Defective Seat Belts and Car Seats Can Hurt Those They Are Supposed to Protect
There is no question that seat belts and car seats prevent significant injuries and fatalities. Alabama recognized this truth by recently making it mandatory for all passengers, including rear seat passengers, to buckle up.
But when seat belts or car seats fail to do the job they were designed for, the consequences for drivers and passengers can be devastating, with life-altering injuries and even death a possibility. If a motor vehicle injury or death can be linked to a defective restraint device, then a product liability lawsuit could be an option for victims and their families. The personal injury attorneys of Tobias, McCormick & Comer are experienced in product liability law and auto accident cases and can effectively determine if your auto accident involved a defective product.
Product liability is a legal principle that holds manufacturers, sellers and other product handlers strictly liable for injuries resulting from defects and hidden dangers. Products may be defective in design (such as tall SUVs that are prone to flipping over), manufacturing (car tires susceptible to blowout due to inadequate materials) or warnings or instructions for use (such as how to properly secure a car seat).
Car seats have been known to have design and manufacturing defects. There have been dozens of safety recalls for car seats just in the last 10 years, which show that car seats have made it to market despite serious such problems as:
- Chest clips that are prone to breaking
- Handles that can easily crack or snap off while a parent is carrying the seat
- Harness releases that allow shoulder harnesses to loosen unintentionally
- Seats built solely for display purposes that were accidentally sold in stores
- Weak frames that bend or break in accidents
Seat belts are also far from foolproof. Design flaws and poor-quality materials used by cost-cutting auto industry giants can lead to malfunctions. A few examples of seat belt defects are:
- Belt retractors that fail, allowing occupants to be thrown around the vehicle in the event of an accident
- Seat belts woven from material so poor that the seat belts rip or tear when stress is applied
- Defective seat belt tensioners and pre-tensioners that don’t activate properly
- Flawed anchor point designs that make occupants vulnerable in rollover situations
While product liability lawsuits can recover damages for resulting injuries, this type of litigation can be complex. Automakers and their vendors have talented defense teams and vast sums of money to that they can bring to their defense. Successful pursuit of this remedy requires a legal team with significant skill and experience.
At Tobias, McCormick & Comer, LLC, we believe seat belts and car seats should do the jobs they are designed to do. When they fail and someone is hurt or killed, accountability must be sought. Our attorneys are committed to helping people in Alabama who have been injured and families who have lost loved ones in auto accidents. We can evaluate your situation and if a defective seat belt or car seat was involved, we’re ready to pursue the case aggressively to recover the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free initial consultation with our Mobile-based personal injury lawyers, give us a call today! 251-432-5001, or contact us online.