Car Seat Back Failure Lawsuit
Seat built is the biggest tool we utilize when we transports from all our daily activities. Whether we are going to work, park, or putting our kids to school, seat built is worn for our over safety to ensure we are safe. However, it is not an unreasonable expectation for anyone who occupies a vehicle to be able to do so without the seat built failing and causing an injury or an accident. For many individual or families this expectation can be unmet due to outdated regulations and an automotive industry that refuses to implement new technologies that would prevent seat backs from failing. Although, that not only can the failure of seat backs cause harm and increase the severity of injuries, but defective seats can be the cause of preventable accidents that put the occupants of other vehicles in harm’s way as well.
Faulty Seat belts
Over three million people each year suffer from severe injuries caused by defective seat belts. Research has also concluded that an estimated 40,000 people die from faulty seat belts. When a car crashes into a driver, upon impact the driver relies on their seat-belt for protection. Seat belts act to lessen the blow of a car collision.
If a seat belt is defective, injuries sustained can include serious chest and head injuries. There are five kinds of instances that can cause your seat belt to be defective.
Automotive Industry Liability
For thirty years automakers have been aware of the impact of seat back failures and have advanced towards the solution has not been innovative. Despite conducting studies that have shown indisputable evidence that there is a correlation between seat back failures and increased severity of injury; automakers in essence have refused on countless occasions to upgrade their seats.
Federal safety standards relating to automobile seat back have not been updated in a long time and are way too lenient. According to safety experts, who have studied seat back safety for decades, the seats in most of our automobiles are no better than lawn chairs. Automobile seats are only required to pass a strength requirement. They don't have to go through a crash test rating system although seat backs routinely fail during NHTSA's 30-mph rear-impact crash tests
The federal rule pertaining to seating systems in automobiles, has not been updated in more than three decades. This rule mandates that a seat must withstand a pull of 3,300 inch-pounds applied on the seat back in a rearward direction. Despite numerous petitions over the years to revise this standard, there has been no action on the part of NHTSA. The seat back strength in most vehicles needs to increase six-fold to provide a reasonable degree of safety to vehicle occupants in the event of a crash.
Moreover, in the last several years, the NHSTA has needed to mandate the recall of several automakers’ seats, but auto companies should not need to be forced to recall defective parts after they have harmed people. These recalls should be addressed well beforehand or the seats should be redesigned to meet acceptable safety standards to begin with.
Anyone who experiences undue harm due to negligence is entitled to compensation for their medical bills, time off work and pain and suffering. If you have been in an accident and feel that seat built failure may have contributed to your injuries, an experienced seat built accident attorney have the experience and knowledge needed to protect and fight for what you are owed. Contact us now at 1-424-256-9055 to get in touch with a Los Angeles Product Liability Lawyer.
Injuries That Can be Caused by Defective Seat Back
A collapsing seat back can cause serious injuries to the person in the broken seat and to anybody sitting behind him or her. As a result, you may be entitled to such damages as:
A lifetime of medical care and assistance for children who suffered severe head and spinal injuries
Lost past and future earnings
Permanent disabilities, scars and disfigurement
Back and neck injuries caused when the seat back fails to properly support you during the collision
Facial, head and spinal cord injuries a back seat occupant sustained
Medical bills, rehabilitation and special care
Can A Seat Back Failure Be Prevented?
Regulators have known about seat back failures for decades. In 1992, NHTSA was warned by internal researchers that seats could collapse backward and kill or injure passengers. CBS News ran its own investigation using former court cases and discovered 17 children had died from seat back failures over the last 15 years. Auto engineers who participated in prior lawsuits have argued preventing seat back failures would cost one dollar per vehicle.
If strengthening car seats is inexpensive, then what are regulators waiting for? NHTSA continues to maintain that it lacks the data needed to institute new regulations on strengthening seats. Current regulations require front seats to withstand 3,300 pounds of pressure during an accident. In Europe, similar regulations require front seats to withstand 4,691 pounds of pressure.
Until automakers make changes that will prevent car seats from failing during rear-end collisions, this hazard will continue to put families at risk.
What is Product Liability?
When a consumer suffers at the hands of a manufacturer or retailer, he or she can file a claim for negligence. There is not a law set in place for product liability in all states. Although, since there is not one standard to abide by, accountability can vary from state to state. California has a “strict liability” law for defective products. Strict liability can apply to three different categories which include design defects, warning defects and manufacturing defects.
To strengthen your product liability claim you need to have evidence.
Seat back Failure and Product Liability
Defective brakes, tires and airbags are the most common auto claims brought to the courts. Seat back failures, although rare, end up almost every time with a deadly or paralyzing outcome. What is more shocking is that many legal representatives say that the auto industries downplay the severity of seat back failures.
Seat back failure can occur by a car being rear-ended in the lowest of speeds such as 25mph. Many injury attorneys have stressed the importance to automakers that the issue of seat back failure should be handled upon a driver getting behind the wheel.
Chase states “When you combine the results of this crash-test data along with one of the industry’s top experts being caught red-handed “fudging” in his “authoritative” research it conclusively concludes that the auto industry is flat out wrong, and, at best, misguided – at worst, lying to us.”
Legal experts suggest doing your research on the safety and reliability of a car before your purchase.
Other potentially serious conditions that may arise include:
Loss of control: If the seat back fails while the vehicle is in motion, the driver may be unable to sit upright. This situation can make it difficult for the driver to avoid an accident before pulling over and coming to a stop.
Vehicle ejection: During a high-speed collision, a seat back failure can result in partial or complete ejection of the occupant from the vehicle.
Rear-passenger injuries: If there is an occupant in the back seat at the time of the failure, he or she may be crushed by the seat or the front seat occupant. A collapsed seat can also trap the rear passenger resulting in catastrophic and even fatal injuries.
Flying head rest: A defective headrest, in addition to failing to protect the head of the occupant, can also become a deadly flying projectile in the event of a high-speed collision.
Blocked exits: Vehicles are full of combustible fluids and gases. In the event of a car fire, a defective seat can trap the occupants inside the vehicle preventing them from escaping to safety.
Blunt force trauma: A vehicle occupant can get thrown around in the vehicle during a crash. This could result in severe head and spinal injuries, which could leave victims with permanent injuries and disabilities.
Causes of Seat Back Failure
Seat back failure occurs when the weight of a vehicle occupant forces the back of the seat to collapse. This can result from a faulty design, poor assembly or improper installation. If strong materials are properly assembled, it is much more likely that the seat will stay upright during a collision. When flimsy materials are used, the seat back frame may become deformed.
The two most common types of seat back collapse involve the failure of the seat back support system to maintain an upright position and the deformation of the seat back frame. Failures that have been attributed to the deformation of the mounting system that holds the seat to the vehicle floor or to a collapse of the vehicle floor pan are less common. Another common problem with seat backs is the detachment of adjustable head restraints during an accident.
5 types of seat belt defects:
Unlatching: Some seat belts unlatch during a crash because of the great force of the impact. This has to do with certain types of seat belts. Automakers claim that this is not a common occurrence.
Inadequate latching: Seat belts can appear to be perfectly fastened but there are occasions where a seat belt would unlatch in a small car crash and cause a driver to be unprotected.
Defects in seat belt webbing: The material of a seat belt should be able to withstand any rips. There are instances though where the seat belt fabric can rip during a vehicle collision.
Seat belt failing to retract: The purpose of a seat belt is to make sure you're secure in a sedentary position. If your seat belt fails to retract this means that your seat belt can be loosened at the time of an accident and you can potentially be thrust out of your seat.
Improper installation: When installed, seat belts must be anchored well to protect the driver and their passengers. If a seat belt is not mounted correctly then a person in the car can be severely injured and can even die.
Risk to Children
Majority of states require special car seats for young children and recommend putting children under the age of 12 in the back seat. The reason for this position is that the tremendous force of front airbags can severely injure people with smaller frames.
In most cases, the back seat has been proven to be the safest place for properly restrained kids. However, a seat back failure can pose a significant risk of injury and death to children. A seat that collapses backward during the crash can land on a child sitting directly behind the driver or front seat passenger, with the adult’s full weight bearing down on the child.
We Fight To Recover Your Remedies
Based on the specifications of your case - the details of the accident, how severe your injury was, it is ultimately going to determine what you could be entitled to sustain based on your case. However, what you can be compensated for if your case prevails can often be put into several different categories.
The categories of compensation can include:
Medical bills: Should you win your case, you could be awarded compensation for medical bills you’ve had to pay as a result of your injury. This includes both past and future bills stemming from the injury, and can potentially cover expenses such as transport or in-home rehabilitation services.
Lost wages: Lost wages can be awarded if your injury has caused significant missed time at work, or has made you unable to perform your job. You could be entitled to even more lost wages if the injury leaves you permanently disabled and unable to find consistent work.
Pain and suffering: In some cases, the damages endured from physical pain and emotional suffering can be compensated to pay for therapy treatments.
Punitive damages: Punitive damages are awarded in more extreme cases, wherein the injury was caused by someone’s recklessness. They are awarded to try and dissuade the defendant and others from acting with that level of recklessness again.
No Recovery. No Pay.
Contact an experienced Product Liability attorney in Los Angeles to schedule a free, no obligation initial case evaluation at 1-424-256-9055. Our Los Angeles Back Seat Built Accident attorney in Los Angeles will help protect your rights. And remember, You Don’t Pay until You Win, or You Don’t Pay At All!
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