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Collecting Compensation for Safety-Related Vehicle Defects

February 28, 2017

By van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim

While many vehicle defects are minor and easily fixable, any type of safety-related defect can have devastating consequences. This could include defects ranging from a faulty steering component or sticky brakes to airbags that fail to deploy and fuel pump leaks. Furthermore, a car’s defect is not always immediately apparent and so catch drivers by surprise, giving them little to no time to slow down, exit the vehicle, or swerve out of the way of an oncoming car. As a result, many injuries caused by vehicle defects are especially serious and extremely expensive to treat. Fortunately, vehicle manufacturers who use inferior materials during production, fail to appropriately test a product, or make a design error can be held accountable for the consequences of their actions. If you live in Pennsylvania and were recently injured in a crash caused by a vehicle defect, you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer who can evaluate your case.

Defects Defined

Under federal law, a safety defect is defined as any defect in a vehicle’s or car part’s construction, equipment, or performance that:

  • Poses a risk to the safety of others; and
  • Affects a specific group of vehicles of the same design or certain pieces of equipment manufactured by the same company.

While there are a number of different types of safety-related defects, the most common include:

  • Sticky accelerator controls;
  • Airbags that do not deploy as intended;
  • Malfunctioning steering components that lead to a partial or total loss of control over the vehicle;
  • Broken fuel system parts;
  • Malfunctioning windshield wipers;
  • Seats that fail unexpectedly;
  • Malfunctioning wiring; and
  • Car parts that separate from the vehicle and cause a loss of control.

Of these defects, malfunctioning fuel pumps are one of the most dangerous. Fuel pumps are what allow gas to be propelled from a tank to a car’s engine. As a result, any type of fuel pump defect could lead to an explosion or car fire. Brake failure is another type of deadly defect that results in hundreds of crashes every year. Although not a guarantee of safety, buyers who are purchasing a car should have the brakes inspected or consider buying a vehicle with a dual brake system.

Liable Parties

When manufacturers, distributors, and sellers fail to take reasonable care during the production, transport, and sale of vehicles, they can be held responsible for any ensuing accidents resulting from their carelessness under the legal theories of negligence, breach of warranty, or strict liability. Successful plaintiffs may be able to collect compensation for medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and for the pain and suffering that they had to endure as a result of the crash.

Call us to Speak With an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today

Pennsylvania product liability laws can be tricky, so if you were recently injured in a car crash, please call van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim at (215) 486-0123 to speak with a dedicated personal injury attorney who can explain your legal options. Our dedicated legal team can assist you today.



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