Are You Driving a Time Bomb?

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Q: Who is responsible for personal injuries resulting from a defective automobile part or system?

In the old days, there were no self-driving cars, car seats, or airbags.

Today, most of us drive cars with at least some of these or other safety features. Unfortunately, some of these so-called safety systems end up being dangerous and defective and can cause serious injury and death.

Defective products lawsuits fall under the umbrella of personal injury claims. When someone is injured as a result of a dangerous or defective product– including an automotive parts or system– the manufacturers and distributors maybe held responsible for those injuries, depending on the particular facts of each case.

There is currently something tantamount to a national crisis with respect to automotive safety recalls. In addition to widespread recalls regarding items like defective ignition switches, slipping transmissions, and failing brake systems, America is facing the fall-out of what is the biggest automotive recall in history.

The Takata® airbag recall has affected close to 100 million vehicles worldwide spanning virtually every major automotive manufacturer. To date, the airbags –which can explode upon impact, hurling potentially deadly shrapnel throughout the passenger cabin –are responsible for 11 deaths and nearly 200 injuries. Made with metal canisters of ammonium nitrate which can deteriorate if exposed to prolonged heat and humidity, these airbags may be literal time-bombs. And the potentially-deadly deployment can even happen upon a very low impact incident.

Approximately 64 million cars in the United States are on the road despite various dangerous open recalls.

How does this happen?

Auto safety recalls can affect new and older vehicles. In the case of newer models, the defective part or system may not come to light until multiple people have been hurt or killed due to it.  

Once aware of a defective part or system, manufacturers may send recall notices to car owners who ignore the notice– despite the fact that the repair will be done for free – –and continue to drive with a now- known safety defect. Other times, the cars may have changed hands over the years and the recall notice never makes it to the current owner. But liability must be established in order to prevail in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

If liability for the injury is established, victims may be able to recover compensation for present and future medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If the victim dies as a result of those injuries, close surviving relatives may be able to assert a wrongful death claim and recover medical expenses and funeral costs of the victim, lost wages if the victim supported them, and other damages, depending on the facts of their case.

A skilled personal injury attorney with product liability experience can help you navigate the complicated legal process and obtain the compensation you’re entitled to.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective product, the experienced product liability attorneys at J&Y Law Firm will fight on your behalf to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 888-806-6722 for a free consultation.

With 21 locations throughout California, including our headquarters in Los Angeles, we represent clients throughout California and nationwide.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.