A head-on collision on State Highway 46 led to four people being trapped in two cars for some time until law enforcement could reach them. A pickup truck struck a sedan head-on and then rolled onto its side, while the sedan was too damaged for the occupants to escape. Eventually, the occupants were extricated and transported to area hospitals, but as of this writing, there is no word on their conditions. If you have been involved in an accident where you were trapped in your car, you may have a claim for compensation against not only the other driver, but also, potentially, against the manufacturer of your car – one should be able to escape the vehicle after an accident, not be trapped inside.
Defective Parts Are a Hazard
Product liability is the legal theory under which manufacturers, sellers, and distributors are held liable for injuries caused by the products they introduce into the stream of commerce. A myriad of car parts has been implicated over time in several fatal accidents, including steering columns, brakes, turn signals, and tires. Statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) estimate approximately 3,600 accidents occurred in 2017 that could be directly attributed to at least one defective car part.
While product liability cases can sometimes be very straightforward, product liability cases that involve automobiles or car parts are almost invariably complex – there are simply too many moving parts that all might conceivably have played a role in an accident. If an injured plaintiff tries to sue in this type of case on their own behalf, they will very likely receive far less than they would if they engaged an attorney with experience in automotive product liability cases.
Texas Product Liability Law
After your accident, you have two years to file a claim against the person you believe to be responsible. If you believe that your accident was due to a defective part, there are three possible ways that you can establish it was defective as a matter of law. You can allege a design defect, meaning that the design for the product was flawed from the start; you can argue the item had a manufacturing defect, meaning that the design was acceptable but there was some error in the item’s creation; or you can argue failure to warn, which means that the seller or manufacturer did not adequately warn potential consumers of risks attached to using the product.
It is not very easy – but still very possible – to establish product liability in Texas. State law honors a concept called strict liability, which can sometimes make it easier to file suit because under strict liability a plaintiff does not have to establish that a manufacturer negligently sold a defective product – they merely have to establish that the manufacturer sold it at all, and liability is presumed. The rationale for this is that corporations and sellers have a heightened duty to consumers – they must do everything possible to refrain from endangering or harming them since they are in a unique position to harm a lot of people if they are not careful.
Call a New Braunfels Product Liability Lawyer
While the condition of the SH 46 victims remains unknown as of this writing, you may decide to file a claim if you are involved in a similar accident, and you should understand what this might entail if you are ever in a position to do so. The dedicated New Braunfels automotive product liability attorneys at the Bettersworth Law Firm are happy to sit down with you and try to answer your questions about your case. Contact us today at 888-392-0039 to schedule a free consultation.