This may sound like a strange question at first, but then you may recall seeing those news stories about vehicle recalls and injuries to drivers when unexpected malfunctions happen.
These single-vehicle injuries represent only a small percentage of personal injury cases. Still, nonetheless, they need to be investigated and may require representation by an experienced law firm like The Fran Haasch Law Group. We have a dedicated team of car accident lawyers in Clearwater.
Bodily Injury Without a Collision?
Today, vehicles are manufactured with many highly technical features that increase the potential for malfunctions if not properly tested on all vehicle models. Some feature defects may not be discovered for years until after vehicle models have been on the road.
Furthermore, automobile manufacturers may not reveal the defects until publicity increases due to the number of victims involved, and more car owners become more concerned about the safety of their cars. Unfortunately, a vehicle manufacturer may not issue a recall until well after many people have experienced serious injuries or even fatalities.
Vehicle Features Can Cause Harm
Some vehicle features designed to improve safety and comfort may actually cause a great deal of harm. For example, there have been instances where a parking brake fails, rolls forward, and crushes someone. There are cases where an airbag may not fully inflate, or it may not inflate at all.
Self Driving Vehicles
Now that there are self-driving vehicles without a human operator on the road, there is potential for operation errors to occur, leading to personal injury. These vehicles function by using multiple sensors around the vehicle to detect their surroundings. If there is a sensor malfunction, the self-driving vehicle may not detect a traffic light change or an approaching vehicle or pedestrian, resulting in a serious personal injury accident.
Self Starting Engines
Another new feature with the potential to cause injury is a self-starting engine. This feature enables a car’s engine to ignite without using a typical key. The feature also allows someone to start the engine remotely with a button on a special key fob. It’s convenient to start the engine remotely, but there is a potential problem when there isn’t a standard across car models to notify an owner that the engine is still on.
The fumes generated from an engine’s combustion are harmful and life-threatening. If an engine is still on while a car is in a garage, the hazardous fumes emitted from the vehicle may build up inside a home and cause serious injuries to anyone inside the home.
What to Do If You Have Suffered Injuries Without a Collision
If you have been injured by a car without a collision, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. After seeing a doctor, you should contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, and an experienced lawyer will be able to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Car Accident Claims vs. Product Liability Claims
Car accident claims and product liability claims are two different types of cases. Car accident claims are based on the theory that the driver of the car was at fault for the accident. Product liability claims are based on the theory that the car itself was defective.
Filing a Car Accident Claim
Florida is a no-fault state and requires all drivers to carry personal injury protection insurance (PIP) and property damage liability (PDL). PIP will cover up to $10,000 in medical expenses and lost wages, and PDL repairs or replaces another driver’s vehicle if you’re at fault for the accident. You would file a claim with your own car insurance company in a car accident claim.
Claims for car accidents usually move faster than product liability claims. This is partly because your auto insurance company covers your car accident injuries regardless of who the at-fault driver is.
If there is an at-fault driver, and your coverage is maxed out, you would file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. You will need to prove their negligence contributed to the auto accident to do this. This is typically done by providing evidence such as the police report and pictures of the accident scene.
Product Liability Claims
If there is something wrong with the design or manufacture of the car, it can make the car dangerous to drive. This is why there are laws in place that hold car manufacturers accountable for any injuries or deaths caused by their defective products.
Product liability laws protect consumers from injuries caused by defective products. These laws also apply to cars. If a vehicle is defective and causes an injury, the manufacturer can be held liable. For example, if a car has faulty brakes, and this causes a pedestrian to be hit by the car, the manufacturer can be held responsible. If you can prove that the design or manufacturing of the car was defective, you may be able to sue the company that made the car.
Identifying the Potential Defendants in Your Case
The potential defendants in your product liability claim will depend on the facts of your case.
You can include both the manufacturer of the defective part and the product’s manufacturer. For instance, if you were injured by a car with an exploding engine, you may file against the car manufacturer and the engine manufacturer.
Even if the retail store didn’t manufacture your car, they may still be liable for selling you a defective product.
A Wholesaler or Distributor
The “middlemen” between the manufacturer and the retailer, such as the wholesalers, suppliers, or distributors, may also be held liable. Each party is part of the distribution chain for the defective product and, therefore, potentially liable in your lawsuit.
Can I File an Auto Insurance Claim and Product Liability Claim at the Same Time?
You can file an auto insurance claim and product liability claim simultaneously, but you will likely need to hire a lawyer to help you with your case. Auto insurance companies are notoriously difficult to deal with, and you will need someone on your side who knows how to navigate the system.
Product liability claims can be complex, and you will need to prove that the car was defective and that the defect caused your injuries. A lawyer will be able to help you gather the evidence you need to build a strong case.
Recovering Damages from the Manufacturer for An Accident
If you have been injured by a defective car, you may be able to recover damages in a product liability claim. These claims are typically brought against the company that made the car. The types of damages you can recover will depend on the facts of your case, but they may include medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Contact Our Car Accident Lawyer Team Today!
A skilled personal injury lawyer can guide product liability law if a malfunctioning or defective vehicle feature has injured you or someone you know.
At The Fran Haasch Law Group, our car accident lawyers are experienced in representing victims of poorly designed or inadequately tested vehicle features. They will put our clients’ needs first in dealing with claims against the insurance companies.