Tuesday, September 22, 2015

How Defective Airbags Can Cause Injury?

Every vehicle manufactured in the United States now comes equipped with airbags to protect motorists in the event of a collision. When the car detects a collision, the airbag deploys almost instantly and the large balloon hopefully protects the vehicle occupants from hitting their heads on the dashboard, steering wheel, or windshield. Additionally, in the event of a rollover accident, side-impact airbags can keep an occupant from being ejected from the car. Airbags have, in short, become an important safety feature that is believed to have prevented numerous injuries in car accidents.

Despite the increased safety of having properly functioning airbags, many motorists suffer serious injuries as a result of defective airbags. Like any other type of manufacturer, the makers of airbags have the legal duty to design, assemble, and install airbags in a manner that is safe for motorists. If an airbag has a defect, it can malfunction and result in serious or even catastrophic injuries from motorists. In such cases, you can bring a legal claim against the negligent manufacturer under products liability law.1

Common airbag defects that lead to accidents
The following are some of the ways that airbags can commonly cause injuries:

- Fail to deploy in the event of a collision, which may result in serious head trauma, brain injuries, and other serious injuries.

- Deployment with too much force that may cause facial fractures, broken hands, wrists, and arms, and burns.

- The balloon bursts upon deployment, causing shards of metal and other internal pieces to fly out toward motorists, causing severe lacerations, eye damage, brain injury, puncture wounds, and more.

- The airbag deploys suddenly when no collision has occurred, causing the driver to lose sight of the road and often ending in a serious collision.

Has your airbag been recalled?
When an airbag manufacturer realizes that accidents, injuries, and deaths are happening as a result of malfunctioning airbags, the manufacturer has the legal duty to issue a product recall through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).2 Through such a recall, consumers who own potentially affected vehicles can take their cars in and have the airbag repaired or replaced to avoid the malfunction in the future. Unfortunately, many consumers may not realize that their airbags have been recalled because they are not familiar with the process. NHTSA has a search tool3 that allows you to enter your vehicle identification number (VIN) to see if your vehicle is the subject of any type of recall, airbags included.

Lawsuits involving defective airbags
If you have sustained injuries in a collision that you believe happened due to a defective airbag, you have the legal right to hold the manufacturer liable for your losses including medical bills, lost wages and benefits, suffering and pain, permanent disability, and more. In order to do that you must prove that the manufacturer did one of the following:

- Negligently designed the airbag or airbag component with an inherent flaw.

- Negligently manufactured the airbag, either through incorrect assembly, inadequate materials used, or other mistakes.     

- Failed to warn of potential dangers of the airbag.

Products liability lawsuits can be complex, especially since you are usually facing off against a large corporation. For this reason, it is important to have a car accident attorney on your side who knows how handle the complicated issues that may arise in this type of case.

Discuss your injuries with a qualified St. Petersburg products liability attorney

Defective airbags can malfunction when you least expect it and can cause severe crashes and injuries, especially if you are traveling at high speeds or on a busy road when the malfunction occurs. Any manufacturer that has produced and sold defective airbags should be held fully responsible for its negligence and injured victims should receive the full amount of compensation to which they are entitled under the law. The experienced auto accident lawyers at the Dolman Law Group have represented the best interests and legal rights of numerous car accident victims. If you have been in an accident in or around St. Petersburg, please call our office today at 727-222-6922 for a free consultation.

Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712
(727) 222-6922


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Liability Issues in a One-Car Collision

Car accidents are often traumatic, but they can be especially stressful if you are the only one involved. If you crash your car and then get out to discover no one else was involved, you may immediately worry that you will be held responsible for all of the damage. This is not always the case, as other parties can be negligent and cause or contribute to your single-car collision. The following are some examples of common causes of single-car collisions:

Automotive defects – When you purchase a vehicle, you should be able to trust that it has been safely designed and manufactured so that it is safe for you to operate. However, cars have many different parts and manufacturers can make mistakes like anyone else. When an auto manufacturer negligently sells a vehicle with defective parts, there is the risk that the part may malfunction and lead to an accident and this is often the cause of single-car collisions. If you are driving and your tire suddenly blows out or your brakes unexpectedly fail, you may understandably lose control and crash your car. In such situations, the manufacturer responsible for the defective part should be held liable for your losses under the legal principle of products liability.1

Road defects – Another common reason a driver may lose control of a vehicle is a defect or hazard in the roadway. The government has the duty to keep roads safe for use and free from possibly dangerous conditions. Unfortunately, some entities fail to properly inspect the roads to identify potential issues or to maintain problems when they do arise. Allowing large cracks, potholes, uneven lanes, or obstacles in the roadway can easily cause a driver to crash their car. Additionally, if a road is designed with dangerous curves, dangerous intersections, speed limits that are too high, or other defects, single-car collisions can occur. Bringing a legal case against the government can be complicated and can have different deadlines and procedures due to the applicable Florida laws,2 so it is important to have an attorney who understands this type of case.

Other negligent drivers – Even if you are the only one who actually crashes, another driver may still be at fault for the crash. For example, a distracted driver or drunk driver may accidentally veer into your lane, causing you to swerve to avoid a collision with them and sending your vehicle off the road. This type of case is difficult, however, because often the negligent driver may not even realize their actions and may simply keep driving, making it nearly impossible to identify them and hold them responsible. If you have uninsured motorist coverage, it may cover your damage though the company will often have specific requirements for single-car accidents caused by such “phantom vehicles.” For example, you must report the incident almost immediately to your insurance company and/or law enforcement. Additionally, your insurer will usually require some type of corroboration of your claim that a phantom vehicle caused the crash. An experienced Florida attorney can help you navigate the insurance claim process and a civil suit if appropriate in your case.

No matter what caused your single-car collision, a resulting legal claim can be complicated. With the help of a qualified attorney, however, you have the chance to receive the same compensation you would deserve in any type of auto accident.

Call our experienced St. Petersburg auto accident attorneys for assistance today

At the Dolman Law Group, we understand that there are many different potentially negligent parties in every type of accident. We never assume that a driver is at fault simply because they were involved in a single-car accident. Instead, we listen thoroughly to your version of events and conduct an investigation into all of the circumstances surrounding your collision, including other drivers, road conditions, possible vehicle defects, and more. We gather evidence such as video surveillance, photos, witness interviews, and expert analysis in order to sufficiently prove the negligence of another party so that you can fully recover financially. We offer free consultations, so please call today our office in St. Pete at 727-222-6922 to find out how we can help you.

Dolman Law Group
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712
(727) 222-6922