There are very few events in life that have the impact of a car accident. Even a minor accident can result in considerable financial damage to a vehicle in addition to possible injuries. And, serious accidents have even more impact when debilitating injuries or fatalities occur. Regardless of the factors surrounding any car accident, the fallout immediately after the collision can easily result in being apprehensive concerning what steps to take in an attempt to recover financial damages for personal property and subsequent injuries. The first thing to do in New York is always call an experienced Suffolk County car accident lawyer who deals with accident cases regularly and knows the quickest legal path to being reestablished.
What a Suffolk County Car Accident Attorney Can Do
Car accident claims always center on negligence. A car accident lawyer can compile all necessary documentation needed to support the claim that an injury occurred to their client, and that the respondent owed a reasonable duty of care to the client for their safety. The plaintiff counsel must then prove that the accident that caused the injury was the result of the respondent’s negligence. This sounds relatively simple, but car accident cases can be very complicated when there are multiple vehicles in involved or a tractor trailer rig has done considerable damage to several vehicles. A Suffolk County car accident attorney can also investigate the case completely for multiple negligent parties who may be pursued for damages as well. An effective Suffolk County car accident lawyer can then evaluate the accident reconstruction report for inconsistencies in an effort to lessen the comparative negligence percentage of the client when shared fault is a material factor in determining damages.
Comparative Negligence Law
One of the first defenses an insurance company will use is focusing on the negligence assessment of the injured plaintiff. This tactic generally only applies to drivers because injured passengers rarely have any contribution to the cause of a crash unless they have contributed to a distracted driving accident. Comparative fault is the legal notion that many accidents are caused by more than one driver and forcing one apparent negligent actor to bear all of the burden is not effective adjudication. This can be a highly contentious point when a car accident lawyer is negotiating a personal injury settlement because the percentage that is finally applied will be used to discount the total amount of damages owed if a case goes to trial. Insurance adjusters always work hardest in increasing this number for the injured plaintiff and a solid legal team is always necessary for an equitable settlement.
Car Accident Trials
Many times a Suffolk County car accident lawyer will want to take a case to trial in hopes of a punitive damage award when there is significant evidence of gross negligence. All typical car accident compensatory damages will include financial recovery for medical bills, lost wages, associated expenses, and non-economic damages for pain-and-suffering. In cases that also include wrongful death, there can be awards for loss of consortium for family members and loss of inheritance that is already legally established. Punitive damages can be applied in both personal injury and wrongful death claims, and these damage awards are actually what normally makes victims whole financially following a horrific accident. It is always important to retain a Suffolk County car accident lawyer who is diligent in comprehensive representation, including willingness to take a car accident case to full trial for full damages.
The size of the accident is not always an indicator of the potential size of a settlement when car accidents yield the possibility for several lawsuits such as product liability and wrongful death against major corporations with enormous assets. Never let the big companies run over you when pursuing rightful recompense. Get a solid Suffolk County car accident lawyer who will fight for all of your legal rights to financial recovery.
I was in a car accident, and the airbags in my car didn’t deploy. Do I have a case against the car manufacturer?
The purpose of airbags in motor vehicles is to prevent serious personal injury or death. They’re one of the most important safety features in any motor vehicle, but sometimes they fail to deploy when they should have. At other times they might deploy too late to prevent the types of injuries that they were designed to prevent. If an airbag fails to deploy or deploys too late, and you suffer serious injuries as a result, you might have a viable product liability case.
What is product liability?
Product liability involves a manufacturer being held legally liable for placing a dangerously defective product in the stream of commerce and into the possession of a consumer who is injured or dies from using it. Those who might be held liable for the injury or death can be legally required to compensate the user or the decedent’s family for the injury or death.
Types of product liability cases
Product liability cases can range from exploding hammers to defective airbag systems. These cases are broken down into three main types. Those are design, manufacturing and marketing defects.
These involve imperfections in the original blueprint of a product that render all products in that line to be dangerously defective. Even if the product was used in accordance with applicable instructions and the highest degree of care, it’s dangerously flawed and defective.
A manufacturer might deviate from the designer’s specifications and make a few of the products in the line dangerously defective. In theory, these are the easiest product liability cases to prove. One need only compare the original design standards with the defective product.
These turn on improper labeling or instructions for use. In the context of airbags, the failure of an external warning about having children under a certain height in the front seat might be a marketing defect.
When should airbags deploy?
You want your airbags to deploy if you’re in a crash of the type that you would otherwise suffer head, neck and chest injuries. Those would be crashes involving the front bumper or its corners. A minor front impact shouldn’t deploy an airbag.
Reasons why airbags fail to deploy
There are many reasons why an airbag might not deploy or deploy in a timely manner. Rear or side impacts shouldn’t deploy an airbag unless the vehicle was equipped with side airbags.
The second reason that they might not deploy is faulty airbag sensors or sensors that aren’t set appropriately. In other cases, the airbag control module doesn’t receive a signal from the sensor. In yet other cases involving cost cutting measures, there simply aren’t enough sensors to detect an impact that should deploy an airbag. All of these reasons in this second group can be tied into design defects, manufacturing defects or both.
Sometimes a passenger side airbag will deploy, but a driver’s side airbag won’t. That involves the third reason for failure to deploy. In most cases, this is the result of a defective spring in the vehicle’s steering column. The defect is more in the nature of a manufacturing defect due to inadequate quality control at the factory. Millions of vehicles have been recalled for purposes of replacing this spring.
Another cause of failure to deploy is that the sensor and module trigger deployment, but the airbag just doesn’t deploy. This appears to be another quality control issue, but more on the manufacturing defect side than the design defect side.
Product cases are expensive
Aside from medical malpractice actions, product liability cases are probably the second most costly cases to pursue. You’ll want to discuss your airbag deployment case with an experienced product liability litigation attorney from our offices. It’s strongly recommended that the airbag and component system be preserved. We will examine the system for defects. All appropriate medical records supporting your injuries, care and treatment must also be obtained and reviewed. We’ll probably want an engineer to review all of the facts and examine the airbag system. He or she will take all relevant facts and evidence into account in determining whether your airbag should have deployed and why it didn’t deploy.
Because airbag deployment cases are so expensive to pursue, most product liability attorneys limit their representation to victims who have suffered severe, catastrophic or fatal injuries due to failure to deploy. If you were seriously injured, or if a family member was killed as a result of the failure to an airbag to deploy in a crash, contact us right away. Case consultations and evaluations cost nothing, and if we’re retained by you, no legal fees are due unless we obtain a settlement or verdict for you. Contact us with your questions about an airbag that failed to deploy.