Auto Defect Lawyer in Kentucky
We all have an expectation that the vehicles we drive or ride in are free from potentially harmful defects. We trust that our cars, trucks, and motorcycles have been carefully designed, responsibly manufactured, and thoroughly tested before we buy them.
Few drivers anticipate that a defect with the vehicle could cause a serious injury or fatal accident, but these incidents can and do occur.
Accidents are overwhelming enough as it is, but when the cause of an accident appears to be a defectively designed or manufactured automotive part or system, it can be difficult to know what to do next. Fortunately, legal help is available to you. Our experienced injury attorneys can help you seek justice.
Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer has represented thousands of Kentuckians and has a reputation for its willingness to go the extra mile for a fair settlement. We have the Kentucky Courage you need on your side to take on big automotive companies.
If you have suffered injuries or financial losses from an accident that was caused by a defectively designed vehicle or by a defective part or system, don’t hesitate to contact our attorneys for a free consultation. We can provide you with a thorough assessment of your case when you call us.
How an Auto Defect Lawyer Can Help
An auto defect attorney will help you pursue a fair settlement for any injuries or losses you have suffered due to an accident caused by a vehicle defect. An experienced attorney can help you determine whether your accident was caused by a defect, how the law in the state of Kentucky will apply to your situation, and how best to handle your case.
Here are some of the specific ways we can help you:
- Provide a free consultation — You can meet with an experienced attorney at Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer, and discuss your accident and injuries in detail. An attorney can help you understand all of your legal options, and address any concerns you have about your case, and can provide you with a clear overview of the steps the firm would take to litigate on your behalf.
- Thoroughly investigate your case — We are prepared to provide a thorough investigation of your case to determine if an auto defect may have caused the accident, and who is liable. We will consider all of the parties involved in the vehicle’s distribution, from the vehicle manufacturer to parts manufacturers, to automotive supply shops and dealers. We will collect evidence, such as medical records, witness testimonies, and information from related cases. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can begin to investigate the details of your accident.
- Work with experts — We can work with expert consultants who can help support your claim. This may include engineers who can provide an assessment of any mechanical or engineering defects associated with the automobile and the accident. We can also routinely consult with medical experts, when needed, to help ascertain the extent and impact of the injuries our clients have suffered.
- Negotiate a settlement — We can negotiate with insurance companies and the other party’s legal team for a fair settlement offer. Insurance companies and defendants will give your case the attention it deserves when they see it has been thoroughly investigated to assess liability.
- Take your case to trial — We can take your case to trial, if needed, to pursue maximum compensation. Our attorneys have years of experience in the courtroom, and you can rest assured that you will be represented by qualified, experienced attorneys who will fight for you in court.
Who Is Responsible When an Auto Defect Causes a Crash?
In the confusion following an accident, it can be challenging to determine what caused the crash. A driver who suddenly and without warning lost control of their vehicle may be quick to blame themselves, but accidents caused by a vehicle defect are not uncommon.
Recent auto defect recalls include familiar manufacturing names. The Takata airbag recalls are still making the news, affecting many popular car brands. BMW recalled thousands of X5 SUVs due to brake pedal defects. Ford and Firestone recalled millions of defective Firestone and Bridgestone tires that were used on Ford Explorers.
The people injured in a defective automobile shouldn’t be left to pick up the pieces on their own. Our law firm can help you hold the manufacturer accountable for an accident caused by a defect.
The manufacturer may be held responsible for any of the following types of defects:
- Design Defect – The vehicle manufacturer may be held accountable for your accident if there was a defect in the design of the vehicle, meaning an error was introduced before the vehicle was even manufactured. This means an entire model of a vehicle might be affected.
- Manufacturing Defect – Even if the design of the vehicle is satisfactory, dangerous mistakes can be introduced when a vehicle is being manufactured, or if a faulty part is used during the manufacture of a vehicle. This could be a defect that affects just your vehicle, or it might impact thousands of vehicles.
- Failure to Warn – The manufacturer can also be held responsible when they fail to provide proper warning of a potential hazard of the vehicle. This might be a failure to include a warning label, or a failure to provide appropriate instructions in the manual for a potential risk that’s not immediately obvious.
Auto defect cases can be complicated. For example, you must be able to prove that the vehicle you were driving or were a passenger in has an “unreasonably dangerous defect,” which led to the accident and the related injuries.
You need to prove that the vehicle in question was not substantially altered, in terms of its functionality, since its time of purchase. You also need to determine that the vehicle was being used as it was intended. And in addition, the manufacturer may have a defense against your claim if they can show that you knew about the automobile’s defect, but continued to drive it.
Compensation in an Auto Defect Lawsuit
Amid the chaos following the accident, a qualified and experienced auto defect attorney can walk you through all of the steps you should take to pursue a fair settlement.
We can help you recover the costs you have incurred, such as for medical bills and damage to your vehicle, time away from work, and the general pain and suffering that follows a traumatic accident.
The compensation you might receive may depend on the details of your case, and our law firm is prepared to fight for you to receive the maximum compensation. We can demand payment for:
- Medical bills already incurred
- Future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Reduced capacity to earn income
- Cost of disability accommodations
- Automobile damage
- Alternative transportation costs
- Pain and suffering
You should not have to pay for the damages and endure pain and suffering caused by the faulty design or manufacture of a vehicle that should have been safe to drive. We will work hard to help you get a fair settlement, taking into account current losses and future costs.
Common Auto Defects
From airbag issues to brake failures, to seatbelt defects, and we still regularly see vehicle-related recalls in the news. Here are some of the most common causes of auto defects and automobile recalls today.
Airbags are sophisticated devices that have been engineered to inflate at just the right time to minimize the impact of a collision, which can reduce injuries and save lives. Unfortunately, airbags don’t always function as designed due to a manufacturing error, or it could be that the design of an airbag system was flawed from the beginning.
Airbags can be defective for many reasons. The airbag may be slow to deploy or might fail to deploy entirely. Even a fraction-of-a-second delay can result in serious injuries. Airbags may deploy during a low-speed accident, or an airbag may deploy with excessive force, with the recall of the Takata airbags. Whether they fail to deploy or deploy improperly, defective airbags have played a role in numerous injuries.
Wearing a seatbelt in a motor vehicle is the law. As passengers, we trust them to help keep us safe in case of a crash. However, many people don’t realize that seatbelt defects are more common than they realize. For example, Ford recalled more than 100,000 cars due to a faulty seatbelt in a single recent year.
Seatbelt failure may be the result of the product design, the manufacturing of the product, or the installation of the product.
There are several reasons a seatbelt might fail. It may not be mounted to the seat correctly. The retractor or locking device that holds the passenger in place during a collision may fail. The seat belt may not latch correctly, even though it might appear to be fastened correctly. There also might be a defect with the webbing of the belt, which may result in a tear during the force of an accident.
Fuel System Failure
An automobile’s fuel system is made up of many components, and if just one of them fails, the whole system may break down. A failure in the fuel system could result in a failure of the engine to start. In more dangerous instances, a fuel system failure can cause the engine to stall while the vehicle is being driven, which could result in the loss of control.
Engine failure can have the secondary effect of causing other critical functions to fail. Without the engine running, for example, power brakes can become extremely difficult to use.
A defective or poorly designed fuel system could also potentially explode or cause a fire, so automakers should be sure to design, manufacture, and test these systems thoroughly before releasing the vehicle to market.
Firestone, Goodyear, and Continental are just some of the well-known brands that have issued tire recalls in the past few years. Given everything that’s riding on them, drivers expect that tires have been thoroughly tested before leaving the shop, but tires are recalled every year with issues that pose significant safety hazards.
Some of the problems that have prompted tire recalls include sudden loss of air, tread separation, an incompletely cured compound, tire wall separation, or air bubbles in sidewalls, which may burst during operation. While most recalls are voluntary, they are often discovered due to customer complaints or incidents on the road.
There are few things more frightening than the realization that your brakes are not working when you need them most. When brakes malfunction, it could be due to many reasons. It may be due to poor manufacturing of brake rotors, drums, shoes, or pads, and it may be due to unattached hydraulic lines in the braking system, defective anti-lock brakes, or failure to implement the right brakes for a specific vehicle.
The chain from the product to the vehicle manufacturer, to the consumer, can be complicated; an auto defect attorney can help you identify the party or parties who may be responsible for your brake failure.
Roof Structure Defects
Many vehicles on the road have inadequate roof strength, threatening the safety of occupants in the event of a rollover accident. The front and rear-ends of vehicles are designed for high-impact collisions. The roof of a car is usually impacted with less force in a rollover incident, yet many roofs are still crushing inward into the passenger space.
Many older vehicles on the road today are exempt from current roof structure safety standards, and many feel that today’s safety standards are not enough. According to Consumer Reports, rollovers occur in only about 3 percent of all serious crashes, yet they account for nearly 30 percent of people killed while riding in a passenger vehicle. Many of these could have been prevented if the roofs were made stronger.
When an automobile door latch is defective, a passenger could find themselves trapped inside of a vehicle in a dangerous situation, or, if a door opens upon impact, passengers could be thrown from the vehicle.
A common culprit in door latch defects is something called the remote rod, which connects the door’s handle and latch. The rod could become broken or distorted, causing door handle issues. The door structure, itself, may also be faulty, failing to provide the minimum protection needed for the passenger, or causing secondary problems with the door latch.
Door defects can be challenging to identify. An expert can help you pinpoint the defect that was a factor in your accident.
Talk to a Kentucky Auto Defect Lawyer
The attorneys at Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer have helped numerous victims of auto defects secure fair compensation, and they want to help you too.
If you have suffered injuries or financial losses due to an accident caused by a defective motor vehicle, don’t hesitate to contact our attorneys for a free consultation. Call us or reach out online to speak with a knowledgeable auto defect lawyer today.