Nothing is more heartbreaking than a child passing away. At O’Toole Law Group, we are all too aware that traffic collisions are one of the primary causes of child mortality in the United States. We also know that most of these deaths could have been avoided — not just by the drivers, but also by auto manufacturers who sometimes fail to guarantee that their vehicles are safe before they leave the assembly line.
Below, this personal injury lawyer in Mulberry, Florida is going to review everything you’ll need to know about pursuing a product liability claim for defective automotive components.
Car Accident Lawsuits: An Overview
Car accident lawsuits against auto manufacturers are a type of product liability claim. Although these are personal injury lawsuits, product liability claims in Florida are often pursued under a tort and criminal legal theory known as “strict liability.” Things work differently in a standard car accident lawsuit where proof of negligence is required. Per strict liability, plaintiffs must establish that the vehicle was unreasonably dangerous due to design or manufacturing flaws or insufficient warnings/instructions. You can speak with one of our personal injury lawyers in Mulberry, Florida to learn more.
A Recent Example of a Product Liability Lawsuit Involving an Auto Manufacturer
In recent years, the automotive industry has been chastised for designing and manufacturing unsafe vehicles. The Palm Beach Post reported last year that General Motors is facing a product liability lawsuit for the deaths of a 5-week-old girl, Alina Johnson, and her 26-year-old mother, Antoinette Johnson, in South Florida after they were hit by a dump truck driver who failed to slow down and yield the right-of-way. The father of the child, Darrell Jenkins, is suing the giant automotive manufacturing company for failing to include important safety features in its Chevrolet Impala model — a design defect he claims is to blame for the deaths of his daughter and wife.
In the lawsuit, Darrell also names the truck driver as a defendant. While the truck driver was at fault for the crash, he claims that the deaths could have been avoided if the car had not caught fire due to a fuel system defect. His wife was knocked unconscious by the crash and could not escape the burning vehicle, where she and their baby died from burns and smoke inhalation injuries. Before the car erupted into flames, a witness — unaware that the 5-week-old was in the back seat — attempted to save the mother. He says the car would not have gone up in flames if the fuel system had shut down automatically after the accident.
This horrific case involving the fuel system is only one example of a product liability lawsuit arising from a dangerously defective automobile component. Other automotive components that can be defectively designed include seat belts, airbags, brakes, tires, door latches, seats, seatbacks, roofs, and more.
Too many drivers are seriously injured or die due to being ejected, having their roof crushed, having their airbags deployed incorrectly, having their tires blown out, having their car seat fail, or having some other design defects render the vehicle unsafe in a crash. In cases where the drivers are not at-fault, personal injury lawyers in Mulberry, Florida will be there to help victims fight for the compensation they deserve.
Looking for a Reputable Personal Injury Lawyer in Mulberry, Florida? Contact O’Toole Law Group.
Unfortunately, there are accidents every day in the United States that are caused by a vehicle defect. If you have recently been injured due to a vehicle defect in the Mulberry area, the legal team at O’Toole Law Group is here to help. As the most trusted personal injury lawyers in Mulberry, Florida, we can help you determine the viability and value of your potential product liability lawsuit. Contact us today at (863) 533-5525 to get started, or contact us through our website to schedule a free legal consultation with our lawyers.