Over the Memorial Day weekend, a Ford Explorer crammed past capacity rolled over on I-35, killing two people at the scene and injuring 6 more. Sadly, the news came out after that a seven-year-old child had succumbed to their injuries at Dell Children’s Medical Center, raising the fatality count to three. The Explorer’s suggested capacity is five, but five additional people had been packed into the vehicle, putting 10 people in the car when a tire allegedly blew. While no legal action has been announced yet, the surviving family would be within their rights to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the manufacturer or seller of the blown-out tire. If you have lost a loved one or been injured due to a faulty product, consulting an attorney may be a good idea.
Causes and Effects
Rollover accidents are by far the most deadly type of car crash, causing far more fatalities and injuries than one might assume, given how infrequent they are. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that rollover accidents generally makeup around 2 percent of car crashes – but are responsible for a whopping 35 percent of all traffic fatalities. They can be rather violent, given that they are often caused by what is called ‘tripping’ – a sudden interaction with a fixed object, such as a patch of soft soil or a guardrail, which then launches the vehicle at least partially into the air.
There are many different factors that can lead to rollover accidents. Some of the most often seen include speeding and substance use of any kind. However, environmental factors may matter as well – studies show that certain vehicle types, particularly SUVs, may be more prone to rollovers due to their body shape, and accidents in Texas are highest on rural roads, after dark. A combination of any of these may lead to a crash, but even if your rollover accident only involves your car, you may be able to file suit against a defendant and potentially recover for your injuries.
Product Liability in Texas
In the Explorer’s rollover accident, law enforcement traced the cause to a blown tire. This may give rise to a product liability lawsuit, where the family can argue that the faulty tire led directly to the deaths of their loved ones. In Texas, product liability is usually a strict liability offense, meaning that the plaintiff does not have to prove that any negligence happened; rather, they simply have to prove that the product was defective and that the victim was harmed. Still, this is an uphill battle in most vehicle cases simply because so much can potentially go wrong in a car or truck.
Texas law recognizes three types of product defects. The first is ‘design defect,’ which is fairly self-explanatory; if it can be shown that the product’s inherent design was faulty, then the product was defective. The second is ‘manufacturing defect,’ in which only a certain subset of a product is defective due to a mistake in manufacturing. The third is referred to as ‘failure to warn’ – when a manufacturer fails to warn the consumer about dangers that might not be readily apparent. Establishing any of these in your case may lead to a verdict against the company – but it is very, very difficult to do that alone.
Call a New Braunfels Personal Injury Attorney
While the families of the Explorer passengers may decide to do nothing, that may not be your choice in such tragic circumstances. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an accident potentially due to a faulty product, it is a good idea to consult a dedicated New Braunfels personal injury lawyer. The attorneys at the Bettersworth Law Firm understand how hard your situation is, and can offer understanding and compassionate representation at a difficult time in your life. Contact us today at 888-392-0039 for a free consultation.