Los Angeles Defective Vehicle Attorneys
Representing California victims of accidents caused by defective cars, trucks and motorcycles
When you buy a vehicle – whether it’s a car, truck, SUV or motorcycle – you do so on the good faith and assumption that it’s safe for you to drive. Unfortunately, sometimes this isn’t the case. Due to a manufacturer’s negligence or irresponsibility, you or a loved one may suffer harm as a result of a defect in your vehicle.
If this has happened to you, rest assured that you have options. The Los Angeles product liability attorneys at McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP can help you seek compensation for your injuries and losses, as well as hold the manufacturers and entities accountable for their negligence. We have secured millions of dollars for our clients, including:
Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help.
Types of auto and vehicle defects
Cars, trucks and motorcycles are typically assembled and built using parts manufactured by other companies. If any link in this production and manufacturing chain is weak or broken, the end product can result in tragic results and catastrophic injuries for consumers and the general public.
Common types of vehicle defects include:
- Airbag defects. Airbags are designed to save the lives of occupants of cars and trucks in the event of a serious accident. However, defective airbags can cause serious injuries and even fatalities. You may have heard of the massive Takata airbag recall, which currently stands at 56 million. These airbags can explode when deployed, causing severe injury or wrongful death.
- Brake defects. Brakes are one of the most crucial safety features of our vehicles. They must function as designed in order to bring us to controlled stops, in both everyday driving and emergency situations. When brakes fail, you can do anything from skid to collide with another vehicle to crash into a stationary object. Examples of brake defects include ABS failures, fluid leaks or premature lockups.
- Child restraint defects. Because automobiles don’t come with child restraint devices, California and federal law states that children under a certain age and weight must be secured in a booster seat or other type of child passenger safety seat. When these restraints work properly, your child may be spared injury in an accident. However, if a booster seat system fails due to defects, the results can be unspeakably tragic. Find out more about car seat safety from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
- Defective door latches. The door latches of our cars and trucks are designed to keep us safely in our vehicles and keep the doors closed in the event of a collision. If these small latches that we take for granted fail, car doors can open on impact, resulting in passengers being ejected or other serious injuries. These defects can happen due to poor design or materials.
- Glass and window defects. Auto manufacturers are required to make windshields out of laminated glass, which will hold together in a collision, preventing the glass from shattering, causing lacerations and possible ejection from the vehicle. However, they’re not required to put this glass on in the side, rear and sunroof windows. Many only contain tempered glass, which can shatter.
- Seat back or headrest defects. Although seat belts are intended to keep you from being ejected from your vehicle or suffering severe injury in the event of an accident, the back of your seat is crucial to the structural integrity of your seat belt. For example, in a front- or rear-end collision, if your seat is defective and collapses, your seat belt will no longer protect you, causing far more harm, such as neck and spinal cord injuries.
- Seat belt defects. We all understand the role of seat belts in keeping us safe, and generally they do. However, a defective seat belt can be the difference between minor or life-changing injuries from an accident. Common seat belt defects include excessive spool-out, latching failure, defective design or torn webbing.
- Tire defects. Tire defect accidents are responsible for hundreds of fatalities across California and the United States every year, including blowouts and tire tread separations. Sudden tire failure not only causes accidents, but in vehicles with a high center of gravity – like SUVs, trucks and vans – this failure can cause serious rollover accidents.
These are only a few possible car, truck or motorcycle defects under product liability law. Our experienced Los Angeles attorneys can consult with you about your accident and injuries to determine who or what was responsible.
Product liability and vehicle defects
Products should meet reasonable safety standards, and – especially in the automotive industry – if they don’t, consumers can get hurt. Product liability law is how we hold designers, manufacturers and distributors responsible when they put unsafe products on the market. In the case of defective vehicle parts, we typically see two types of product liability claims:
- Design defects. These are flaws or mistakes in the original design of the vehicle that cause it to be dangerous. To prove a product is inherently defective, you must show that it’s dangerous even when used as instructed. In many product liability cases, we find that the manufacturer could have used a superior and safer design but simply chose not to.
- Manufacturing defects. These are mistakes made during the manufacturing process that cause the vehicle to come out different than the designer’s specifications. When a manufacturer doesn’t produce a product according to the designer’s plans, an unsafe and hazardous product can result. Manufacturers’ defects are often easier to prove, as internal design documents can show a vehicle was manufactured improperly.
How Los Angeles product liability attorneys can help
If you’ve suffered injury or loss in an accident because of a vehicle defect, you may be overwhelmed by the amount of paperwork, medical bills and legal issues in front of you. We understand the uncertainty because we have counseled thousands of consumers in similar situations. Our lawyers hold negligent companies and manufacturers responsible when they fail to keep you safe on the road. We’ll help you seek full financial compensation for your injuries and losses, including:
- Medical expenses
- Wage losses
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Other losses
Talk to one of our experienced Los Angeles defective vehicle attorneys today
If you have been injured in an accident caused by a defective vehicle, the experienced product liability lawyers at McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP are here to fight for justice on your behalf. Call 310.474.1582 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.