Colorado Springs Defective Automobile Lawyer
A defective television or wristwatch that doesn't work properly can be annoying and expensive to fix, but it isn't hazardous to your health. A defective vehicle or vehicle part, however, can potentially lead to serious injury and even death. If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to a faulty auto part or automobile, it's important that you contact an established product liability lawyer.
Vehicles can be recalled for many reasons, such as gas tanks that explode in collisions, tires that blow out at certain speeds, or accelerator pedals that can become stuck. Unfortunately, these product flaws are only discovered after they cause injury or death to several people. The Colorado Springs injury attorneys at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. can help represent injured clients in auto product liability cases. Call us today at (719) 475-2555 for a free and confidential consultation.
There are a number of ways in which an auto part, or the car itself, could be defective. These defects range from safety features to the engine, and all can cause harm. We at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., have worked with many clients who have suffered serious injuries due to an auto part defect. In our experience, some of the most commonly defective parts include:
- Brake system
- Fuel pump
A defective auto part, whether weak tires or failed airbags, is incredibly dangerous. There are countless accidents caused every year due to faulty auto parts. For example, in one of the biggest stories of 2015, millions of vehicles, from many different manufacturers, were recalled because of faulty airbags that shot out shrapnel when deployed. One of the world's biggest airbag manufacturers, the Japanese company Takata, was found to be at fault. This malfunction killed multiple people and severely injured hundreds more. Thankfully, many of those victims were able to recover compensation, but the key in knowing who to hold responsible for the accidents is understanding how the part was defective in the first place. Was it a mistake in the design, or in the manufacturing?
The first step in establishing a product liability claim is finding out whether the defect is a design defect or manufacturing defect. This is important because it can implicate who the liable party is. While you may automatically assume that how the defect came to be doesn’t matter, and that the same party will be liable no matter what, that simply isn’t true.
A design defect, such as the Ford Pinto gas tanks that would explode when rear-ended, usually affects an entire product line. This means that there will be massive recalls, and potentially a class action lawsuit. It also means that the company behind the design, which would be Ford in the case of the Pinto, would be the ones liable for any resulting accidents.
A manufacturing defect usually affects only a certain number of products or vehicles manufactured at a certain facility during a certain period of time. This means that the damage will not be very widespread. In fact, you may be the only one to experience the defect at all. It also means that the company responsible for building the car would be the one liable for your injuries. Going back to the Pinto example, it could also be a third-party company that Ford contracted with.
One of the ways that drivers avoid collisions is by reacting. If you see a car merging into your vehicle, there are a number of things you can do to try and minimize the damage of the collision. You can hit your horn. You can slow down, hopefully allowing that vehicle enough space in front of you to avoid an accident. You can merge into the next lane over, giving the vehicle the space it needs to merge safely.
However, when it comes to auto defects, you often have no warning, and thus no time to react. If you knew that there was something wrong with your car, then you would take it to the mechanic to be fixed. But auto defects are often invisible, only noticed when something goes very wrong.
For example, if you were coming to a busy intersection with a red light, you would hit your brakes, trying to slow down. But if your braking system was defective, your car wouldn’t stop. Instead, you would plow into a busy road, potentially colliding with multiple vehicles. In this scenario, you had no time to react, and even if you did, without your brakes, there was not been much you could do.
Reaction time is key when it comes to keeping yourself as safe as possible while driving, so if that time is taken away from you, it can have disastrous effects. If you have been involved in a serious accident due to an auto defect, then you are likely dealing with severe injuries. Thankfully, you may have several options when it comes to filing a claim and recovering damages.
Anyone who is injured because of the product flaw can sue. This can be the vehicle's owner, the vehicle's driver and passengers, the driver and passengers of another vehicle, even pedestrians. If you were injured, you can file a claim. However, keep in mind that when it comes to auto defect accidents, you may not automatically know who is liable, as there are a number of hands that touch a product before it is installed into your car.
In a vehicle or vehicle part defect liability case, there are many potentially liable parties. Vehicles and vehicle parts are passed around before they finally end up with the consumer. First, they must be designed, then made, then shipped out, then picked up by a dealer or mechanic, and then sold. That means that there are a lot of parties responsible for keeping the car or the part in peak condition. If any of these parties fail to do that, then they could be held liable.
In our experience, there are a few parties that are more commonly liable than others, including:
- The vehicle manufacturer
- The product manufacturer
- The auto dealership or automotive supplies shop
- Any member of the chain of distribution, such as the shipper or other middleman
- In certain cases, even a used car dealer
- The mechanic
After determining who is liable for your accident, you will have to begin the claims process. Going through this process and coming out successful is easier said than done. The liable party is very likely to have an insurance policy, meaning that you will have to contend with an insurance company. These companies care most about their bottom line, and offering proper settlements will cut into their profits. You will need strong evidence and documentation to get the compensation you deserve. That is why, to help you win your claim, it will be helpful for you to provide us with the following documentation:
- A copy of the accident report
- A copy of the statement made by the investigating officer
- A list of witnesses or statements from those witnesses
- Contact information for the first responders and emergency personnel on the scene
- All appropriate medical records and bills
- Any paperwork pertaining to the purchase of the vehicle
- Any documentation regarding repairs or previous problems with the vehicle
If you were injured or lost a loved one due to a faulty vehicle or vehicle part, you could be entitled to damages for medical expenses, long term medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering, wrongful death, and more.
The legal team at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. is eager to help those injured due to faulty products. We can handle all the pretrial motions, filing, procuring of expert witnesses, and every other aspect of your case. If you have been wronged, you deserve excellent representation and compensation. Call our offices today, at (719) 475-2555 for a free and confidential consultation.
- Deadly Auto Defects: From the 1900s to Now
- NHTSA Urges GM Vehicle Drivers to Get Ignition Switches Fixed
- NHTSA Recalls 2.1 Million Vehicles for Air Bag Defects
- Automaker Honda Faces Fines for Failing to Report Injuries and Deaths
- Safety Issues & Recalls - NHTSA
- Recalls Look-up by VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)
- Is Your Car Under Recall & You Don't Know It? - Consumer Reports