Auto Defects and Personal Injury
Defective vehicles are unreliable and pose serious safety hazards. In car accident cases involving serious or catastrophic personal injury, it is important to consider whether failure of the vehicle’s mechanical or safety components was a partial cause of your collision. If so, you can collect additional payment for personal injury damages from the auto manufacturer and/or the manufacturer of the component part that failed. At Nagle and Associates, Raleigh auto defect lawyer Carl Nagle can help you understand your rights as they relate to defective vehicles. If you have been involved in a serious crash, he can advocate on your behalf for your right to compensation from a manufacturer or another party that was responsible. Carl Nagle brings an insider’s knowledge of insurance companies to his advocacy for his clients, due to his former work as an insurance claims adjuster and as an insurance defense lawyer. At Nagle & Associates, we have represented injured individuals in Winston-Salem, Wilmington, and Asheville, among other North Carolina cities.
Bringing a Personal Injury Claim Based on an Auto Defect
North Carolina law allows claims to be presented by injury victims whenever a product that was sold as new within the last 12 years fails, breaks or otherwise caused injury to any person. Products liability cases are complex, and the victim in these cases must always retain the vehicle and all component parts as the defective product itself is essential evidence to support a products liability claim.
Typical product failures that cause car accidents or otherwise increase the level of injury for auto accident victims include airbag failures, seatbelt failure, seat-back breakage, brake failure, steering linkage failure, increased propensity of a vehicle to roll-over when unstable, and failure to protect the fuel tank from risk of fire or explosion. While it is typically obvious to see that the vehicle failed, in some cases it is less obvious and we must involve accident reconstruction experts and engineers to isolate the proof and reason for product failure.
Generally speaking, there are two types of product failure that support a claim for money damages in North Carolina – design defect and manufacturing defect. In a design defect case, the victim must prove that the overall design of the product was unsafe and led to a foreseeable risk of injury. In these cases, we show that the product itself was designed improperly and that all of the vehicles containing that part or design element are unsafe and defective. In a manufacturing defect case, we are not attacking the overall design of the vehicle or the component part. Rather, we show that the particular vehicle involved in the crash was not built properly. For example, if the airbag trigger mechanism was never plugged in and activated when the vehicle went down the production line, that particular vehicle would be defective. If the airbag later failed to deploy and this failure caused significant facial injuries, the victim could collect both from the driver who caused the collision and also from the vehicle’s manufacturer who sold the vehicle with the defective airbag in place.
Car accident victims in North Carolina may be able to pursue legal claims against any responsible party. If a defect in your vehicle caused the crash in which you were hurt, you can potentially recover damages for current and future medical treatment, lost wages and loss of earning capacity, and property damage, as well as more subjective damages such as pain and suffering.
To assert the right to damages, you would need to bring a personal injury claim against the manufacturer responsible for the defect. You would need to show that there was a defect in your car and that the defect caused the accident in which you were hurt. In other words, to hold the manufacturer liable, the crash must have been something that likely would not have occurred if your car had not been defective.
It is critical to take legal action as soon as possible after an accident, not only because evidence tends to decay with time but also because North Carolina provides a strict statute of limitations for personal injury and product liability cases. In most situations, it is essential to comply with this procedural requirement to preserve your right to compensation.
Discuss Your Options with an Auto Defect Lawyer in Raleigh or Beyond
At Nagle & Associates, we are dedicated to advocating vigorously on behalf of car accident victims. We are skilled at the negotiation and litigation techniques necessary to maximize our clients’ recovery. We charge a legal fee of 25% of a settlement and only if you accept the settlement offer. This is significantly lower than the 33% that most law firms charge their clients. Raleigh auto defect attorney Carl Nagle has helped victims in many areas of North Carolina, including Wilmington, Winston-Salem, and Asheville, as well as Greensboro, Hickory, and other communities throughout Mecklenburg, Forsyth, Guilford, Wake, Durham, Brunswick, New Hanover, Cumberland, and Catawba Counties. Call (800) 411-1583 or use our online form to set up a free consultation with an experienced car accident attorney.