When most people think about the reasons for a car accident, they almost always attribute it to driver error. A driver could have been distracted, under the influence, or simply drove recklessly. However, sometimes vehicle accidents are caused by a mechanical malfunction, and the victims of vehicle malfunction accidents are just as entitled to compensation for their injuries from those responsible. At El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers, our Los Angeles vehicle malfunction accident attorneys represent clients that have been injured because their vehicle malfunctioned on the road.
Common Causes of Vehicle Malfunctions
Vehicle malfunctions can affect almost every system in a car, truck, or SUV. One of the most common causes of vehicle malfunction happens when the brake system fails. Recently, many people were injured when their airbags malfunctioned, causing more harm than the initial accident. Tire blowouts on the road also cause a number of accidents every year, and faulty headlights and taillights can lead to catastrophic accidents, as well. Faulty steering systems and suspension systems have been known to cause car accidents as well as malfunctioning windshield wipers and ignition switches.
Who is Liable for Vehicle Malfunction Accidents?
One of the first questions asked after a car accident caused by a vehicle malfunction is who is responsible for the damages? If the malfunction was a failure in design, the manufacturer of the vehicle part or the car company can be held liable for the damages. One common example of this is the Ford Pinto, which would explode on rear impact because of the location of the gas tank. The Ford Company was held responsible for the damages caused by this design failure.
If the vehicle was recently brought in for repairs or maintenance, the mechanic that worked on the vehicle may also be liable for damages. This is especially the case if they missed a commonly occurring malfunction or in fact caused more harm to the vehicle when it was in the shop, leading to the eventual breakdown on the road. An experienced attorney will conduct their own investigation into the accident to properly identify who is at fault for the vehicle malfunction and seek compensation accordingly.
Compensation for Vehicle Malfunctions
Compensation for vehicle malfunction accidents can include both economic and noneconomic damages for victims. Economic damages refer to out of pocket expenses, such as current and future medical bills, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, and property damage. Noneconomic damages refer to compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, disfigurement, disability, and loss of enjoyment of life. In the most serious cases where a vehicle malfunction accident results in the loss of life, the family of the victim can also seek compensation for wrongful death. This includes damages for funeral costs, loss of future earnings and benefits, and the loss of love, security, and companionship.
Contact Our Office Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident because of a vehicle malfunction in Los Angeles, the El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers are here to make sure those responsible are held accountable for their negligence. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a free consultation of your claims.