Manufacturers are required to do repair or replacement work on recalled vehicles for free &mdash: but not everyone gets the message in time to avoid a serious accident.
Unfortunately, some cars are far more dangerous than others. Everyone is familiar with the Ford Pinto exploding gas tank in the 1970s. More recently, recalls of late-model Toyota and Lexus vehicles soared after reports of sudden acceleration. Though Toyota’s official explanation was a “sticky” gas pedal, some safety experts still believe there is a flaw in the electronic throttle. Although you may not know it, many vehicles are recalled every year for safety related defects.
You can check the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) website here to see if your vehicle has a defect.
When cars or their parts do not work correctly, even the most careful driver can get into a bad accident. For example, a tire blowout at high speed can cause a rollover accident even in normal driving, with catastrophic results. In other cases, the failure of an automobile or its parts can make a wreck worse &mdash: such as when a seat belt fails at a crucial moment.
In catastrophic injury or death cases, all vehicles should be evaluated for a possible vehicle defect claim. This process begins with a search on the NHTSA website, and is followed by an in-person inspection of the vehicle. Our lawyers have decades of experience handling these cases and know what to look for. If there appears to be an issue, we will promptly hire engineers to evaluate the vehicle.
The Missouri auto product liability lawyers at E. Ryan Bradley represent clients seeking justice against auto manufacturers after crashes caused or worsened by:
If you believe a car crash was caused or worsened by a vehicle defect, call E. Ryan Bradley today for a free legal consultation at 314-400-0000.