“Crashworthiness” refers to a vehicle’s ability to withstand a collision and to keep vehicle occupants safe. A legal claim for crashworthiness is sometimes known as the concept of a “second collision” because while the defective nature of a vehicle may not have necessarily caused the first accident, it aggravated the victim’s injuries. After a collision, an injured driver or vehicle occupants may bring a claim against the vehicle manufacturer if a design defect increased the injuries sustained in the accident. Both sellers and manufacturers may be found legally at fault and held responsible for contributing to the payment of a claim. Raleigh car accident lawyer Carl Nagle and the team at Nagle & Associates are experienced in advancing crashworthiness claims and seeking damages on behalf of injured individuals and their families.
Mr. Nagle is committed to determining all of the potential at-fault parties in a case and setting forth strong evidence showing that these parties should be held accountable for causing or exacerbating the harm to others. By demonstrating the consequences of a collision through medical documentation, Mr. Nagle proves the true impact of the crash upon a victim’s quality of life. Our office maintains working relationships with medical professionals, accident reconstruction specialists, and other experts who may help to present a persuasive claim for compensation. We help people suffering from the devastating impact of an accident in Asheville, Wilmington, and Winston-Salem, as well as other areas throughout North Carolina.The Role of Crashworthiness in a Personal Injury Claim
While there may be other contributing factors to an accident, such as driver error, a crashworthiness claim requires showing that the vehicle was not designed to safely withstand a crash. A vehicle that either does not include known safety features or includes improperly functioning features subjects the manufacturer to liability if this lack of crashworthiness resulted in injuries or deaths. When a victim suffers injuries beyond what they would have suffered in the initial accident, without the design defect, they likely have a claim against the manufacturer.
In many cases, defective vehicle parts may be recalled, particularly if they have caused serious harm to consumers. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) maintains safety ratings and conducts crashworthiness research into safety countermeasures and vehicle designs that enhance occupant safety. For example, air bags and seat belts are a form of “occupant restraint systems” that control the movement of occupants during a crash. Improving the effectiveness of these restraint systems helps to reduce injuries. Defective products, such as seat belts, may worsen the harm to victims beyond what would have been suffered in the collision. For example, a nonworking seat belt may eject an occupant from the vehicle, causing them to strike the pavement.
Automobile manufacturers are expected to conduct extensive testing and promote strong design standards for their vehicles. When victims show that they have suffered severe injuries in a collision due to a design defect in their vehicle, the manufacturer has not met its duty of ensuring the crashworthiness of the vehicle. In addition to manufacturers, sellers of defective vehicle components, such as faulty brakes, may be joined as defendants in a crashworthiness claim. They may be ordered to contribute to the victim’s award.
Crash reconstruction experts may prove helpful in a crashworthiness case, since they may help to determine if there was a defect in the car’s design that exacerbated the occupant’s injuries. If so, there may be a valid legal clam against the manufacturer. The defect need not have solely caused the accident, but it must have caused worse injuries than if there had not been a defect.Discuss Your Crashworthiness Claim with an Experienced Raleigh Lawyer
In the process of seeking damages for medical costs, pain and suffering, and lost wages from work following an accident, Raleigh attorney Carl Nagle can help. Mr. Nagle and the team at Nagle & Associates have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of injured individuals and their families. We only handle roadway accident cases, and our clients receive compassionate and diligent legal representation as we aim to hold responsible parties accountable for their harm. We have lower legal fees than many other injury law firms, and you are not responsible for paying us before we recover compensation on your behalf. We have represented people seeking a motor vehicle collision attorney in Raleigh, Winston-Salem, Asheville, Wilmington, Greensboro, Charlotte, Hickory, and other communities throughout Wake, Forsyth, Durham, Mecklenburg, Guilford, Brunswick, Cumberland, and Catawba Counties. Call our office at (800) 411-1583 or use our online form to schedule your free consultation.