Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) state that over 8,000 people every year are ejected from their vehicles due to defective door latches that fail during an automobile accident.
This shows that even things as seemingly-minor as a door latch can have a serious affect on the survivability of a car accident, and this is why automakers have a legal responsibility to ensure that their products meet federal safety guidelines. When they fail in this duty, they open themselves up to lawsuits from those who are injured (or from the families of those killed) as a result.
Thanks to product liability law, consumers who are injured due to a defective product may be able to pursue a claim against the manufacturer in order to recover compensation to pay for things such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, disfigurement, etc.
Car Door Latch Failures in the News
Some car companies (such as Ford) are notorious for door latch failures, as evidenced by the many news reports recently features on major news outlets. The company has issued recalls on millions of their cars, particularly on models such as Ford Freestlyle, Ford 500, Ford Focus, Mercury Montego, and more.
A door latch failure during a serious car accident (especially a rollover) will often lead to passenger ejections, resulting in catastrophic injuries (such as brain and spinal cord injuries) and an increased likelihood of fatalities.
How to Prove Your Case and Bring a Lawsuit
In order to bring a product liability lawsuit against the automaker, you and your attorney must first be able to prove that:
- The door latch failed to meet safety and functioning standards set by the NHTSA
- The latch failed at the time of the accident and caused the door to open
- This failure caused significant injuries to you or your loved ones
Lawsuits involving defective products are unique. For this reason, it’s recommended that you seek out a product liability attorney who has dealt with similar cases in the past, and who has experience litigating these type of cases in the courtroom.
When you file a product liability lawsuit, you will be going up against a billion-dollar car company with a formidable legal team which will try to discredit your case using every tactic available. They will deny liability and delay communication at every opportunity, and without an attorney on your side, you simply won’t have the leverage needed to make them take your claim seriously.
For more information on the legal options available to you, call us today at 1-877-659-2580.