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When Manufacturers Are Accountable in a Car Accident

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Automobile crashes continue to be a major problem in the United States. In 2017 alone, more than 40,000 people died because of vehicle crashes, according to the National Safety Council (NSC) estimates. Based on the data, the upward trend in fatalities started in 2014, with 35,398, and reached its peak in 2016, with 40,237 deaths.

For those who survived such accidents, the outlook isn’t always great. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 20% of traumatic brain injury (TBI) hospitalizations were due to motor vehicle crashes. TBI is a form of damage to the brain caused by a blow to the head or a sudden jolt.

Not all individuals who figured in an auto accident and ended up with TBI can afford medical treatments. Some solicit the help of experienced brain injury attorneys, such as Los Angeles-based Haffner Law, to get proper compensation for their disability from those who may be responsible for the crash.

A lot of these deaths are caused by human error. In 2017, more than 3,000 fatalities were due to distracted driving alone.  The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said in their auto accidents report that alcohol had a significant role in these crashes. Over 62% of the fatal accidents involved drivers who had blood alcohol content beyond the limit.

However, crashes can be due to a faulty machine, too.

Case Study: The 2006 Toyota Camry Car Crash

One of the most significant vehicle crash cases attributed to a faulty car was the 2006 car crash that involved a 1996 Toyota Camry model. A jury decided in 2015 that Toyota was mostly responsible for the deaths of three people in that accident.

According to a report about the case by CBS News, the driver of the Camry, Koua Fong Lee, was charged with vehicular homicide and was sent to jail on the same year. However, Lee insisted that he made efforts to slow down his car before it crashed into another vehicle. This accident caused the death of a man and two children and injured two other adults.

Lee was given a new trial after news broke out about the sudden unintended acceleration in Toyota cars. He was set free after spending two and a half years behind bars. After gathering enough evidence, he took the automotive manufacturer to court, with the full support of the loved ones of those who died and got injured in the 2006 crash.

They claimed that the 1996 Camry’s auto-drive had a tendency to get stuck, and when it’s pushed or tapped, it could get stuck again at a higher speed level. They also said that the company didn’t conduct reliability tests on the nylon resin pulleys that may have been damaged from the heat and caused the assembly to stick.

Toyota denied the claims, pinning the acceleration on Lee’s negligence and saying that the model he was driving didn’t have any known product recalls.

The jurors settled on splitting the blame, giving 60% to Toyota and 40% to the driver. The complainants of the new lawsuit, led by Lee, were awarded $11.44 million in compensation from the company.

Decisions for cases like this vary from state to state. Some lawsuits involving defective motor vehicles don’t have to prove that the manufacturer was negligent. If the driver was injured because of a vehicle defect or dangerous design – even when the car was used as intended, and the vehicle’s performance wasn’t modified in any way – he/she can sue the company for compensation. With major defect cases and recalls happening almost every year, it’s essential to keep these manufacturers and dealerships accountable for the vehicles they sell to the public.

Get Proper Legal Representation

Undoubtedly, it will be challenging to sue big automobile manufacturers because they have expert legal teams. But if you work with Haffner Law, we’re ready to give you legal representation and hold whoever is responsible for your injuries accountable. We’ll help you file a personal injury claim, collect evidence to support it, and aggressively fight for you in court so that you get the compensation you deserve.

Contact us at 1-844-HAFFNER today to schedule a free case review.

 

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