Queens Auto Defect Attorney
Buying a defective car can be a huge disappointment. Unfortunately, it can also be a huge danger. Many automobile defects have been documented as the cause of accidents and serious injuries. Some defective cars simply become lemons and fail to run – but more serious auto defects often occur in cars that appear to run well until an accident happens or a part fails catastrophically.
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident that may have been made worse by an auto defect, talk to an attorney. The Queens auto defect lawyers at Sullivan and Galleshaw represent the victims of defective auto parts and vehicles in New York City. For a free consultation on your case, contact our law offices today at (718) 550-6442.
What is an Automotive Defect?
As a consumer, you have the fair and reasonable expectation that the products you purchase will be reasonably safe for you and your family. There is perhaps no industry where public safety is more important than the automobile industry. Sadly, too many vehicle manufacturers and auto parts makers still put profits before people—cutting corners on safety in an unacceptable manner. An automotive defect is a design flaw and/or manufacturing flaw that renders a vehicle more dangerous than it should be. Automobile defects fit into two broad categories:
- Design or manufacturing flaws that make a vehicle more likely to crash; and
- Design or manufacturing flaws that make a vehicle less safe in the event of a crash.
Defective Auto Part Examples
There have been multiple high-profile auto defects in the news in the past years. While some of these risks are limited to certain models, it is never clear how pervasive auto defects are until recalls are issued and the topic is fully studied. This means unidentified defects could be present in dozens of consumer car models. If your accident injuries were made worse by an auto defect, it is important to consider filing a lawsuit against the auto manufacturer. Here are some notable examples of automotive industry defects:
- Seat Belts: Seat belts have the potential to suffer from a number of defects. First, many seat belts may appear fully latched without fully clicking into place. Others may have defects with the webbing of the strap itself. Still, others may not be properly anchored at either end of the latch receiver. With any of these defects, the seat belt may not hold during a collision. If any of the 3 anchor points comes loose or the webbing snaps, a seat belt may fail to protect you during a crash
- Air Bags: Air bag defects are well documented, especially with Tanaka airbags. Some airbag inflators are not properly designed to withstand temperature and weather changes. This may make the housing and other materials brittle and fragile so that they explode into dangerous shrapnel when the airbag goes off. While manufacturers have learned lessons, some of these defective airbags still linger in older models or used cars’ airbag systems.
- Ignition Switch: Ignition switch issues make their way into the news every few years. With these issues, your key may come loose while driving or the car’s ignition may switch off entirely. With keyless cars, the key may not come out – but the car can still suffer from other ignition defects. If your car shuts off while driving on the highway or at high speeds, you may lose control. Loss of engine power may make it difficult to maneuver, especially if your car’s electric steering or brake assist turns off as well. This can lead to catastrophic crashes if you lose total control.
Of course, these are just a few of many examples of dangerous automotive defects. With the increased complexity of electronic parts in cars, we may expect more and more faulty parts or malfunctions in consumer cars. Reporting your auto defect can help you get compensation for your injuries, but it can also help highlight dangers and raise awareness for auto defects.
What You Need to Know About New York’s Product Liability Laws
Auto defect claims fall under product liability law. These are some of the most complex types of accident and injury claims. In New York State, there are actually four separate theories of product liability: 1) Strict liability, 2) Tortious misrepresentation, 3) Breach of an implied warranty, and 4) common law negligence. Most defect product claims are pursued under the theory of strict liability. An auto manufacturer, distributor, or retailer may be legally liable for injuries caused by a product defect even without a finding of negligence. To learn more about New York’s product liability laws, reach out to our Queens auto defect lawyers today.
Suing an Auto Manufacturer for Defective Cars in Queens
When a defective auto part injures you, it usually happens in one of two ways. First, the auto defect may be what causes the initial accident. This is possible with things like ignition switch defects, which could cause you to crash into another vehicle or a stationary object. Second, the auto defect may make your injuries worse during an accident. If a seatbelt or airbag caused more harm or failed to protect you during a crash, the manufacturer may be responsible for the increased damages.
In New York, you can sue an auto manufacturer for injuries you sustained because of an auto defect. In many cases, you may be able to sue even if the auto manufacturer’s headquarters is in another state.
If the auto defect was the primary cause of your injuries, you may be entitled to substantial compensation for your injuries. The auto manufacturer may be held liable for any injuries resulting from the failure of the auto part and any resulting accidents. This can cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering in many cases.
If the auto defect made your injuries worse, you may be able to sue the driver that caused the accident and the auto manufacturer. Suing the driver can get you compensation for the accident itself, but any increase in injuries would be the manufacturer’s fault. An attorney can help parse out who is responsible for what portion of damages and argue a case like this in court.
You Deserve Full and Fair Financial Compensation for Your Injuries
Were you or was your loved one injured as a result of an automotive defect in New York? If so, it is imperative that you are in the best possible position to recover full and fair financial compensation for your damages. Sadly, the big auto manufacturers and their commercial insurance companies do make product liability claims easy. At Sullivan and Galleshaw, LLP, our Queens automotive defect lawyers know how to get results. You may be eligible to recover financial compensation for the following types of damages:
- Property damage (vehicle repair or replacement);
- Ambulance fees and emergency medical care;
- Out-of-pocket medical expenses;
- Cost of rehabilitative treatment/therapies;
- Lost wages and loss of earning power;
- Pain and suffering; and
- Emotional distress;
- Permanent scarring;
- Long-term disability; and
- Wrongful death of a family member.
How Our Queens Auto Defect Attorneys Can Help
Accident and injury claims are complicated—especially in an automotive defect case. At Sullivan and Galleshaw, LLP, we have the specialized skills, experience, and knowledge that you and your family members can trust during difficult times. When you reach out to our Queens law office, you will have an opportunity to consult with a New York product liability lawyer who is prepared to:
- Conduct a free, comprehensive review of your auto defect case;
- Investigate your crash, gathering all relevant evidence and information;
- Consult with the top expert witnesses to establish the defect;
- Advocate for your rights in settlement negotiations with the defendant/insurer; and
- Take your automotive defect injury claim as far as needed to maximize your compensation.
Frequently Asked Questions About Auto Defect Claims in New York
What is the Statute of Limitations in a New York Product Liability Claims?
All civil claims must be initiated before the applicable statute of limitations expires. Under New York state law (New York Civil Practice Laws & Rules § 214), product liability claims are generally covered by a three-year statute of limitations. You must file a lawsuit within three years of the date of the crash. Do not wait to get the ball rolling: Call a Queens auto defect lawyer immediately.
How Do You Know If an Automotive Defect Caused Your Crash or Made it Worse?
While there may be suspicions, it may be difficult for an untrained person to know for sure if an auto defect caused their accident or made it worse. Do not assume that you have no legal claim. If you suspect that a flaw in your vehicle caused your crash or made your injuries more severe than they otherwise would have been, consult with a Queens product liability lawyer right away.
Do Expert Witnesses Testify in an Automotive Defect Case?
Yes. If your product liability claim makes it to trial, it is very likely that an expert witness will testify in your case. Product liability claims, including automotive defect claims, are highly technical legal cases. Expert witness testimony is often needed to establish the existence of a defect. Our Queens, NY product liability attorneys can connect you with the right experts for your case.
Contact Our Queens, NY Defective Auto Part Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one was injured because of a defective auto part, talk to an attorney today. The Queens auto defect lawyers at Sullivan and Galleshaw represent injury victims in cases against automobile manufacturers who allow dangerous, defective products to make their way to market. For a free consultation on your auto defect case, contact our law offices today at (718) 550-6442. We represent injured victims in Queens and throughout all of New York City.
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