Defectively Designed Autos And Trucks A Serious Problem

I attended the monthly luncheon of the Tarrant County Trial Lawyers Association today and heard an excellent presentation by well known Dallas vehicle defect attorney Todd Tracy on this topic.

What if you were driving your vehicle at a reasonable speed while wearing your seat belt obeying all the traffic laws and no other driver was being careless. You would think that you would be safe, right? But what if a part of your vehicle was defective and causes you to crash or you are in a collision and you are seriously injured or not protected by a vehicle component. Should the auto or truck maker be held responsible?

When a motor vehicle is improperly designed or manufactured and is unsafe for its intended use, it is considered to be uncrashworthy. Most motor vehicles are carefully designed and manufactured, but others are not. When an automobile manufacturer is careless in the designing or manufacturing a motor vehicle or attempts to cut corners on safety to improve profits, occupants are often seriously injured or killed.

The United States government has minimum safety standards with which all new passenger cars must comply.These standards help to ensure that vehicles are safe; however, compliance with these minimum standards does not mean that a vehicle is crashworthy or safe for its intended use. In many instances, automakers knew that their vehicles or components put consumers at risk, but did nothing to improve safety until many lives were lost.

Common problems include the following components:

Defective seat backs, head rests, or seat belts Problems with transmission or suspension Defective airbags Faulty brakes Defective tires/tread separation Improper design of gas tank Defective roofs and windows Inadequate maintenance of fuel lines
Many SUVs, pickup trucks and other types of passenger vehicles are overly susceptible to severe roof crush damage in a roll over accident despite compliance with the Federal minimum standards. “Roof crush” refers to the collapse of the vehicle’s roof into the passenger compartment.

Roof crush can be minimized or prevented in a roll over accident by designing the roof pillars and support structures of these pickups and SUVs with adequate strength to prevent intrusion into the passenger compartment. This intrusion or roof crush often causes severe head and neck trauma that can be fatal or leave occupants with such catastrophic injuries as quadriplegia, paraplegia, paralysis, spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury.

Many automobiles that comply with the federal minimum standards are still at risk of fuel fed fires which often result in death or severe burn injuries. The term “fuel fed fire” generally refers to post collision fires. These fuel fed fires are usually the result of fuel leaks due to defective fuel tanks, defective fuel systems or improper placement of fuel tanks or fuel lines so that they are at increased risk of being punctured. The presence of a fuel leak dramatically increases the risk of a vehicle catching fire after a collision.

The Law Offices of William K. Berenson has been pursuing justice for victims of personal injury and wrongful death since 1982. With more than 30 years of experience, we are committed to justice. We will pursue all legal options you have for securing the monetary compensation you deserve. Please contact us here or call us at (888) 801-8585 today.

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