Santa Barbara Defective Auto Part Lawyers
Representing Auto Part Defect Victims
There is no greater nightmare than hitting your brakes and realizing that your car hasn’t slowed down at all. No matter how hard you pump the brakes, your car continues to speed forward, closer and closer to the traffic ahead of you. While this may sound like an unlikely scenario, it is all too familiar to those who have experienced brake failure. Sadly, there are a number of ways that your car could betray you while you are on the road, and none of them are easy to recover from.
We at Nordstrand Black PC are dedicated to and passionate about helping others. That is why we work so hard to ensure that our clients get the compensation they both need and deserve. If you or a loved one have been injured due to an auto defect, call our firm at (866) 298-2041. Our Santa Barbara auto part defect attorneys are prepared to fight for you.
Manufacturing Flaws vs. Design Defects
When it comes to defective auto parts accidents, there are two main causes: manufacturing flaws and design defects. The category that your defect falls under will determine who is liable and who you should file your claim against.
Manufacturing flaw: When a car or car part is being built and put together, an error may be made that makes the car or the part defective. This could have been because of an oversight at the factory, a slip up at the mechanic’s, or even a mistake at the dealership. When it comes to manufacturing defects, a number of parties could be liable.
Design defect: On the other hand, a defect could be on the design level. Meaning that even when the car or car part is constructed correctly, there will still be a flaw in the way it performs. When the design of an auto part is defective, then the company responsible for the designing and creation of that part is liable and should take the responsibility to fix the issue, similar to the 2009-2011 Toyota recalls.
Common Kinds of Auto Defects
There are countless ways that a car or auto part could be defective. As passionate auto accident attorneys, our team at NordstrandBlack PC has worked with many clients who were injured in serious auto accidents and understands how auto parts and cars should operate properly. While any part of a car could become defective, in our experience, the most common defects include:
- Defective brakes
- Fuel system malfunctions
- Defective airbags
- Door latch failures
- Weakened roofs
- Malfunctioning seat belts
- Weak or torn tires
- Defective acceleration controls
- Faulty wiring and electrical systems
Any one of these defects could easily and swiftly lead to a severe car accident and catastrophic injuries. A defective brake could leave a driver unable to slow down and to slam, at a high speed, into traffic. A malfunctioning seat belt could unlatch after a collision, allowing an occupant to be thrown about, or even out of, a car. A weak tire may pop for no reason, causing the vehicle to spin out of control.
In any of these scenarios, vehicle occupants are unlikely to walk away unscathed. The injuries experienced will cost you a small fortune in medical bills, as well as forced time off work and the enjoyment of life. That doesn’t even include the deep psychological pain accident victims find themselves in after such a traumatizing event. Thankfully, a successful claim may needed closure.
Defective Auto Parts and Liability
After a typical car accident where one driver collides with another, determining who is liable can be simple. Auto defect accidents, however, are far more complex. There are multiple potentially liable parties in a defective product case, each with their own hand in making sure that a vehicle runs smoothly.
The manufacturer: The people who design and construct your vehicle have a responsibility to make sure all of their products are constructed properly and safely. There are many tests that a car manufacturing company should run on their vehicle before selling it, and if they neglect these tests or fabricate the results, they should be held accountable.
The shippers: When a vehicle is finally manufactured, it is then shipped to dealerships via shipping companies. These companies are supposed to take precautions to make sure that the vehicles don’t become damaged while being moved. If they don’t, there could be serious consequences.
The dealership: Similar to the shipping company, a dealership has a responsibility to make sure that its cars stay in good condition while they wait to be sold. Dealerships should also make sure that any parts they sell for their cars also remain in good condition; otherwise, they could be held liable.
The mechanic: After buying your car and putting some miles on it, you will probably take it to a mechanic for a general check-up and some maintenance. If the mechanic misses a clear defect, or they install a part that they know may not work properly, then they may actually be the party responsible for your accident.
Even if the other driver was negligent, if a vehicle was defective, you still may be able to hold one of the above party’s liable if you are injured in an auto accident.
Your Accident and Recovering Compensation
After you know which party is liable for your injuries, you will need to calculate just how much they should give you in compensation. In order to do that, you need to understand the two categories that you can claim damages for. The first is economic damages; all financial losses you have suffered as a result of the accident. You may calculate your compensation based on:
- Medical bills, past and future
- Lost wages, past and future
- Property damage
- Loss of a career
- Other costs incurred due to the accident
You can calculate the cost of economic losses by keeping bills, receipts, pay stubs, and quotes. From there, you can add up all of the monetary losses you have experienced and come to a sum that you can expect to be compensated for.
But what about the pain and debilitating injuries the accident left you with? Your suffering doesn’t have a clear price tag but should still be compensated. These are your non-economic damages. Non-economic damages allow you to receive compensation for all of your suffering that does not have a direct monetary value. For example, you could claim for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Lowered quality of life
Calculating intangible and subjective non-economic damages can be difficult; There are no bills or receipts to show to the liable party’s insurance provider. That, however, is exactly why you should seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you determine how much you are owed.
We Want to Help
Nothing is more traumatic than a sudden and unexpected accident, especially when the cause of the accident was another driver’s or your own vehicle’s breakdown. Our Santa Barbara auto accident attorneys at NordstrandBlack PC firmly believe that manufacturers, design teams, dealerships, and mechanics should be held accountable when they neglect to keep their customers safe. If you were injured due to a defective auto part, call us at (866) 298-2041 to get the legal help you need.