Certain features contained in a vehicle determine its crashworthiness, which is a vehicle’s ability to protect its occupants in the event of a collision. However, sometimes manufacturers fail to test or provide adequately safe vehicles to consumers, making them even more dangerous in the event of a serious impact. The Miami car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon aim to make sure that irresponsible manufacturers are held liable when the vehicles that they produce do not meet the requisite standards of safety. Our firm represents people injured in crashes throughout Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade Counties, including in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Miami. If you have been injured in an accident or lost a loved one, contact our office today for a free consultation to learn more about your legal options.Factors Affecting a Vehicle’s Crashworthiness
Car accidents are divided into two categories of collisions, a primary collision and a secondary collision. The primary collision occurs when one vehicle strikes another vehicle or object. The secondary collision is when occupants collide with the inside of the vehicle. A vehicle’s crashworthiness refers to its ability to minimize the injuries associated with secondary collisions. A crashworthy car distributes the impact effects of a secondary collision evenly throughout the vehicle, or it redistributes the force of an impact to stronger areas of a person’s body. Crashworthy cars also prevent fires from igniting or passengers and drivers from being ejected from a vehicle. Some crashworthy features include seat belts, properly placed airbags, and crumple zones.Establishing Liability for Injuries Due to Defects
Regardless of the cause of an auto accident, if a car’s crashworthiness is substandard and resulted in a victim’s injuries or made them worse, a manufacturer may be held accountable for its defective product. Car manufacturers are responsible for making sure that their vehicles are safe to be used in foreseeable ways. Collisions are a foreseeable occurrence for which vehicle manufacturers must account in designing and manufacturing their products. As a result, when a vehicle is produced that is not crashworthy, and this issue leads to serious injuries, manufacturers are strictly liable for the harm caused by that defect, which means that a showing of negligence is not necessary. To be held accountable for a crashworthiness-related injury, a plaintiff must show that a manufacturer:
- Released a vehicle that contained an unreasonably dangerous defect;
- Their injury was caused or made worse by that defect; and
- A safer alternative was available for use by the manufacturer.
For instance, a vehicle that does not have airbags or that has defective airbags that do not deploy upon impact may not meet crashworthy standards.
Damages potentially available to victims injured in an accident involving a lack of crashworthiness include the value of the car or its repairs, medical costs, lost income and earning capacity, and pain and suffering. A careful investigation into the manufacturing process, as well as accepted standards of care in the automotive industry, may be necessary to prove a legal claim based on crashworthiness. As a result, consulting a knowledgeable injury attorney following an accident is important to make sure that the proper claims are pursued.Contact a Motor Vehicle Collision Attorney in Miami
Vehicle manufacturers are expected to adhere to certain standards to ensure that our cars are as safe as possible in the event of a collision. When these manufacturers fall below such standards, they should be held accountable for the injuries that result. The Miami lawyers at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon offer dedicated legal guidance for victims who have been injured by a defective vehicle and their families. If you have been involved in a collision that you believe was due to an unsafe vehicle, call (877) 499-4878 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a motor vehicle collision attorney about your case.