South Florida Defective Automobile Accidents Attorney
Injured From Defective Auto Parts?
The US Census Bureau reports that over 2 million people are injured in car accidents every year. A portion of these accidents are caused or made worse by defects in the way the car was designed or assembled. The front or rear end of the car might be too short to absorb the shock of the collision. A more obvious example would be a door latch that fails to hold. In cases like these, the manufacturer can be held liable to owe compensation to the victims.
Manufacturing defects in products are startlingly normal. People may think that a product design defect is very rare, but most new products are released into the market without adequate testing. The lack of testing, combined with improper instructions for usage, can often result in serious illnesses or physical injuries as a result of a poorly manufactured product.
Zimmerman & Fractman has helped South Florida residents with accidents caused by defective automobiles. For more information, call for a free consultation with our attorneys.
Is the Manufacturer Responsible for Your Injuries?
Under the doctrine of strict liability, the manufacturer is responsible for any injuries caused by the design of the car, or quality of its components, even when the driver caused the accident when there is proof of defects.
In a court case, the judge will try to evaluate the “crashworthiness” of the car – whether the car was designed to protect passengers from the force of the impact of the accident. For example, if the victim is thrown against a side door, she might have additional injuries because the interior handles were badly designed. Victims who might have walked away from a flipped car with a few bruises will probably have major injuries if the car roof collapses.
The manufacturer is also liable if the car was assembled carelessly, no matter how good the original design. Some parts, like tires, are made by other companies. If the tires are defective, then the tire company will be held to be at fault. If the defect is one that the manufacturer should have noticed, or if the manufacturer deliberately chose poor quality tires, then the manufacturer is also at fault.
Vehicle Safety Standards and Regulations
There are strict guidelines set forth by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for motor vehicle manufacturers that regard safety standards and regulations. The purpose of these regulations is to keep consumers safe.
Manufacturing an automobile consists of utilizing several precautions to prevent simple malfunction of components that house flammable chemicals throughout the automobile. Safety measures prevent fires from igniting in various events through reinforcing parts.
- Prevention of Fire – Automobiles must contain harmful and flammable chemicals in various locations throughout the body of the vehicle in order to perform properly. One has the right to assume a certain degree of safety while driving one’s car. Standard requirements keep the integrity of the vehicle’s fuel system safe. These standards change from time to time as technology improves. These guidelines lower the chance of injury or death due to fuel fire starting due to fuel spillage after a crash.
- Burn Resistant Materials – This is to minimize death or injury to passengers inside the vehicle by fire. In the event that a source of ignition generates inside the passenger compartment, the burn resistant materials are well worth having.
- Fuel Systems – Another factor auto manufacturers must adhere to is fuel systems that use compressed natural gas (CNG). This standard alone will reduce death or injury in the event of fuel leakage during and after an automobile crash. While the use of CNG is beneficial, container integrity is equally important. For this reason, guidelines are in place to ensure manufacturers adhere to certain specs for the containers that store the CNG as fuel in vehicles.
All makes of automobiles are susceptible to the possibility of automobile defects due to a design flaw. Two common defects that cause vehicle fires are post-collision fuel-fed fires and components not designed to minimize the risk of fire spreading. Realizing these risks force the safety administration to implement guidelines that are more strenuous for the future.
Then there are other manufacturing defects in products such as defective:
- Seat belts
- And more!
Automobile Blown Tire Accidents
The tires on your automobile are something that you do not tend to think about on a regular basis, but they are very important to the safety of you and your family when you are on the road. There are many things that can go wrong with a car, but nothing is quite as devastating at high speeds as a tire blow out. These accidents are very serious. These accidents cause individuals and families serious injury, and many times even death.
When an accident like this happens, there might be a lot of confusion as to why this happened. When this happens, it can be easy for individuals to start blaming themselves, but many times it is not the individual’s fault at all. Tires can look like they are perfectly safe, and an unexpected blow out can create a massive problem that has to be dealt with.
There are usually recalls that this blowout can be traced back to. When it comes to finding out you had a blowout related to a factory recall, there are serious repercussions for the manufacturer of these tires. There are many different tire manufacturers out there that have had recalls, and nearly 2,000 different tires have been recalled. This makes it very easy to trace your blow out back to a factory recall. The victim should not feel like it is their fault when a serious injury has occurred due to a tire blowout. The responsibility must fall on the manufacturer.
When it comes down to it, there are laws that force tire manufacturers to be responsible for the injuries that take place when a recalled product results in serious injury. You will most likely be entitled to a settlement, whether it is a personal suit, or a class action suit. These manufacturers must be responsible for their negligence, and if you would like to find out more about how you can hold them responsible, call a defective automobile product attorney at Zimmerman & Frachtman today.
Airbags save thousands of lives every year. These safety devices are essential to anyone traveling in a vehicle, be it the driver or the passenger. They are a mandatory feature on vehicles that are new. In fact, modern vehicles come with a number of airbags including front airbags, side airbags, knee airbags, window airbags, and so on.
Airbags typically require to be installed correctly and according to the norm specified by the Federal Safety Regulation Board. Despite their dependence, vehicle manufacturers sometimes fail to notice their mistakes and as a result, defective airbags cause serious safety hazards. Millions of vehicles get recalled due to carelessness and non-functioning airbags. Any defect in the airbags is likely to be pretty obvious if they overlook the standard features. Sometimes the airbags explode or fail to deploy. Other times, these devices open without warning or simply not efficient enough to prevent severe injuries or death.
As a consumer, it is in your best interest to familiarize yourself with the workings and safety features of an airbag, especially if you travel frequently in an automobile. There is not a lot of time between the notification that the airbag needs to be initiated and the actual deployment. Some drivers may feel that the way an airbag exposes itself is correct; however, if injuries occur because of the defective nature of the airbag, it is far from correct and steps should be taken to fix the problem immediately.
Types of Airbags
Airbags commonly used in newer model vehicles include, but not limited to:
- Front airbags – These airbags deploy from the dashboard or steering wheel to provide protection for the driver as well as the front-seat passenger.
- Side airbags – Side airbags deploy from the side doors to protect passengers from impacts during rollover accidents.
- Curtain airbags – These airbags are mostly found in vehicles that are equipped with modular facilities and deploy from the roof to protect drivers and passengers from head injuries caused during rollover accidents.
Airbags are said to be defective or non-functional when the following circumstances occur.
- Airbags fail to deploy during an accident
- Airbags automatically open without any incident or warning
- Deployed airbags explode causing serious injuries to drivers or passengers. The impact is substantially increased with flying metal objects or shrapnel.
- The manufacturer of the airbag fails to install it properly resulting in error during deployment.
- Airbags deploy when the speed is low or when the impact from the accident is minimal to nil.
- Defects in the ignition switch fail to deploy the airbags on time.
- Weight sensors that are faulty fail to turn on the airbags during a mishap.
- Front-seat passenger side airbags having occupant classification system or OCA defect.
The driver should take steps to secure appropriate legal representation to deal with a defective airbag injury. These steps will encourage the manufacturers to correct the problem and could end up saving lives in the future.
Human mistakes are one thing; careless errors, which could have been corrected before the vehicle was allowed to leave the lot are something entirely different. In 2014, there were many lawsuits for Takata airbags that were brought around the United States.
Takata Airbag Lawsuits
On Thursday, October 23, 2014, two U.S. senators demanded the appropriate authorities take the necessary steps to initiate a nationwide recall of over 7.8 million automobiles that may consist of a defective airbag, which launches metal shards into drivers upon impact.
Takata Corp, the second-largest airbag manufacturer in the world, is responsible for the installation of these defective airbags. What’s alarming about this fact is that it is estimated that between 2008 and 2014 they manufactured and installed approximately 23.8 million airbags, 7.8 million of which were installed in American automobiles from popular automakers such as:
- General Motors
If you purchased a vehicle from any one of these manufacturers in the last 6 years, you should learn more about your car model and what kind of airbags were installed. Because while you may assume the possibility of the defective airbag interfering with your life is slim, consider the South Florida woman who filed a lawsuit on October 24th as a prime example of why you should seek legal representation.
According to CBS Miami, a South Florida woman is currently feeling the devastating effects of being in a car accident with the defective airbags. Upon crashing her Toyota vehicle, the airbag propelled forward with so much force, that it literally threw pieces of metal into her face, which in her own words, left her in a predicament that made her feel like she was drowning in her own blood.
Ultimately, due to the shrapnel that was thrown in her face, her sense of smell severely diminished, she required 13 stitches, and accumulated a large hospital bill. And even though this incident may seem tragic, at least 4 people have died as a direct result of a defective airbag that was manufactured by Takata Corp.
Your Rights Pertaining To Filing For A Class Action Lawsuit
A class-action lawsuit is a legal term that is used to describe the scenario when several individuals sue on behalf of a larger group of individuals. This usually occurs when the number of people who are affected is so numerous that it would technically be impractical to have all the individuals file a lawsuit individually.
Although a settlement is given to all the people who are affected by the particular circumstance, the group of individuals that come together and initiate the class action lawsuit typically receives a larger compensation than the affected individuals as a whole. Therefore, if you have purchased a vehicle from one of the manufacturers that are listed above, between 2008-2014, it’s highly recommended that you seek legal advice.
Seat Belt Defects South Florida Lawyers
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death in the U.S. More than 35,000 people died from motor vehicle crashes in 2015 alone. It has forced the government to act and pass laws, including that vehicles be made with seat belts and the most recent “Click it or Ticket it” Florida law. While it has been shown that seat belts help save many lives, they can also cause problems, such as seat belt defects and failures. This is why it is important to hire an experienced seat belt defect attorney.
Cars are simply being equipped with sub-standard seat belts in some instances, and people are getting hurt as a result. The automobile manufacturers have to face some responsibility for their actions in this matter, and that is where helpful attorneys can step in. The Zimmerman & Frachtman attorneys ensure that their clients are represented fairly.
The courts have recognized and understood the need for seat belts to be worn, but also the dangers they can pose in some instances. Our attorneys are completely aware of situations where a driver may be injured by the very equipment present intended to protect them, such as seat belts and airbags. Drivers still have rights after enduring these kinds of injuries, so call us to learn more about what we will be able to do for you.
Defective Road Accidents
There are more accidents that happen due to faulty roads than we know of. Florida is actually home to one of the 5 deadliest roads in America. Interstate 95 Express Lane and I-75 in south Florida have ranked on the top dangerous roads in Florida list. Roads should be taken care of with taxpayers’ dollars; however, that is not always the case.
There are many different issues that could cause road fatalities due to poor road conditions including:
- Uneven or broken paving
- Missing guardrails
- Poor lighting
- Poor drainage
- Missing signs
There is no way to bring back someone after a horrible accident, but there are ways in which family members can be compensated for this negligence. Engineers and traffic safety planners know how poor the road conditions are in Florida, yet they still attempt to put off these repairs due to budget restrictions. This is negligence that results in fatal accidents.
The defective road attorneys at Zimmerman & Frachtman will help families of victims get the compensation that they need. Government agencies, construction companies, and other entities you may not even know are involved and can be very hard to deal with when you are trying to find compensation in a fatal accident. Our team of professionals will help you in your emotional time of need to get the compensation that your family deserves. No amount of money will bring back your loved one, but you can rest assured that we will help you fight to get the financial compensation that you deserve.
Defects and Successful Case Examples
There have been numerous successful lawsuits in the state related to manufacturing defects. These lawsuits have been brought against smaller and larger companies. Everyone from pharmaceutical companies to car manufacturers can be held accountable depending on the situation.
There was a high profile case where the motor company Nissan was sued because there was a manufacturing defect in some of their products. Their cars had a layer of sheet metal that was poorly constructed and did not meet safety standards. While the structure of the car and all the accessories were completely fine, the sub-standard material they used to construct the metal sheets caused significant problems for drivers.
Of course, the manufacturer will try to argue that the car met reasonable safety standards, and may also try to argue that there was something unusual and unforeseeable about a particular accident.
Contact an Experienced a South Florida Automobile Defect Attorney
It is important to find an experienced automobile defect attorney who has enough knowledge about automobile manufacture, including the most technical aspects of design, so that he can persuade the court that the manufacturer is wrong and that you are indeed entitled to compensation.
If you or someone you know has been injured by a defective auto part, such as an airbag, seatbelt, and other manufacturing defects in cars, it may be time to consult with a lawyer. Manufacturing defects lawyers are familiar with the law in such cases. Even if you think what happened was an accident, it is best to talk with a lawyer. They can tell you whether the incident occurred because of manufacturing neglect or through unfortunate circumstances.
To schedule a free consultation, contact Zimmerman & Frachtman at (954) 509-1900 or fill out our contact form online.