Crashworthiness in Car Accident Cases
Nashville Auto Accident Lawyer Explains Vehicle Safety Standards
Even though car accidents should never happen, vehicle manufacturers must take into account the fact that they do. A car’s design must be as safe as possible in case of a crash. For this reason, safety measures like airbags and seatbelts are standard safety requirements. A safe design makes a car “crashworthy.” However, when car designers and manufacturers neglect certain precautions and considerations, a passenger may sustain unnecessary injuries during a crash. In these cases, you may be able to file a product liability claim for car defects against the manufacturer responsible.
After a car accident, it is not always clear if defective parts or a flawed design caused your injuries or a loved one’s wrongful death. However, Nashville auto accident lawyer Stanley A. Davis can investigate your crash and uncover the cause of the damage. If a faulty design contributed to the crash, he can assist you in holding the manufacturer accountable for these defects. In the past, he has helped thousands of car accident victims throughout Tennessee obtain successful verdicts and settlements in personal injury lawsuits.
What is Vehicle Crashworthiness?
In car design, “crashworthiness” refers to how well a vehicle keeps the driver and passengers safe during an accident. A car that is crashworthy will protect occupants from serious personal injuries during an accident, if possible. Features such as front and side airbags, seatbelts and reinforced roofs all contribute to a car’s crashworthiness. In addition, modern vehicle designs include a crumple zone which absorbs much of the force of a potentially deadly crash. Even the design and manufacture of a car’s tires contribute to its safety during a crash. In a crashworthy car, all of these features work together to protect passengers.
However, car defects can reduce a car’s crashworthiness and endanger occupants in the event of a wreck. For example, if an SUV’s design lacks a reinforced roll bar or other safety measure, the roof may collapse in the event of a crash. This can cause serious traumatic brain injuries and wrongful death, even in a relatively low-speed accident. In this case, a design defect results in a vehicle that was not crashworthy.
Who is Responsible for Injuries Caused by Uncrashworthy Vehicles?
Crashworthiness depends on a vehicle’s design and manufacture, so any company involved in the production of the car may be to blame for injuries caused by a dangerous car. In a product liability case for crashworthiness, possible defendants may include:
- Automobile company. The company that sells the car is almost always liable for injuries caused when a vehicle is not crashworthy, especially when design defects are to blame.
- Manufacturing plant. Even if a vehicle’s design is crashworthy, manufacturing defects can render a vehicle unsafe in an accident. For example, if the manufacturer uses substandard materials to make the roof of an SUV, it may collapse during a rollover accident, regardless of the design.
- Defective parts manufacturer. Many different companies often provide components for a single car. If any of these parts contain defects, you may be able to include the parts manufacturer in your product liability lawsuit. For example, many companies issued recalls for vehicles that contain defective Takata airbags. In a crash, these airbags can cause serious injuries due to manufacturing and design defects. As a result, vehicles that include Takata airbags are not crashworthy.
Personal injury claims involving crashworthiness are different from other product defect cases, which typically involve car defects that cause accidents. However, in crashworthiness claims, the cause of the crash generally does not matter. Instead, you may hold car companies accountable for excessive injuries that resulted from any wreck.
Hurt by Car Defects? Get a Free Review with Our Nashville Auto Accident Lawyer
Car companies are responsible for creating vehicles that are safe not only when driving but also in the event of a crash. If you or a loved one suffers additional, preventable injuries during a car accident due to auto defects, you may be entitled to compensation through a product liability lawsuit.
Crashworthiness cases are often complex and difficult to prove. However, car accident attorney Stan Davis has experience investigating claims involving car defects throughout Tennessee. He will listen to your story, and can explain whether you may have a product liability case. Contact him online or call our Nashville office for a free initial consultation.