Consumers expect that when they buy a vehicle, like a car or truck, it will be safe to drive. Companies owe consumers a duty to keep them safe from defects, whether in the design of the vehicle or in manufacturing, and to warn them of foreseeable dangers. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. Whether due to negligence or, worse, to pad their bottom lines, these companies — manufacturers, sellers, mechanics to name a few — sometimes fail to live up to this critical duty. When that happens, consumers are faced with a serious risk of injury, disfigurement, and even death.
Airbag failures, brake failures, mechanical failures, and SUV rollovers are just some of the unacceptable automobile defects that our attorneys take to court. Whether you are a driver, passenger, or a bystander, these companies may be responsible for your or your loved one’s injuries. If you have been harmed because of an automobile defect, it is in your best interest to contact an attorney before giving statements to an insurance company. Even if you have given an insurance company a statement as to why your accident happened, a qualified and experienced attorney can seek maximum recovery on your behalf.
Airbags are supposed to reduce the likelihood of serious injury in an automobile accident. They are an integral part of car crashworthiness. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that thousands of lives are saved each year when airbags work properly. However, in recent years massive airbag recalls have been announced to address issues with defective airbags, impacting tens of millions of vehicles. Airbags that are improperly designed or improperly manufactured can fail in these primary ways:
Failure to Deploy and Underdeployment. Defects with air bags in numerous makes and models of vehicles cause airbags to fail to deploy or underdeploy in serious accidents. Sometimes all the airbags in a vehicle will fail to deploy or underdeploy. Other times only a single airbag is defective. When airbags fail to deploy or underdeploy, the crashworthiness value of the vehicle is lost. Concussions and broken bones are common in failure to deploy cases. People can be seriously injured or even killed when airbags fail to deploy or underdeploy.
Overdeployment and Detonation. The largest auto industry safety recalls in history have involved concerns over airbag detonation. Airbag manufacturers, including Takata, widely used airbags designed with the compound ammonium nitrate as the accelerant for deployment. Ammonium nitrate is the same compound used in the Oklahoma City Bombing and that caused mass devastation in the West Texas explosion. Unfortunately, ammonium nitrate can be subject to detonation on deployment. When an airbag detonates, the result can be catastrophic.
Although sport utility vehicles (SUVs) are some of the most popular vehicles in Texas, due to their high center of gravity, they are prone to rollover accidents. Due to the serious nature of rollover accidents, the driver and passengers often suffer life-altering or fatal injuries when they are tossed around (or even from) the rolling vehicle. The cause of the rollover can sometimes be traced to poor design or mechanical failures causing or contributing to the rollover accident. When these failings cause serious injuries or death, the responsible persons and entities must be held responsible.
The lawyers at Armstrong Lee LLP have experience handling serious product liability lawsuits and have been involved in the successful resolution of nationally-recognized auto defect injury and death cases. If you have been injured or a loved one tragically killed by an auto defect, contact us today for a free consultation.