Motor Vehicle Defects Lawyers in San Antonio
Located in San Antonio, Texas, the motor vehicle defect lawyers at Felix Gonzalez Law Firm are committed to representing the seriously injured throughout Texas and the U.S. We believe the more information you have, the better position you will be in to make an informed decision regarding your accident and injury issues.
Accordingly, we are providing you with the following general information about defective vehicle products. If you have any questions regarding the following information or if you would like to discuss your particular automotive or trucking product defect situation with an experienced motor vehicle defect lawyer, please Contact Felix Gonzalez Law Firm for a free, confidential consultation. We have helped hundreds of accident and defective product clients, and we want to help you.
For a free, confidential consultation or further information on how our attorneys at Felix Gonzalez Law Firm can put over a decade of defective vehicle product experience to work for you, call us at (210) 298-6666 or toll free at (800) 519-2800, visit us at our office, or fill out our intake form on our Contact Us page. Discover how we earned our reputation for legal excellence and our track record of success.
Motor Vehicle Defects – An Overview
Most motor vehicles are safely designed and carefully manufactured. Some, however, are carelessly made or improperly designed. Poorly designed or defectively produced vehicles can be dangerous and can cause serious injury or death.
Responsibility for Defective Motor Vehicles
The laws governing responsibility for defective motor vehicles and what must be proven in court to establish liability vary from state to state. In most states, the parties who may held liable include:
- The vehicle manufacturer
- The manufacturer of defective component parts such as tires, seatbelts, airbages, etc.
- The dealer, if the vehicle was purchased from a dealer
Several different reasons exist for holding a party liable for harm caused by a motor vehicle defect. The three most common legal theories for finding someone liable are breach of warranty, negligence, and strict liability. An experienced Texas products liability attorney can advise you about the rules that apply in your state to your situation involving a defective motor vehicle.
The Concept of “Crashworthiness”
The most important concept in vehicle defect liability cases is “crashworthiness”. Crashworthiness is the ability of a vehicle to prevent injuries to the occupants in the event of a collision. During a collision, a vehicle’s occupants are subject to a number of forces that can result in injury, including rapid deceleration and rapid acceleration, depending on the direction of impact in the collision. Crashworthiness deals primarily with the ‘second collision’ that results from these forces, in which the driver and passengers collide against the interior of the vehicle. An effective crashworthy vehicle design will distribute these injurious forces over as great a period of time and distance as possible, including by directing them to parts of the body that are more capable of withstanding them. A clear example of an uncrashworthy vehicle is when in a rollover the roof crushes and deforms causing the occupants to come into contact with the roof and seriously injuring them.
Elements of a Motor Vehicle Defect Claim
Unlike an ordinary personal injury claim for negligence, in order to establish a vehicle manufacturer or seller’s liability for a vehicle defect, you do not need to show that they were careless, and that their carelessness led to your accident or injury. Instead, liability in Texas motor vehicle defect cases and in many other states is controlled by the doctrine of strict liability.
Vehicle Safety & Restraint Devices
Vehicle safety is a significant consideration, both in terms of liability for injuries resulting from automobile accidents, and when the average consumer is shopping for a new car. Every new passenger vehicle must meet federal standards specifying minimum safety levels, but this doesn’t mean all cars are equally safe. There still are important safety differences. Identifying the safest car on the road is impossible, but it is possible to shop for a safer car because some vehicle characteristics are inherently safer than others, and many automakers offer safety features beyond the required minimums.
Motor Vehicle Defects RECALLS
One of the most common vehicle defect issues faced by the public is that of safety recalls of a motor vehicle. Safety recalls are usually instigated by either the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the vehicle manufacturers themselves, in response to a discovered defect in a vehicle or a component of that vehicle. So it is important to understand the procedure that is followed in vehicle recalls, and the respective responsibilities of those involved.
Motor Vehicle Defects Resource Links
Consumer Complaints Search Engine
From the Office of Defects Investigation (ODI), part of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). Search for or file consumer complaints about vehicles, equipment, child safety seats, and tires.
Motor Vehicle Defects and Recalls Search Engine
The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) is an office within the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Search for defects and recalls on your automobile by make, model or component.
The Insurance Institute For Highway Safety
Nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing losses from vehicle crashes. News and data related to vehicle safety, including testing and vehicle ratings.