Experienced Handling Of Product Liability Claims

The term products liability refers to defective and dangerous products which cause both personal injury and property damage. Every year in the U.S. thousands of people suffer serious injury, wrongful death or serious property damage as a result of using a defective and dangerous product.

Product liability refers to a manufacturer or seller being held liable for placing a defective or dangerous product into the hands of consumers. Responsibility for a product defect that causes personal injury or wrongful death can apply to all sellers of the product in the distribution chain. This would include the product manufacturer, a manufacturer of component parts, the wholesaler or the retail store that sold the product.

Generally, a product can be defective or dangerous in one of three situations. First, there could be a manufacturing defect which resulted in the product being dangerous. Second, there might be a design flaw that causes the product to be inherently dangerous. Lastly, there may be a marketing defect, where a dangerous condition exists and is known by the manufacturer or seller which could have and should have been warned against but was not. Any one or all of these conditions could lead to serious personal injury, wrongful death, or property damage.

Common Defective Consumer Products Include:

  • Dangerous children’s toys and clothing
  • Saws and electrical tools
  • Circular saws
  • Farm equipment
  • Tractors
  • Automotive defects
  • Defective roof
  • Roof crushing / rollovers
  • Rollover protection systems
  • Skid-Steers
  • Boats and watercraft accidents
  • Medical devices, hip implants, prescription medications
  • Weight lifting equipment
  • Industrial equipment
  • Forklifts
  • ATVs, four-wheelers, and other utility vehicles (UTVs) without proper stability causing rollovers, having improper warnings, lacking doors and  seat belts causing paralysis and death
  • Cars and trucks and their component parts such as tires and seat belts, rollovers, roof crush, seat back failures, fires, gas tank explosions

If you have sustained a serious personal  injury due to a defective product, please give us a call at 512-478-2211

Austin Auto Defect Lawyers

When consumers purchase and drive a motor vehicle, they assume it will keep them and their families safe. Unfortunately, due to poor designs, poor manufacturing, or carelessness on a corporation’s part, certain vehicles may result in serious injuries or death.

Common defects in motor vehicles:

  • Ford roof crush and rollovers
  • Audi seatback failures causing paralysis or death
  • Goodyear tire defects
  • Tread on tires
  • Honda and Acura seatback failures
  • Lexus airbag failures
  • Volkswagen emissions
  • Defective component parts causing serious injury or death such as tires, seatbelts, and seatback failures.
  • Manufacturing defects
  • Design defects
  • Failure to warn
  • Rollovers
  • Roof crushing
  • Airbags
  • Post-crash fires/explosions
  • Fuel tank fires
  • Braking failures
  • Seat belts
  • Seat back failures

Automobile Roof Strength

Per the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, More than 10,000 people die each year in rollover crashes.  These deaths can be prevented if the roof of the vehicle had been made stronger.  When vehicles roll, their roofs hit the ground and can deform and crush inward into the passenger compartment or “survival space”.   The stronger the roof, the more survival space, and the safer passengers are in rollover accidents.  Stronger roofs  can prevent occupants from being ejected from vehicles when, and if the roof does deform in anyway during an accident.

The original Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 216 required that a vehicle’s roof be able to withstand a force of 1.5 times the weight of the car. The rule was extended in the early 1990s to include all passenger vehicles up to a gross weight rating of 6,000 pounds. While this has since changed further by Standard 216a, many SUVs and pickups on the road today have not been recalled and are still under the old Federal Safety Standard and are exempt.  This is a serious safety hazard in the United States.

Crashworthiness and Rollovers

Per the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety-Highway Loss Data Institute, a crashworthy design reduces death and injury risk. Structure and restraints (safety belts and airbags) are the main aspects of a vehicle’s design that determine its crashworthiness. Good structure means a strong occupant compartment or safety cage, crumple zones to absorb the force of a serious crash, side structure that can manage the force of a striking vehicle or struck object and a strong roof that won’t collapse in a rollover.  Crash tests are used to evaluate a vehicle’s structural design and restraints. IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests, a roof strength test for rollover protection, plus evaluations of seats/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts. The federal government’s New Car Assessment Program also evaluates new vehicles for protection in front, side and rollover crashes.

The  Insurance Institute for Highway Safety-Highway Loss Data Institute states vehicles roll over in 1 percent of all crashes, but these crashes account for about a third of passenger vehicle occupant deaths.  Electronic stability control makes a vehicle less likely to roll over. ESC helps prevent the sideways skidding and loss of control that can lead to rollovers. It reduces the risk of fatal single-vehicle rollovers by more than 70 percent. As of the 2012 model year, all passenger vehicles must have the technology.  Strong roofs protect occupants in a rollover crash. Stronger roofs reduce the risk of a fatal or incapacitating injury when a vehicle rolls over, in part because stronger roofs reduce the chance of being ejected from a rolling vehicle.

Helping Accident Victims With Automobile Defect Claims

Cars and other vehicles have more safety options than ever. However, when safety and design features fail due to manufacturing or design defects, the results can be catastrophic. The personal injury lawyers of The Wenholz Law Firm in Austin are dedicated to helping accident victims with auto defect claims. We will work hard to ensure that all negligent parties are held accountable for their actions while helping you pursue the compensation to which you are entitled.If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a faulty airbag or another type of automobile defect, we would like to hear from you. Call us at 512-478-2211  to schedule a consultation to discuss your options.

Dedicated Representation For All Auto Defect Cases

Our attorneys handle all types of defect claims involving automobiles. From defective seatbelts to airbags that fail to deploy the way they are designed to do, to tire defects that result in blowouts and serious accidents, we will protect your interests while working to maximize your recovery.

These types of cases can be complex. A thorough investigation is often in order to determine whether liability lies with the auto manufacturer, a parts supplier, distribution chains or other parties. We will examine all aspects of the accident in an effort to ensure that those who are negligent are held accountable for their actions.

What are ATVs and UTVs and why are they Dangerous?

Per the ATV Safety Institute, An all-terrain vehicle (ATV) is defined as a motorized off-highway vehicle designed to travel on four low-pressure or non-pneumatic tires, having a seat designed to be straddled by the operator and handlebars for steering control. ATVs are subdivided into two types as designated by the manufacturer.

  • Type I ATVs are intended by the manufacturer for use by a single operator and no passenger.
  • Type II ATVs are intended by the manufacturer for use by an operator and a passenger, and are equipped with a designated seating position behind the operator.

Utility Terrain Vehicles, or UTVs, are built and used more for work on land rather than sport or recreation. UTVs can carry more passengers, typically 4-6.  UTVs have four wheels and handle more like a car rather than an ATV.  In the typical UTV product defect case, not only can you hold the manufacturer liable you may have a claim against the property owner of the premises where the accident to place.

These types of vehicles are extremely dangerous because they lack many of the safety features that other vehicles are required to have by state and federal laws such as doors, windows, airbags, and seat belts.  Moreover, ATVs  and UTVs have a tendency to rollover due to the terrain traveled on and lack of stability.  Because these vehicles are not required to be equipped with certain safety features, many times a manufacturer fails to warn of known dangers that these safety features would prevent.

If you or a loved one has been injured due on an ATV or other utility vehicle, call us at 512-478-2211  to schedule a consultation to discuss your options.

Dangerous Children’s Toys and Clothing

Thankfully, the federal government has many safety regulations regarding children’s toys.  Unfortunately, these regulations are not always enough to keep our children safe.  Common problems with children’s toys and clothing are:

  • Failing to warn of a known danger, such as a choking hazard
  • Allowing toys to be manufactured for the wrong age group
  • Loose buttons on clothing causing a choking hazard
  • Defective packaging that may cause harm to a young child

If you believe your child’s toy or clothing is subject to a recall you may check  online at the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission

If your child has been harmed due to defective clothing or children’s toys, call The Wenholz Law Firm at 512-478-2211.

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