Houston Vehicle Defect Attorneys
Filing Claims Against Automakers
Automakers and companies contracted to make parts for them have a strict obligation to only produce and sell parts and vehicles that are safe and reliable. When a vehicle defect is not caught before the car reaches the market, it puts innocent consumers at risk of serious car accidents. Depending on how the defect came to be, the automaker, part manufacturer, or both could be accountable for injuries and damages suffered by those involved in a crash.
Did you get into a car accident that you think was caused primarily due to a design defect with your vehicle? Let Dunk Law Firm and our Houston vehicle defect lawyers know about it. We can use our extensive experience to investigate the cause of your accident and work alongside expert engineers if further evidence is required. Whatever it takes to secure the best possible outcome for your case is what we want to do.
Vehicle Defects That Lead to Collisions
Any part of a vehicle can be defective if made incorrectly. Not all parts will be dangerously defective, of course, but many can be problematic. Parts like the brakes, tires, steering wheel, accelerator, seatbelts, and airbags can all be extremely dangerous if defective.
How a vehicle part becomes defective is a different matter, though. In terms of product engineering, there are typically three ways that a part can be defective after the vehicle is sold to a consumer.
Three product defect categories are:
- Design: A vehicle or auto part is dangerous by design if it is designed to be unsafe, meaning it could never be safe for a consumer to use until the entire design is workshopped. SUVs with high centers of gravity are an example of design defects. The vehicle is designed to “stand tall” despite this naturally increasing its rollover risk.
- Manufacturing: A vehicle or auto part is dangerous by manufacturing if an error happens in between the design phase and the point of sale that makes it dangerous. For example, a vehicle’s axels are made from the incorrect metal due to an unnoticed mix-up at the manufacturing plant. The axels are now prone to breaking and causing a crash. This defect was not part of the intended design, and it happened before the vehicle was sent to the market for sale.
- Advertising: A defect by advertising occurs when marketing materials or instruction manuals for a vehicle or specific part are misleading, incomplete, or nonexistent. For example, if a vehicle does not include warning labels about the dangers of placing a child in a seat with an adult-sized airbag, then the manufacturer could be accountable for any injuries suffered by a child in that seat during a collision.
Getting to the root of the defect is a crucial step our attorneys must take if we want to strengthen your injury claim. While we look through all the details, we want you to rest and relax as best you can.
How Do I Check My VIN for Recalls?
After being in a crash that you think could have something to do with an auto part defect, you should head to the official National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website that tracks vehicle recalls:
- Click here to load the site
- Type in your car’s VIN
- Get information about any pending recalls
Where is my VIN?
You can find your vehicle’s VIN most easily by looking in the bottom corner of your windshield nearest the steering wheel while you are standing outside the vehicle. You can also call your local dealership to see if there are any other VIN locations in case you do not see it there.
If My Car Was Recalled, Can I Still Sue the Company for My Accident?
Keep in mind that an outstanding recall on your vehicle does not excuse the product defect, nor does it make you liable for your accident. Automakers still have a responsibility to ensure that everyone is aware of recalls and has an opportunity to act on the recall before an accident happens.
How Do I Know if My Car is Defective?
When a car is defective, there are several systems that tend to break or fail to function properly. You can avoid being involved in an accident resulting from a defective car by keeping an eye open for any of the following signs of an auto defect:
- The engine - stalling, failing to start, overheating, running "rough," misfiring, surging, etc.
- The brakes - vibrations, failure to stop, abnormal noises, etc.
- The transmission - jerking, slipping, hesitation, difficulty shifting, etc.
- The steering - vibrations, pulling to one side, etc.
- The electrical or mechanical systems - hazard lights coming on, tail-lights or headlights malfunctioning, door and window locks not working, etc.
- The coolant systems - fluid leaks, engine running hot, etc.
Any number of these defects could lead to a car accident. However, it's important to keep in mind that just because a car has these symptoms that doesn't automatically mean that it's defective. Sometimes age and hard use can lead to parts wearing out or needing to be replaced. A responsible car owner should watch out for these common maintenance needs and stay on top of it to avoid causing an accident.
Can I Sue the Car Manufacturer If My Airbags Don't Deploy?
Failure of an airbag to deploy in a crash can be a result of several different types of product defects:
- Defective crash sensors
- Defective electrical components
- Defective airbag design or manufacturing
In order to form a case for a defective airbag claim, you'll need to prove that the airbag should have deployed in the crash but did not because of a manufacturing defect. In turn, you'll need to prove that because the airbag did not deploy, you suffered worse damages than you would have if the airbag had deployed properly.
Dunk Law Firm Can Help – Just Call (713) 575-1991
Dealing with an automaker and the major insurance company that likely represents them is not something you probably envisioned yourself doing. To get the confidence and the experience needed to take on such legal opposition, let Dunk Law Firm act on your behalf. Our vehicle defect attorneys in Houston offer contingency fees, which means you do not pay us unless we secure a favorable outcome for your case, like a verdict or settlement.
To learn more, use an online contact form and our vehicle defect lawyers in Houston will get back to you as soon as we can.
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