Defective Parts And Defective Car Designs Lead To Accidents Every Day
If you believe that you or a loved one has been harmed by defective car parts or a defectively designed vehicle, the most important thing you can do is contact an attorney right away. These cases require extensive investigation and evidence collection, so you need an experienced lawyer working for you and protecting your interests as soon as possible.
At Klest Injury Law Firm, we have spent more than 30 years serving those who have been injured or lost a loved one in car accidents involving defective parts and designs. When you entrust your case to our firm, this experience starts to benefit you right away. We know exactly what to look for to build a powerful case for you, and we avoid many of the pitfalls that can arise in these cases and surprise those who have never handled them before.
Below you will find information about some of the most common forms of auto defects. Even if the type of defect that you believe caused your accident is not listed, we likely can help. Please contact us as soon as you can to give us the time necessary to thoroughly investigate your case.
Defective Air Bags
Air bags significantly contribute to auto safety, but that doesn't mean they are perfect. Close inspection of car accident statistics tends to bear out what many people might already guess through common sense: A 200 mph explosion - such as the one that quickly inflates air bags - next to the head of a driver or passenger can be terribly hazardous in its own right. Sadly, the incidence of injuries due to air bag defects has only increased in the past two decades.
Bad Air Bag Designs
The principal ways in which defective air bags can injure people result from inadequate safety testing. Although many air bag designs effectively prevent major head injuries to 6-foot-tall men, the same often cannot be said for smaller women, children under 12 and infants. Without proper alignment and exhaustive testing, an air bag can easily do more harm than good. They can cause major face and head trauma, spinal injuries and asphyxiation (suffocation). Air bags that deploy at low speeds can create a secondary hazard as well - an obstructed view of the road precisely when it is most needed.
Failure To Deploy
The other major way that air bag defects manifest is in a failure to deploy at all. Many of us buy vehicles with the promise that their safety features will protect us in an accident, but since 2001 (the first year statistics for defective air bags were tracked), thousands of people have died in front-impact collisions in which the air bag never deployed. The number grows much larger when you add in side-impact collisions and other types of car accidents, painting a picture of a grave problem with defective air bags coast to coast.
Defective Seat Belts
Seat belt laws have saved many lives in the Chicagoland area and across the nation, but with increased use of seat belts has come a new problem: seat belt defects. These days, seat belt defects can take any number of forms due to the wide variety of latches, mechanisms and materials used in different makes and models of car.
Seat Belt Unlatching And Failure To Hold
The most common type of seat belt defect occurs when seat belts unlatch. Any number of design defects can lead to unlatching, but two in particular have been highlighted by analysis and precedent: GEN 3 unlatching and inertial unlatching.
- GEN 3 unlatching involves any seat belt manufactured under the GEN 3 design, which is characterized by a vertically mounted release button. In an auto accident, this button may be accidentally pressed by an elbow, arm or debris, especially in rollovers, opening the belt and leaving the victim unprotected in a crash.
- Inertial unlatching occurs when a front-mounted release button unlatches on its own by colliding with another object. Just as any object in motion will tend to stay in motion until stopped, a seat belt button slammed from behind will naturally "press in" from the front, releasing entirely and leaving a driver or passenger free to fly about the interior of the car. Both seat belt defects can lead to major brain injury, spinal injury, broken bones, paralysis, amputation and death.
Seat belts can fail in any number of additional ways, including failing to lock in an accident and failing to restrain a driver if the belt is door-mounted.
Accidents Caused By Tire Defects
If you have followed the news about SUV rollover accidents in the past 15 years, you know that tire defects often play a central role. It wasn't long ago that Bridgestone and Firestone were compelled to recall several of their most popular tire models due to what is known as tread separation. This major defect meant tires had a tendency to fail catastrophically at high speeds, rendering many cars and trucks immediately uncontrollable. The result: roof crush accidents, rollovers and an explosion in fatalities.
Tire Defects: The Problem Continues
Unfortunately, tire manufacturers still continue to produce tires of suspect quality. Tread separation remains a problem and you no longer need to drive a massive SUV to suffer the consequences. Normal wear on tires can cause them to explode or lose their tread in an instant, and today more than 10,000 people continue to suffer injuries in this way each year, including traumatic brain injury, spinal injury, broken bones and traumatic amputation.
Sadly, tires do not need to be in motion for a major accident to occur. Rims now contain a number of moving parts that can contribute to explosions when placed under pressure, especially if that tire is being changed by anyone other than a skilled technician. Explosions from defective tires and rims, even when the vehicle is at rest, can lead to major facial lacerations, blindness and brain injury, leaving victims unable to seek or maintain the kind of work they once did.
Let Us Help You And Your Family - Get Answers Now
Klest Injury Law Firm has long been in the business of helping victims of defective auto products. Whether the problem is an air bag defect, a tire defect or an issue with a seat belt, we offer unsurpassed experience in mounting effective litigation on your behalf. We handle all defective auto part and auto design cases on a contingency basis, meaning you do not pay an attorney fee unless we recover compensation for you. If you want to learn more, please contact us for a free consultation.