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Motor Vehicle Defect Information Center

Motor Vehicle Defect Information Center

A used-car dealer has a duty to discover and repair any obvious or reasonably discoverable defects in a vehicle.

Frequently Asked Questions about Motor Vehicle Defects

Q: What is "crashworthiness?"

A: Crashworthiness is the science of preventing or minimizing serious injury or death following an accident through the use of safety systems.

Q: How does the fact that a driver may have caused an accident affect a crashworthiness action?

A: The doctrine of crashworthiness centers around the enhancement of injuries caused by a motor vehicle defect. The issue becomes whether the defect increased the injuries, and fault of a person injured does not prevent recovery on a crashworthiness action. The fault issue may arise when the court or jury weighs the comparative fault of the individual causing the accident with the fault of the manufacturer, so that a reduction in the amount of damages you are entitled to may result.

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Answers to Your Motor Vehicle Safety Defect Questions

If you have suffered a serious injury in an automobile accident, you want answers and you deserve compensation. If you believe that a vehicle safety defect may have played a major part in the injuries you sustained, you may have a case against the manufacturer. At the TRACY Firm, our practice is dedicated to protecting consumers in vehicle safety defect product liability cases. Contact us today for answers to your questions.

Nationwide Vehicle Safety Defect Product Liability Attorney
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Motor Vehicle Defects - An Overview

Most motor vehicles are safely designed and carefully manufactured. Some, however, are carelessly made or improperly designed. Poorly designed or defectively produced vehicles can be dangerous and can cause serious injury or death.

Responsibility for Defective Vehicles

The laws governing responsibility for defective motor vehicles and what must be proven in court to establish liability vary from state to state. In most states, the parties who may held liable include:

  • The vehicle manufacturer
  • The manufacturer of defective component parts such as tires, hoses etc.
  • The dealer, if the vehicle was purchased from a dealer

Several different reasons exist for holding a party liable for harm caused by a motor vehicle defect. The three most common legal theories for finding someone liable are breach of warranty, negligence, and strict liability. An experienced products liability attorney from The TRACY Firm in Dallas, Texas can advise you about the rules that apply in Texas to your situation involving a defective motor vehicle.

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The Concept of "Crashworthiness"

The most important concept in vehicle defect liability cases is "crashworthiness". Crashworthiness is the science of preventing or minimizing serious injury or death following an accident through the use of safety systems. During a collision, a vehicle's occupants are subject to a number of forces that can result in injury, including rapid deceleration and rapid acceleration, depending on the direction of impact in the collision. Crashworthiness deals primarily with the 'second collision' that results from these forces, in which the driver and passengers collide against the interior of the vehicle. An effective crashworthy vehicle design will distribute these injurious forces over as great a period of time and distance as possible, including by directing them to parts of the body that are more capable of withstanding them.

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Elements of a Motor Vehicle Defect Claim

Unlike an ordinary personal injury claim for negligence, in order to establish a vehicle manufacturer or seller's liability for a vehicle defect, you do not need to show that they were careless, and that their carelessness led to your accident or injury. Instead, liability in motor vehicle defect cases is typically controlled by the doctrine of strict liability.

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Vehicle Safety and Restraint Devices

Vehicle safety is a significant consideration, both in terms of liability for injuries resulting from automobile accidents, and when the average consumer is shopping for a new car. Every new passenger vehicle must meet federal standards specifying minimum safety levels, but this doesn't mean all vehicle are equally safe. There still are important safety differences. Identifying the safest vehicle on the road is impossible, but it is possible to shop for a safer vehicle, because some vehicle characteristics are inherently safer than others, and many manufacturers offer safety features beyond the required minimums.

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Motor Vehicle Defects RECALLS

One of the most common vehicle defect issues faced by the public is that of safety recalls of a motor vehicle. Safety recalls are usually instigated by either the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the vehicle manufacturers themselves, in response to a discovered defect in a vehicle or a component of that vehicle. So it is important to understand the procedure that is followed in vehicle recalls, and the respective responsibilities of those involved.

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Motor Vehicle Defects Resource Links

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Guide for Consumers
An FTC auto guide for consumers.

The Insurance Institute For Highway Safety
Nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing losses from vehicle crashes. News and data related to vehicle safety, including testing and vehicle ratings.

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Office Location:

The TRACY Firm
Vehicle Defect Product Liability Attorney

5473 Blair Rd, Ste 200
Dallas, TX 75231
Phone: 214-324-9000
Fax: 972-387-2205
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