Maximizing Recovery of Money in Car Wreck Cases
All lawyers who represent people in car wrecks see many cases where the at-fault driver has minimum liability insurance limits, usually $25,000. The impulse for most lawyers in these situations is to just settle the case for the policy limits. This can be a huge mistake. Likewise, all of us who do civil litigation for plaintiffs review many cases of single-car crashes. The impulse is to simply turn these cases down. Again, this can be a huge mistake.
In car accident cases involving death or serious permanent injury, it is critical for the lawyer evaluating the case to determine whether a defect in the car or truck might have caused or contributed to the accident.
Motor vehicles are complex machines that contain multiple systems for steering, stability control, and occupant protection. If any of these systems are defectively designed or manufactured this could give rise to a claim for a defective product.
In the mid-1990s a German auto supplier developed a system for electronic stability control. Most people are familiar with the problem of cars overturning under certain conditions. A vehicle rollover is an extremely dangerous situation that can cause death, traumatic brain injury, or permanent spinal cord injuries. Electronic stability control (ESC) is designed to lessen the likelihood that a rollover will occur. Almost all motor vehicles now have some form of ESC. If the ESC system is improperly designed, doesn’t work properly, or is simply absent, this could form the basis for a lawsuit against the manufacturer.
If a seatback breaks down or falls backward in a crash this can cause brain injuries or spinal cord injuries leading to paralysis. In these situations, it is important to have a lawyer who has the ability to evaluate the design and efficacy of the seatback.
Everyone is aware of the danger of a blowout. Loss of a tire can cause serious car crashes that lead to death or permanent injury. Issues surrounding bad tires are not just limited to cases where the tire blows out or deflates. Improper tire placement can also cause serious car accidents.
The airbag system is extremely complex and there are many cases of death or permanent injury caused by the failure of the airbag. Failure to deploy, lack of any airbag system, inappropriate deployment, and shrapnel – all of these can be catastrophic. Expert evaluation is usually necessary to determine what went wrong.
Seatbelts are intended to keep the occupant in the passenger compartment to ride down the forces in a crash. When the seatbelts fail to deploy this can lead to injuries from being thrown around in the car or worse, ejection from the car. Either of these can be life-threatening.