Automobile accidents can easily mean severe injury or death, which is why it’s important to observe safe driving practices whenever you get behind the wheel—but some car accidents occur not because of driver error but due to mechanical breakdown, as one or more parts of the vehicle suddenly fail to function in the intended manner.
The failure isn’t due to normal wear or neglected maintenance—it happens because of a manufacturing defect that reveals itself at a very inopportune time. Accidents of this nature are especially frightening because they can happen to anyone, no matter how carefully they drive.
Fortunately, the law allows persons who have been injured due to defective auto parts to obtain compensation for their pain and suffering. At Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., you can request a free case consultation with a defective car parts lawyer in Houston, TX and begin the process of assembling a legal case.
Common Types of Defective Car Parts
Every automobile includes a number of components that must function adequately to ensure the safety of its driver and passengers. All it takes is the failure of one such component to place the vehicle’s occupants at serious risk.
- Defective Air Bags – These vehicle safety devices perform the important task of preventing the driver and front-seat passenger from striking the interior of the vehicle during a crash. Sometimes they fail to work properly, however. When this happens, car passengers can be severely injured by the impact against the dashboard of the vehicle. In some instances, the airbag itself causes injury when it deploys in an unintended manner.
- Defective Tires – Tires may bear one or more manufacturing defects that can lead to loss of vehicle control, such as a rollover. Tire debeading and tread separation are two such manufacturer-related defects that have caused serious car accidents.
- Defective Seat Belts – Another safety feature that has saved countless lives, the seat belt can fail as well if it has not been designed or installed correctly.
- Defective Gas Tank – If there is a manufacturing defect in the gas tank, this container can rupture in a vehicle collision, making flammable gasoline leak or spray in an uncontrolled way. This can easily cause a dangerous vehicle fire that spreads rapidly. In the worst-case scenario, the car literally explodes.
This should not be considered a complete list of car part defects that have been involved in automobile accidents.
Strict Product Liability
In Texas, it is possible to sue and prevail against manufacturers of defective products even if they did not act negligently. This is known as strict product liability. Manufacturers are responsible for the safety of their products; they cannot offer the defense that they followed correct procedures in creating the materials in question. However, they can attempt to prove that the product was altered by another party after the conclusion of the manufacturing process.
It is also possible to sue non-manufacturing sellers of the product as well, but, in recent years, the State of Texas has placed significant restrictions on the right of the plaintiff to do this. Today, the plaintiff in a defective car parts lawsuit must show that the seller participated in the design, modification, or installation of the product. They must also demonstrate that these actions contributed to the defective functioning of the product. Additionally, the seller may be liable if it can be proven that they were aware of the product’s defect.
The relevant law can be found under Chapter 82 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code.
Contact a Defective Car Parts Lawyer in Houston, TX
With over 100 years of combined legal experience, the team at Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., has helped many Texans win compensation in defective car parts lawsuits. Contact us today if you need a Houston defective car parts lawyer. We’re available to take your call 24/7 at 713-574-5089; ask for a free consultation.