Auto Accidents Caused By Defective Vehicle Design
Injured? Our San Francisco Injury Lawyers Can Help.
Let’s face it – despite the efforts of the automobile industry,
no vehicle can be designed to withstand all of the forces typically at
work in a severe accident. For example, most bumper systems are designed
to withstand a five mile-per-hour impact without much damage. However,
isolator/shock absorber/piston bumpers, foam core bumpers, and honeycomb
bumpers can, and often do, sustain significant damage in accidents occurring
as low a speed as 8 to 10 MPH.
Depending upon whether your vehicle is struck by a moving vehicle, or whether
your vehicle strikes a stationary object, other significant forces can
be brought to bear. The type of accident involved, the size and crash
worthiness of the vehicles, and the utilization of airbags, shoulder harnesses,
and seatbelts, all play an important role in the type of injuries actually
Common Injuries Sustained in Auto Accidents
Unfortunately, traumatic brain injuries all too often result from the acceleration/deceleration
forces involved in a
car accident. Soft tissues, including whiplash injuries, as well as spinal injuries
likewise are the all too common result of an automobile accident. Internal
injuries, bone fractures, contusions and abrasions are common injuries
sustained in an automobile accident. In many instances, symptoms of the
injuries can take up to seventy-two hours to manifest themselves.
Following an accident, if you experience dizziness, vision problems, headaches,
difficulty with memory and concentration, or sustain back pain, neck pain
or muscle aches, it is important that you consult with a healthcare professional
as soon as is possible. The insurance industry is not in the business
of paying claims. To the contrary, do not be surprised if the carrier
for the culpable driver denies that your injuries were sustained as a
result of the automobile accident. This is especially so where treatment
is not immediate or if the vehicles’ evidence little damage.
Just as there are a wide range of injuries that often times result from
automobile accidents, the symptoms from these injuries may take a significant
period of time before they manifest. This is especially so with individuals
sustaining diffuse axonal shearing, or other traumatic brain injury. Headaches,
blurred vision, dizziness, change in taste, smell or hearing, attention
deficits, and other concentration problems should be carefully monitored
by appropriate healthcare professionals.
Types of Auto Defects
Rollover accidents can cause a roof to collapse, thereby resulting in injury
to the occupants of the vehicle. As an occupant comes into contact with
any collapsing part of a motor vehicle, injury is almost assured. During
rollover accidents, it is not uncommon for passengers to be ejected from
the vehicle and severe injuries, including fatalities, result.
Car seating can also be a cause of significant injury. Remember, never
put children under eleven years of age in the front seat. According to
the NHTSA, these children should be seated in the back of the vehicle
with a seat belt and shoulder harness on. Extremely young children should
be placed in rear-facing infant seats, also in the back of the vehicle.
The primary consideration at work behind these guidelines is the danger
resulting from airbags. Airbags deploy in an extremely fast fashion. Generally,
a sensor, in conjunction with an onboard computer, decides whether or
not an airbag ought to be deployed in an accident. Often times, the sensor
is triggered by the change in velocity of the vehicle itself.
Airbags are known to cause fatal injuries in infants improperly placed
in the front seat. Injuries to adults can occur as well. These injuries
can include injuries to the head, chest, face, arms, eyes, and jaw. Fractures,
as well as bruises and abrasions are common. This is especially so where
the adult is sitting within a foot of the airbag console.
The restraint systems themselves – be they seatbelts or seatbelts
with shoulder harnesses – can likewise cause injury. All too often,
however, the benefits of utilizing such systems far outweigh the risks involved.
Who Is Responsible for the Accident?
Defectively designed and manufactured vehicles, as well as those vehicles
not properly maintained, can often be the cause of accidents. An automobile
manufacturer may be responsible under legal theories of strict product
liability where it is established that the design of the vehicle caused
harm to the operator and occupants. Similarly, an automobile manufacturer
may be held responsible under a legal theory of strict products liability
where a manufacturing defect so caused the accident, or where the manufacturer
failed to warn the consumer about a known defect.
Other legal theories may include breach of the implied warranty of merchantability,
breach of the implied warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, breach
of warranty of title and sales contracts, and products liability –
negligence. Scarlett Law Group promptly investigates the cause of the
accident. No stone is left unturned during the investigative process.
From driver negligence, to products failure, Scarlett Law Group analyzes
all causative factors involved in a collision.
Have you been involved in a serious auto accident? Call the San Francisco
injury attorneys at Scarlett Law Group today at (415) 688-2176 for a
free, no-risk consultation!