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 sustained.

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!

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