Car accidents are all too often caused by driver negligence, but this is by no means always the case. The manufacturers of the cars and other vehicles we drive owe everyone on the road a considerable duty of care that includes designing safe vehicles and auto parts, ensuring that these vehicles and parts are manufactured correctly, and ensuring that all necessary safety warnings and instructions are attached or included. In fact, car manufacturers can be directly responsible for life-threatening car accidents, and the resulting claims tend to be even more complicated. If you are the victim of a car accident that was caused by a manufacturing defect, seek the professional legal counsel of a dedicated South Carolina car accident attorney who has considerable experience successfully handling manufacturing defect claims like yours.
When the Car Itself Is Responsible
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shares the following breakdown of specific causes for those instances when the car itself is identified as the cause of a crash:
- Problems with tires account for about 35 percent of all car crashes caused by manufacturing defects.
- Problems with brakes account for about 22 percent of all car crashes caused by manufacturing defects.
- Problems with steering account for about 3 percent of all car crashes caused by manufacturing defects.
The rest of the manufacturing defects that lead to traffic accidents are generally classified as other. It is not difficult to imagine exactly how dangerous and terrifying it would be to have your tires blow (or to otherwise perform dangerously), to have your brakes give out, or to have your steering perform incorrectly. Dangerous car accidents are often the result.
While every car accident claim involving a manufacturing defect is unique to the circumstances involved, some common specific examples of these accidents include:
- Wheels that crack or otherwise break and cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle
- Steering components that break or otherwise fail to work correctly and cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle
- Tires that blow, fall apart, separate from the wheel, or otherwise fail to perform safely and cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle
- Electrical system defects that cause the vehicle to lose its lights or another critical driving function and that can also cause fires
- Acceleration systems that stick or otherwise malfunction
- Airbags that deploy when they shouldn’t (or that fail to deploy when they should)
- Windshield wiper assemblies that fail to perform correctly (or at all)
- Seats and/or seat backs that are not secure or that otherwise perform unsafely
There are also certain defects that fail to protect drivers adequately in the event of an accident, such as airbags that fail to deploy when they should, seat belts that fail to work properly in a crash, and fuel system components that leave the vehicle more susceptible to crash-related fires. In other words, sometimes a manufacturing defect is directly responsible for the accident at hand, and sometimes manufacturing defects exacerbate the level of danger involved.
Manufacturing defects typically fall into the following categories:
- A defect in design, such as when a vehicle has a safety flaw built in
- A defect in manufacture, such as when a problem occurs in the manufacturing process
- Inadequate warnings and/or safety instructions, such as when the motorist isn’t made aware of specific safety instructions
Any defects like the ones listed above have the potential to cause serious, injury-causing accidents.
The History of Safer Cars
Cars have come a long way in terms of safety. In fact, The New York Times reports that, over 50 years ago, Ralph Nadar – a young attorney – took the automobile industry to task in his book entitled Unsafe at Any Speed. In it, he accused car manufacturers of dropping the ball when it came to manufacturing cars that protected their occupants, and from these humble beginnings, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was born. The stated mission of NHTSA is saving lives, preventing injuries, and reducing the number of car accidents. The book’s first line gives you a feel for the tone it sets: For over half a century, the automobile has brought death, injury, and the most inestimable sorrow and deprivation for millions of people. Since this time, the car manufacturing industry has come a long way, but this does not mean that manufacturing defects have disappeared altogether or that they are no longer the cause of very serious traffic accidents.
If you have been injured in a car accident that was caused by a manufacturing defect, the damages (or losses) you experience can be overwhelming.
A serious injury can lead to immense medical bills that may show no sign of abating any time soon. Some of the most common medical costs include:
- Emergency care
- Surgical care and follow-up care
- Pain management
- Medical treatments, tests, and procedures
- Medical care from doctors and specialists
- Physical and/or occupational therapy
The healing process after a serious car accident can be lengthy, and this can translate to a work hiatus and to attendant lost earnings. If your ability to continue advancing your career – or even to do your job – is affected, you could be looking at a decrease in earning potential far into your future.
Pain and Suffering
In addition to your financial losses, there are your emotional damages to consider, and the physical and emotional pain and suffering you endure can be considerable – and can be especially difficult to overcome. Just because there is no price tag attached does not mean the loss is any less damaging.
Reach out to an Experienced South Carolina Car Accident Attorney Today
The accomplished car accident attorneys at McCravy Law in South Carolina have a wealth of experience successfully guiding car accident claims involving faulty manufacturing toward beneficial resolutions, and we’re here for you, too. Your case is important, so please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 864-388-9100 for more information today.