Tag Archives: Best Product Liability Lawyer

Takata Inflator Investigation – Is Your Car’s Air Bag Defective?

Air bags are supplemental protection and are designed to work best in combination with seat belts. Both frontal and side-impact air bags are generally designed to deploy in moderate to severe crashes and may deploy in even a minor crash.

Air bags reduce the chance that your upper body or head will strike the vehicle’s interior during a crash. To avoid an air-bag-related injury, make sure you are properly seated and remember—air bags are designed to work with seat belts, not replace them. And children under 13 should sit in the back seat.

 

Defective Takata Air Bag Inflator Investigation

U.S. auto safety investigators have opened a new probe into 30 million vehicles built by nearly two dozen automakers with potentially defective Takata air bag inflators. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA) opened an engineering analysis into the vehicles manufactured between 2001-2019. The investigation has not been made public yet.

Go to safercar.gov to check the recall status of your vehicle.

 

Which Car Models Are Effected?

The new investigation includes vehicles assembled by Honda, Ford, Toyota, GM, Nissan, Subaru, Tesla, Ferrari, Mazda, Daimer, BMW, Porsche, Jaguar Land Rover and others. The 30 million vehicles include both vehicles that had the inflators installed when newly manufactured and inflators that were used in prior recalls.

Over the last decade more than 67 million Takata inflators have been recalled in the US and more than 100 million worldwide. This has been the largest auto safety callback in history because the inflators can send deadly metal fragments flying after a crash.

  • 2001-2002 Honda Civic
  • 2001-2002 Honda Accord
  • 2002-2003 Acura TL
  • 2002 Honda CR-V
  • 2002 Honda Odyssey
  • 2003 Acura CL
  • 2003 Honda Pilot
  • Certain 2006 Ford Ranger (Ford advises do not drive)
  • Certain 2006 Mazda B-Series (Mazda advises do not drive)

NHTSA advises that owners not drive these vehicles and seek immediate repairs.


MORE THAN 100 DEATHS HAVE BEEN DOCUMENTED WORLDWIDE, WITH MANY MORE NON-FATAL INJURIES.


 

NHTSA has said the cause of the inflator explosions tied to the recall of 67 million inflators is propellant breaking down after long term exposure to high temperature fluctuations and humidity. Vehicles in states such as Florida are susceptible to such climate factors.

 

What Constitutes A Defective Air Bag?

A defective air bag is one that contains a design or manufacturing defect that effects the safe function of the air bag. These can cause spontaneous explosions, failure to deploy in an accident and late deployment in an accident.

 

Who Is Liable?

Vehicle and air bag manufacturers may be liable for such injuries. Under product liability laws car dealers and repair technicians may also be liable. Finding responsible parties requires legal skill and experience and should be handled by expert personal injury attorneys.

 

Injuries Caused By Defective Air Bags

The type of injuries caused by defective air bags  can include: Puncture wounds

Lacerations

Skull fractures

Death

This can result in facial fractures, dental injuries, eye injuires and more.

Experienced personal lawyers can review and evaluate cases involving airbag injuries. To file a claim, the lawyer must establish a causation relationship between the airbag and the injuries. These are complex cases and must include input from experts such as reconstruction engineers, auto engineers and medical experts. These are complex cases with complex legal issues that require experienced lawyers.

Refer to the car wreck checklist for more info on what to do right after you’ve been involved in a car accident.

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you’ve been the victim of an accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe, or by requesting a free case review through our website.

Sources:
https://www.nhtsa.gov/recall-spotlight/critical-warning-regarding-certain-honda-acura-mazda-and-ford-vehicles-takata-air

https://www.consumerreports.org/car-recalls-defects/takata-airbag-recall-everything-you-need-to-know-a1060713669/

Who is at Fault for a Car Accident That Involves a Product Recall?

 

In many car wreck cases, a defective vehicle or vehicle component may be responsible for the crash and injuries sustained from the crash. Since the establishment of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recalled tens of millions of vehicles, motor vehicle equipment, and tires. Despite these recalls many car crashes are caused by these defects.

While there may be a negligent driver who caused the crash, an injured consumer can not only recover from the other driver but can also recover from manufacturers if defective equipment causes the crash or the injury.

In many cases, a defective seatbelt or airbag can lead to enhanced injuries.

Similarly, defective tires can cause a crash. In such situations, you need to have an experienced trial lawyer review the case for sources of recovery.

What Is a Product Recall?

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards are minimum performance requirements that apply to all vehicles and vehicle-related equipment. When a vehicle or one of its parts creates a safety risk or does not meet minimum standards it may be recalled. Not all defects are safety-related, some may be caused by ordinary wear and tear, and are not considered the basis of a recall. Car owners or their lawyers are encouraged to report safety defects to NHTSA, and it maintains a website that lists all investigations and recalls.\

Examples of Common Vehicle Defects

Most consumers assume that the vehicle they are driving is safe, particularly when they are driving a new car off the lot for the first time. Unfortunately, even new cars have defective products that can cause serious accidents and life-threatening injuries. For example, the defective ignition switches in General Motors cars caused over 50 fatalities, and the faulty Takata airbags that were installed in several car models were responsible for at least five deaths and 64 serious injuries. Takata recalled 1.4 million older driver’s-side airbag inflators on certain vehicles that were designed between 1995 and 2000 after it was discovered that some deflators deployed too slowly or ruptured if there was an improper amount of moisture in the inflator.

The following are other examples of product defects that can lead to product recalls:

  • Brake systems that malfunction
  • Defects in the vehicle’s electrical system
  • Faulty accelerators that either prevent the car from moving or cause it to accelerate too quickly
  • Fuel leaks that can cause a fire
  • Steering issues that can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle
  • Unsafe tires

Who is Responsible for Issuing Product Recalls?

The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards established a set a minimum performance requirement for the parts of a vehicle that have the biggest impact on safe operation, including the brakes, tires, and lighting; as well as the features of the vehicles that protect motorists from serious injuries or fatalities, including airbags, safety belts, child restraint, energy-absorbing steering columns, and motorcycle helmets.

If a vehicle or a specific product related to the vehicle does not comply with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, or if there is a safety-related defect in the vehicle or the equipment, and auto recall may be necessary.

Who is Liable if There is a Crash Involving a Recall?

An injured party may often sue the manufacturer, distributor, or seller of a defective auto or auto component under strict product liability theories of recovery. In such cases, the victim must show the product was defective, that the defect made the product unreasonably dangerous and that the injuries were caused by the defective product. The manufacturer can also be sued for negligence, negligent design and marketing, and for manufacturing defects. These theories are often joined in the same lawsuit.

If you think a product defect caused or contributed to your injury, it is imperative that you contact an lawyer and preserve the vehicle of the part to the best of your ability. These manufacturers aggressively defend their products, so it is most important to seek experienced legal counsel immediately. It is usually necessary to have experts retain and test these products so preservation if most important.

A Product Recall Does Not Automatically Get a Manufacturer Off the Hook

A manufacturer cannot use a recall to defeat any claim brought against it. The manufacturer must usually prove that the particular plaintiff directly received notice of the recall and that the recall adequately warned the plaintiff of the dangers posed by the defective product.

A broadly issued recall, unaccompanied by successful efforts to direct the recall notice to the plaintiff, is not enough. Also, the manufacturer cannot defeat the plaintiff’s suit by blaming a distributor or seller for not providing the notice directly to the customer—although the manufacturer may be able to sue the distributor or seller afterward, depending on the facts of the case.

Learn more about a manufacturer’s defenses in a product liability case.

What Should I Do if I Get a Product Recall Notice?

If you receive a notice, you should read it carefully. If it tells you not to use the vehicle until its repaired, you should immediately call the manufacture or dealer for instructions. There is always a recall hotline to call. You should then schedule a repair with an authorized dealer as soon as possible. There is generally no charge for such repairs. Failure to follow such instructions can adversely affect your case if there is a wreck.

Defective car products can cause death or catastrophic injuries. Bringing a claim for damages is difficult, expensive, and requires special expertise. If you have a claim like this, you need to seek counsel of an experienced board-certified civil trial lawyer.

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you’ve been the victim of an auto accident, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.

 

Sources:

https://blogs.lawyers.com/lawyer/automobile-accidents/how-does-a-product-recall-impact-my-car-wreck-case-66414/

https://www.findlaw.com/injury/product-liability/vehicle-recalls-and-defects.html

https://www.alllaw.com/personal-injury/how-a-recall-affects-a-product-liability-claim.html

Pensacola Product Liability Lawyer

What is “Strict Liability” in a Florida Product Liability Case?

Florida consumers are injured by faulty products every day. These products may be prescription drugs, household appliances, or construction equipment. Injuries are often severe and can result in death. When evaluating a case involving a product, the basis of fault must be considered by a Florida personal injury lawyer.

 

Negligence

In most personal injury cases, the plaintiff must prove the defendant was negligent and that the negligence caused the injury. The elements for a claim of negligence are a duty of care owed by the defendant to the injured party; a breach or violation of that duty by the defendant; injury caused by the breach and damages. Generally, there must be a relationship between the injured party and the defendant or a general duty to the public that is breached by the defendant (e.g.- careless driving that causes a crash).

In a product liability case, the breach of duty is likely to be a failure to design a safe product, failure to manufacture a safe product (a manufacturing error), failure to inspect a product for a dangerous condition or failure to test or adequately test the product. Failure to warn is also an important aspect in proving negligence.

 

Strict Liability

Florida adopted strict liability for products cases in the case of West v Caterpillar in 1976. Under this theory, the manufacturer or seller of a defective product can be liable even if its exercised all possible care. To recover under this theory, it must be proven that a defect was present in the product at the time the defendant parted possession and the defect caused the injury.

To recover the plaintiff does not have to prove the manufacturer dangerously designed, manufactured, tested, marketed, or warned about the product. The plaintiff simply must prove it was defective and unreasonably dangerous. This theory focuses more on the product than the actions of the manufacturer or seller. Often all the injured party has to prove is that the product did not perform as expected and caused an injury.

In such cases, the plaintiff will sue under allegations of negligence and strict products liability. Both theories have defenses that must be evaluated by an experienced trial lawyer.

 

The Role of the Trial Lawyer

In all product cases, there are complicated factual and legal issues. Often both parties will need to hire multiple experts to explain the problems of the product, and why it caused the injury:

  • The standards for expert testimony are complicated and often change, so the trial lawyer should be familiar with the laws of evidence.
  • The defendant manufacturer may be located out of state and even out of the country. This can present complicated jurisdictional and other legal issues that must be evaluated.
  • Choice of laws issues may affect recovery.
  • Finally, the statute of limitations may be affected by where the injury occurred. Normally, in product cases, the statute of limitations begins to run when it is known or should be known when the product caused the injury. Often that is not apparent. However, there is a “statute of repose” that cuts off claims after a certain date even if the injured party did not find out the cause until much later.

As you can see product cases required much complicated legal analysis. Simply alleging “strict liability” is not enough in most cases. You need an expert civil trial lawyer to evaluate and handle your claim.

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. ZARZAUR LAW’S AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you’ve been the victim of a faulty product, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions. Put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve. It is also important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.

 

Sources:

https://law.justia.com/cases/florida/supreme-court/1976/46709-0.html

https://zarzaurlaw.com/product-liability/

https://corporate.findlaw.com/litigation-disputes/summary-of-the-rules-of-evidence.html