While many of us worry about others on the road engaging in dangerous driving behaviors that can cause a car accident, we less often think about the component parts of our own vehicles that can be defective and malfunction. Our Lubbock products liability lawyers have seen a variety of automotive defects cause and contribute to motor vehicle accident injuries and even wrongful death. Even what may seem like the smallest component of your car, motorcycle, truck, van, or other vehicles can have serious consequences when you’re out driving on Texas roadways. You should take your vehicle in for routine maintenance and also check to ensure it is free from the most common automotive defects.
The process of filing a lawsuit to recover financial compensation when an auto accident injury involves a vehicle defect includes making claims against various parties, which could include auto manufacturers, parts manufacturers, and/or other parties that could be held liable for what happened. The complexity of these cases should not be underestimated, as they require a thorough investigation by season experts, including a thorough review of the vehicle itself from top to bottom, including the black box data contained therein. It is crucial to begin this process as soon as possible after the incident so no critical evidence is lost or deteriorates.
8 Top Vehicle Defects to Look For
Some car accidents result from vehicle defects instead of driver error or negligence. An automotive component part or a system within a vehicle may result from a manufacturing defect that affects many vehicles or involve a single defect that just occurred in your car. The most common causes of automotive defect-related car accidents include:
- Seatbelt Defects: Seatbelts are designed to properly restrain vehicle occupants in order to protect them in the event of a crash. When they fail to function properly, victims can suffer serious injuries and even death in what may otherwise have been a relatively minor car incident. Some seatbelt defects involve the failure to properly latch, seatbelts tearing or ripping, or failing to retract as they should.
- Airbag Defects: Defective airbags can fail to deploy, deploy too soon or too late, and/or deploy in a way that injures those they are intended to protect. Your lawyer will need to investigate how and why your vehicle’s airbag or airbags failed, identify who is responsible, and prove up your claims in court.
- Door Latch Defects: When you close your car door, you expect it to stay shut. A door latch defect can prevent that and leave you with a door flying open as you are driving down the road or highway, exposing you and other vehicle occupants to significant dangers. Lock failures, door handle malfunctions, defective latching systems, and more can all cause a door latch issue.
- Fuel System Defects: The parts of your car that house its fuel are crucial to keeping in working order or else a fire or explosion can result. The incorrect placement of fuel lines and fuel tanks, faulty fuel pumps or injectors, inadequate materials for connecting fuel systems, poor welding, and/or the lack of a cutoff device to stop the flow of gas during a collision, among other issues, can lead to deadly fuel system defects.
- Steering Defects: Fluid leaks, fluid contamination, temperature problems, faulty hydraulics, and more can make the steering column less reliable than it should be. Steering defects can make your steering wheel more difficult to turn, make it vibrate, or cause screeching noises when you turn it.
- Brake Defects: As you can imagine, car brakes are one of the most important features of any motor vehicle. Being able to slow down or completely stop as needed is imperative to a safe drive. Brake defects can involve missing brake pads, cracks in the brake drum or disc, use of substandard materials in the braking system, improper installation, and more.
- Tire Defects: You may have heard the phrase “tire blowout” before. Tire defects often cause a rapid loss of pressure in a tire which results in the driver’s loss of control and often serious if not fatal car accidents. Common tire defects include tread separation, sidewall failure, defective bead, inner liner defects, trapped air in tires, belt alignment problems, and more.
- Ignition Defects: Vehicles with defective ignitions can stall while you are driving them, creating havoc in the middle of a road, street, or highway. Multiple well-known automotive manufacturers have produced and sold vehicles with defective ignition switches which can lead to combustion and/or stalling.
Lubbock Auto Defect Attorneys
If you were injured or a loved one was killed in an auto accident caused by an automotive defect, it is important to gather evidence to support your claims including pictures of the vehicle and footage of the crash is available. Do not repair your vehicle before speaking to an attorney about the incident.
If you or a loved one were involved in a car crash caused by a defective automotive component part, please reach out to one of our car accident lawyers to schedule a free consultation. Auto defects can make insurance claims and other issues surrounding an accident complex and therefore should be handled by an experienced attorney who knows how to navigate a case like yours successfully.