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Orlando Auto Defect Attorney: Understanding Product Liability & Settlements

Hiring an Orlando auto defect attorney to help with your case significantly increases your chances of winning compensation for injuries tied to an accident. Talk to the team at Leighton Law about how we specialize in auto defects cases and what we can do to help you win your case and get the damages you deserve.

You’ve probably heard of the concept of product liability. The term, in general, refers to the responsibility product makers, designers, and other stops along the production chain have with regard to safety and performance.

Products, especially things like cars, trucks, and their components, are critical when we think of personal and public safety. There are a lot of regulations, and car and auto parts manufacturers are under a lot of scrutinies to guarantee their products are as safe as possible.

Unfortunately, problems slip under the consumer protection rules and find their way into public cars and other vehicles, whether by mistakes of omission or commission. Sometimes it’s no big deal, but other times auto defects lead to accidents that inflict severe injuries and cause deaths.

Let’s examine how auto defects happen, who is responsible, and what you can do if you or someone you know is hurt by an auto defect.

How Auto Defects Happen

Product liability laws in the United States are much more comprehensive than in generations past. Thankfully, we have advanced laws that recognize consumer rights and protect them from faulty products here in Florida.

Any company that makes products for sale must meet strict safety standards to prevent injuries. Just think about a world in which companies had no oversight. A drive to make maximum profits can make some people cut corners which means higher risks to users. Even with regulations, those sorts of things still happen.

While product liability issues can occur in various places along the manufacturing chain, here are some of the areas an Orlando auto defects attorney sees the most problems and how they relate to product liability.

Injuries from Safety Devices

Sometimes, the safety devices designed to save our lives and prevent severe injury are what end up causing them. You’ve probably heard stories of airbags killing people, failures in early warning collisions systems, and other related incidents. When these devices deploy or react improperly, or they fail to deploy at all, the manufacturers bear some responsibility, and an Orlando auto defect attorney will let you know how and why you have a case.

SUV Rollovers

Several years ago, SUVs and the companies that make them came under a great deal of public scrutiny when there were widespread reports of rollovers. The design of the vehicle made it more likely for them to roll in a sharp turn or collision.

Structural Issues

Sometimes, auto defects include poor structural builds that lead to injury or death. For example, if the roof and its support aren’t strong enough to bear the car’s weight, a flipped car can crush passengers inside after a wreck.

Fires

Occasionally, faulty fuel lines or gas tank design can lead to fires, whether they are related to a collision or not.

These are just some examples of auto defects. A quick search of the news reveals other problems like sudden unexpected acceleration, tire defects, transmission problems, and more. They are typically high-profile cases because personal safety is at risk.

How an Orlando Auto Defect Attorney Assigns Liability

One of the most important things about pursuing an auto defects personal injury case is assigning liability.

Yes, it’s horrible when a lousy product or faulty safety device injuries or kills someone. However, no one will win a court judgment or succeed in settlement negotiations unless they prove who or what organization was responsible.

An expert Orlando auto defect attorney will have experience working through the details of similar cases to assign liability and push your case forward. Here are some possibilities.

Design – Was there a fault built into the design that led to the injury or malfunction? A bad product made perfectly will still be bad.

Suppliers – Did the suppliers that provided vehicle components at any point in the logistical chain mess up? Sometimes suppliers cut corners to make an extra profit because they believe the carmaker will bear ultimate responsibility if anything wrong happens.

The Car Manufacturer – Whether it’s improper warnings or operations instructions, auto defects are often the responsibility of the car company that sells them.

Service & Maintenance – Was there a maintenance contract in place (in the case of a commercial vehicle), or were recalls announced appropriately to prevent injury or death?

These are just a few examples of lawyers assigning liability to an auto defect.

Proving Your Case With Help From an Orlando Auto Defect Attorney

A lot goes into proving your case against a carmaker or parts supplier for an auto defect. While each case can vary greatly, there are some guidelines that each must follow. Here are some principles to prove your auto defect case.

  1. The auto part was defective – You have to show that the part was defective and not a result of user error or some sort of act of god circumstances. You have to show that the malfunction directly resulted from the design, build quality, or some mechanical or electrical failure.
  2. The faulty product must be directly tied to the accident, injuries, or death. If a part is defective and doesn’t impact anyone, you don’t have much of a case. For example, if you get into an accident that wouldn’t usually trigger airbags, and later you find out the company recalled those airbags, you probably don’t have a case because they didn’t play a part in the accident.
  3. A victim must suffer some sort of injury, death, or financial and emotional loss due to the auto defect. For instance, if the bad airbag deploys in a seat but not where you are sitting, it’s difficult to say it led to your injuries.

While meeting all three guidelines might seem like a tall order, you’d be surprised at how often faulty auto products impact driving and cause more injuries in an accident. An expert Orlando auto defect attorney will quickly assess the accident and let you know what the next steps need to be to prove liability.

Understanding the Impact of Auto Defects in Accidents

Don’t rush to judgment after a car accident.

In the rush of adrenaline and the constant replaying of events surrounding a car crash, we get that. However, there could be more at play.

Always preserve the product in question – do not allow it to be released, sold or destroyed. You want it examined and recorded in as close to the condition it was in at the time of the incident as possible.

Cut through the noise of vehicle repairs, medical bills, significant injuries, lost income, and other effects of a collision. Hire an Orlando auto defect attorney to examine your case.

That way, you and your family can focus on recovery and the potentially lasting impact of injuries.

Victims are typically unaware when a faulty product makes its way into vehicles. We simply assume an airbag or a seatbelt will work properly. When they don’t, people often think that they made a mistake or somehow they didn’t do everything correctly.

In addition to the physical challenges, families must often overcome a great deal of emotional pain after a car accident. Having an experienced legal team behind you can help put the pieces back together faster.

Hiring the Right Orlando Auto Defect Attorney

So, how can you find the best lawyer who can help you prove liability and pursue appropriate damages for your injuries or a relative’s wrongful death?

The first thing you should do is look only at law firms that specialize in auto defect cases. The stakes are too high to take a chance on an unproven firm. It can cost you thousands or even millions of dollars.

Thankfully, most law firms offer no-free consultations to discuss your case and the circumstances around your accident. They’ll talk to you about your chances and what your next steps should be.

Hire a lawyer you feel comfortable with. Be wary of anyone who overpromises. Depending on the case, negotiations can take months or years when you’re going up against a giant automaker. A good lawyer will set realistic expectations and then work aggressively to win you the damages you deserve.

Leighton Law is a leading Florida firm with years of experience representing victims in auto defects cases. We win significant judgments for our clients and pursue damages to pay for recovery.

Talk to us about how we can help you or someone you know if you believe your accident is the result of a faulty auto part. Our team will work with you on your case and help you win compensation. Damages will help you to pay for medical bills, replace lost income, and repair damaged property.

Article by:

John Leighton

A nationally-recognized trial lawyer who handles catastrophic injury and death cases. He manages Leighton Law, P.A. trial lawyers, with offices in Miami and Orlando, Florida. He is President of The National Crime Victim Bar Association, author of the 2-volume textbook,Litigating Premises Security Cases, and past Chairman of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America’s Motor Vehicle, Highway & Premises Liability Section. Having won some of the largest verdicts in Florida history, Mr. Leighton is listed inThe Best Lawyers in America (14 years), “Top Lawyers” in the South Florida Legal Guide (15 years), Top 100 Florida SuperLawyer™ and Florida SuperLawyers (14 years), “Orlando Legal Elite” by Orlando Style magazine, and FloridaTrend magazine “Florida Legal Elite

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