Did a vehicle defect contribute to your motor vehicle accident?
Every year car manufacturers recall thousands of cars due to safety concerns. Typically a recall occurs only after an automotive defect has been recognized as a problem. Some recalls have nothing to do with safety. Other recalls can involve defects that put driver and passenger safety at significant risk, involving the potential for serious injury or death. Unfortunately many recalls come too late, and the public is notified only after tragedy has happened.
It can sometimes be difficult to determine whether a faulty auto part contributed to an accident. When a motor vehicle collision results in serious injuries or death, it is important to hire a law firm that has the expertise necessary to determine whether a product defect may have contributed to the collision or to the injuries sustained. The attorneys at Hall Law are regularly asked to evaluate motor vehicle collision cases to determine whether a defect may have contributed to the crash or injury. In those cases involving an actual automotive defect, we have the resources to help hold the manufacturer responsible and put the injured party in a much better place.
The types of defects affecting automobiles are wide-ranging and can include:
- Steering system malfunctions
- Braking malfunctions
- Fuel system fires
- Unintended acceleration
- Seatbelt defects
- Tire defects
- Autonomous vehicles/driverless cars
Who is responsible for injuries resulting from an automotive defect?
The automotive industry manufacturers are legally responsible for the safety of their products. When their products contain hidden dangers that result in serious injuries or death, it is the manufacturers who are legally responsible for the injuries they have caused.
For the most part auto defect cases fall into the following two categories:
Crash causing defects. These cases involve motor vehicle collisions which were caused by the automotive defect. But for the defective component, the collision never would have happened. Examples include: steering system malfunctions or tire defects which might cause the car to lose control.
Crashworthiness defects. Crashworthiness defects involve a flaw in the vehicle design which results in a failure to reasonably protect passengers. Examples of this type of defect include seat belt malfunctions or child car-seat defects. While these defects do not cause the vehicle to lose control, they fail to protect vehicle occupants when a crash does occur. The automotive industry has come a long way since the original cars were put on the roads, and they the knowledge to build seat belts, airbags and car seats that are safe. When a manufacturer cuts corners to improve profits, occupant safety can be put at risk.
What about injuries caused by driverless vehicles?
Driverless vehicles are already on the roads in a few “test subject” American cities, and vehicle failures have already resulted in injuries to the public. In 2016 the attorneys at Hall Law P.A. began conversations with experts in the autonomous vehicle industry in order to better understand the impact driverless vehicles will have on public safety as we go forward. Driverless vehicles operate based on computer algorithms that are fed data from multiple sensors in order to make decisions about the vehicle’s operation. While work in the field has already resulted in stunning technological achievements, the potential for failure is enormous. Sensors can fail for a myriad of reasons and when the input from a sensor is not accurate, the car’s computer can make the wrong decision. Already industry engineers face pressure to put driverless vehicles on the road as quickly as possible, raising obvious concerns for public safety.
The legal implications of injuries caused by driverless cars are not yet sorted out. The attorneys at Hall Law P.A. support efforts to make sure that as Minnesota moves toward a future that involves driverless vehicles, there is fairness for the unlucky people injured by defects in the function of such vehicles.
Where you or a loved one has been involved in an accident resulting from a defective product, it is important to act swiftly in order to preserve evidence and to ensure other key aspects of your case are not neglected. If you or one of your loved ones has a potential claim, please call us today for a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys.