Car Accidents Caused By Manufacturing or Design Defects

We rely on our cars to take us safely from place to place every day. We get in our vehicles and take off without giving a second thought to our safety, taking for granted that so long as we buckle up, all the safety features built into our vehicles (and for which we pay dearly), will protect us from harm.

Of course, being a safe driver and following the rules of the road is always the best way to ensure safety. Yet, sometimes design and manufacturing defects in our vehicles can and often do lead to situations over which the driver had little control and that end up causing accidents.

Car manufacturers the world over have been forced to recall millions of vehicles to replace defective parts. We all have heard of Toyota’s recent recalls for defective floor mats that Toyota claimed might be interfering with their vehicle’s acceleration pedals. We also remember the massive recalls that Ford Motor Company and Firestone were forced into because of some very deadly SUV rollovers. See the Notable Cases section of our website for more information on the tire blowout cases handled by our firm.

The preceding are two examples of defects that cost lives before they were realized and corrected. These defective products recalls often cost manufacturers tens of millions of dollars. Hence their reluctance to order recalls and they only do so when forced by either the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or by pressure due to the revelation of a defect by experienced products liability and manufacturing defects lawyers, like those from the Law Offices Of Greenberg, Stone & Urbano

Please note that there are basically two distinct types of car defects: Design Defects and Manufacturing Defects.

Car Design Defects

A car design defect occurs when the part or product in question are built or produced without errors. I other words, the defect is inherent to the design of the part, not the actual production of it.

When deciding whether a design was flawed, the courts often look into whether the questioned feature’s original blueprint was unreasonably dangerous and whether it was reasonably foreseeable that the flawed design could cause harm to someone driving or occupying the vehicle.

While the laws regarding a manufacturer’s liability vary from state to state, most states require evidence that the car designer did not follow the highest safety standards available or that they (the manufacturer) could have used a better design that was readily available. However, it is important to note that because the facts vary in each case, victims should consult an experienced lawyer to determine the viability of their potential case. Such an inspection and examination should be conducted as early as possible following an incident to insure that the product is in the same condition it was in immediately following the injury or loss.

Car Manufacturing Defects

Manufacturing defect cases can be very complicated because typically the victim has to prove that had it not been for the error in assembling or manufacturing the part in question, the accident would not have occurred.

For example, we have handled a number of cases where a truck had retread tires. Thru investigation and testing, we were able to ascertain that the company that made the retreads did not use the proper prescribed procedure thereby causing the tire’s tread to separate resulting in catastrophic injury and death. This departure from accepted standards was found thru hard work , investigation and the use of the top experts in a number of industries who were able to conclusively show how the tire was defectively made and how the defect caused the incident.

These cases can be further complicated by the condition in which the vehicle is left after the accident. Often the post-accident condition of the car is so bad, that tests cannot be performed to verify if in fact the suspected part was the part that failed. Consequently, the courts have created the “malfunction doctrine” which forces the plaintiff to rule out any other possible cause for the accident before the court allows the jury to make an inference that the car part was flawed from the time the vehicle was built and sold to the plaintiff.

Some Typical Car Defects and Injuries

Among the parts that can cause catastrophic accidents and injuries when they fail are:

Tires: Terrible accidents may occur when tires blowout or explode. When this happens, especially at high speeds, the driver may lose control of the vehicle, causing it to rollover and/or impact other vehicles or objects. This is what happened a few years back in the highly publicized Firestone tire cases.

Airbags: Airbags that fail to deploy as intended are likely to allow the victims to suffer grave injuries. Similarly, air bags that deploy unexpectedly can also cause serious injuries.

Seatbelts: When a seatbelt fails to restrain the victim as it is supposed to, the victim is likely to hit the dashboard, the steering wheel, other passengers or even be ejected from the vehicle altogether, suffering serious injuries.

Among the injuries likely to occur in this cases are traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), spinal cord injuries (SCIs) that may lead to paralysis, loss of sight, disfigurement and scarring.

We Can Help

If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a defective vehicle, you should contact a lawyer experienced in handling these cases. The lawyers of Greenberg, Stone & Urbano have more than 100 years of combined experience handling personal injury cases, including cases of accidents caused by defective motor vehicles.

Please contact us immediately at 305-595-2400 to schedule a free consultation. We handle all personal injury matters on contingent fees. This means that you do not pay us anything unless we obtain money for you.