Protecting Consumer Rights After Serious Car Crashes
It’s understandable why you’d want to file an injury claim against the driver who caused your car accident and injuries. Rear-end collisions, for example, seem obvious at first glance. However, there are some cases where drivers aren’t at fault. Sometimes, defective vehicle parts can create complications and dangers for drivers and lead to accidents and injuries, none of which are the fault of the driver. If you’ve been injured by an automotive defect in Indianapolis, you can call our lawyers at Christie Farrell Lee & Bell to take advantage of your free consultation regarding your potential product liability claim. We regularly help individuals who have been wrongfully harmed by defective tires, brakes, and other vehicle parts and know how to strengthen your claim so we can win the compensation you deserve. With over 120 years of experience under our belt, we know what it takes to serve our community’s needs.
Our lawyers can investigate your car accident to determine whether a negligent manufacturer can be found at-fault for your injuries. Contact us online or by phone for a free consultation at (317) 245-3709.
Common Types of Vehicle Defects
A vehicle defect is a flaw that has been made in a motor vehicle or vehicle part, whether it was made at the design or manufacturing stage. This flaw creates dangerous conditions for the driver as well as anyone within the driver’s vicinity, from other drivers and passengers to nearby bicyclists and pedestrians. This is why you may have seen commercials or statements of recalls issued by various manufacturers. In 2014, for example, General Motors issued a recall involving over 30 million vehicles after they discovered that defective ignition switches in certain cars led to over a hundred injuries and dozens of deaths.
Some common types of vehicle defects that lead to injuries and fatalities include:
- Seatbelts: When it comes to vehicle safety, the seatbelt is perhaps the most important innovation in the industry. Unfortunately, seatbelts have been known to be defective throughout the years. One prime example is seatbelts with broken latches that don’t allow the belt to secure. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, around three million people are injured by seatbelt failures every year.
- Airbags: Airbags are meant to deploy properly and protect us from impact in the event of a crash. However, some airbags have been known to explode, suffocate individuals, or fail to deploy entirely. The most famous example is the Takata airbag recall after the company’s airbags spewed shrapnel on drivers and passengers.
- Braking systems: We all need our braking systems to function as intended—the dangers involved with defects are obvious, as we need the ability to stop before we crash into stopped cars or drive into busy intersections. Braking system defects can lead to serious injuries like paralysis, traumatic brain injuries, and crushed limbs or bones.
Other types of vehicle defects our firm has seen over the years include defective tires, roof collapses, fuel system defects, and other errors that lead to sudden acceleration. If you’ve been seriously harmed in a car crash, call our firm to investigate your accident. There may be some details you’ve missed that we can collect to determine whether a manufacturer is to blame.
Who Is At Fault for My Injuries After an Accident?
There are various parties who may be liable for your damages after a vehicle defect caused your accident. It’s possible that multiple entities can share the blame, too. When it comes to product liability, companies have a legal responsibility to ensure the auto parts they’re manufacturing and selling are safe.
Possible at-fault parties can include:
- Car manufacturers: In many automotive defect claims, the manufacturer is at fault when they fail to issue recalls or warn consumers about the dangers involved with their vehicles. They’re generally responsible for any errors made during the manufacturing process.
- Part manufacturers: Sometimes car manufacturers use vehicle parts that have been made by other companies. In these specific instances, you may be able to file a claim against the company responsible for making the specific part that led to your accident and injuries.
- Third parties: Any other party that had a role in the distribution process can be at fault for damages if negligence can be proved. One example of a negligent third party is a shipping company that causes vehicle defects when moving or distributing vehicles.
Filing Claims in Indiana
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Indiana, you have two years from the date of your crash to file a claim citing negligence. Indiana’s statute of limitations may seem like an adequate amount of time, but gathering the evidence you need and calculating the extent of your damages while your injuries are still being treated takes time. You deserve to be represented by a lawyer that is well aware of how long it can take to file an injury claim and is able to work well within the state’s deadlines.
Product liability claims are often some of the most complex injury claims because a lot of research and evidence is needed to establish liability. Our lawyers have over a century of combined legal experience and are local to Indiana. We can get you the results you need.
Our Indianapolis automotive defect lawyers can sit down with you to learn more about your injuries and legal concerns when you call us to schedule a free consultation at (317) 245-3709.