PRACTICE AREAS > CAR ACCIDENTS > MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS DEFECTS
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Motor vehicle defect injury claims are usually complex and demand a skilled analysis of the facts and the applicable laws. While a motor vehicle can have almost any kind of design or manufacturing defect, there are some broad categories that our experienced Denton auto defect lawyers, Rocky Haire and Justin Steinbock, have encountered in their years of helping people recover compensation for their personal injuries. These motor vehicle defects include:
defective door latches
defective air bags
tendency to roll over
seat belt defects
tendency to eject passengers and driver
cruise control failure
Motor Vehicle Defects - An Overview
Most motor vehicles are safely designed and carefully manufactured. Some, however, are carelessly made or improperly designed. Poorly designed or defectively produced vehicles can be dangerous and can cause serious injury or death.
Responsibility for Defective Motor Vehicles
The laws governing responsibility for defective motor vehicles and what must be proven in court to establish liability vary from state to state. In most states, the parties who may held liable include:
The vehicle manufacturer
The manufacturer of defective component parts such as tires, hoses etc.
The dealer, if the vehicle was purchased from a dealer
Several different reasons exist for holding a party liable for harm caused by a motor vehicle defect. The three most common legal theories for finding someone liable are breach of warranty, negligence, and strict liability. An experienced products liability attorney can advise you about the rules that apply in your state to your situation involving a defective motor vehicle.
The Concept of "Crashworthiness"
The most important concept in vehicle defect liability cases is "crashworthiness". Crashworthiness is the ability of a vehicle to prevent injuries to the occupants in the event of a collision. During a collision, a vehicle's occupants are subject to a number of forces that can result in injury, including rapid deceleration and rapid acceleration, depending on the direction of impact in the collision. Crashworthiness deals primarily with the 'second collision' that results from these forces, in which the driver and passengers collide against the interior of the vehicle. An effective crashworthy vehicle design will distribute these injurious forces over as great a period of time and distance as possible, including by directing them to parts of the body that are more capable of withstanding them.
Elements of a Motor Vehicle Defect Claim
Unlike an ordinary personal injury claim for negligence, in order to establish a vehicle manufacturer or seller's liability for a vehicle defect, you do not need to show that they were careless, and that their carelessness led to your accident or injury. Instead, liability in motor vehicle defect cases is controlled by the doctrine of strict liability.
Vehicle Safety & Restraint Devices
Vehicle safety is a significant consideration, both in terms of liability for injuries resulting from automobile accidents, and when the average consumer is shopping for a new car. Every new passenger vehicle must meet federal standards specifying minimum safety levels, but this doesn't mean all cars are equally safe. There still are important safety differences. Identifying the safest car on the road is impossible, but it is possible to shop for a safer car because some vehicle characteristics are inherently safer than others, and many automakers offer safety features beyond the required minimums.
Motor Vehicle Defects RECALLS
One of the most common vehicle defect issues faced by the public is that of safety recalls of a motor vehicle. Safety recalls are usually instigated by either the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the vehicle manufacturers themselves, in response to a discovered defect in a vehicle or a component of that vehicle. So it is important to understand the procedure that is followed in vehicle recalls, and the respective responsibilities of those involved.