Defective Seat Design
Automobile Seat Defects: Product Liability Lawyer
The seats in a car, truck or SUV may have a significant impact on the extent of injury that an occupant experiences in the event of a collision, particularly if the seat is defective. Design flaws and manufacturing defects can have serious consequences for passengers, and in these cases the manufacturer may be held accountable. A product liability attorney can talk to you about your options and legal rights if you or someone you know has been injured as the result of a defective seat.
Defective seat design can result in malfunctioning seatbelts, weak seat-backs and seats that eject passengers in the event of an accident. Passengers sitting in any of the seats can be at risk during an accident, but those who occupy the back seats have a greater risk of serious injuries or death.
Vehicles that come with bucket seats put occupants at a higher risk for injury than regular seats. These risks typically include bending or collapsing of the seat-backs during impact. Considering that the passenger may be belted in or restrained to their seat, it's easy to understand how such defective seats can cause injuries even during a minor accident. The injuries become even more serious when young children occupy the seats.
Another risk with a defective seat is the danger of partial or complete ejection from the seat in a collision. A properly designed seat back must be able to keep its occupant restrained in the seat without throwing them forward against the windshield or the front seat in an accident. Failure of the seat back can throw occupants about during impact. Collapse of the seat back can be attributed to weak structure of the seat that does little to protect passengers from a dangerous ejection.
Defective Seat Designs Lead to Recalls
The Ford Motor Company has had problems related to defective seats in a number of its vehicles, including the Escort. In 1992, the company conducted an investigation in the stability of its automobile seats and concluded that occupants were indeed exposed to serious injuries during an accident. General Motors, Hyundai, Mazda, Toyota and Mitsubishi have also had some of their models linked to seat-back failure as a result of defective design. Daimler Chrysler Corporation has faced lawsuits from passengers who suffered serious injuries due to crushed seats during rear ending accidents.
Injuries Caused by Defective Seat Design
Seat back collapse and partial or complete ejection can lead to severe injuries during an accident. When the seat fails to restrain the passenger during impact, he may be thrown towards the windshield, the front seat or the interior of the vehicle, causing severe body trauma, head and neck injuries, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, crushed body parts, organ damage etc. During partial ejection from a car, passengers may receive the full and devastating impact of being crushed under the weight of the vehicle as it overturns. Paraplegia, quadriplegia and even death may result.
Choose an Experienced Product Liability Attorney
In going up against an auto manufacturer, distributor or retailer in a case involving a defective seat, it can be difficult to ensure your legal rights are properly protected and your claim given the attention and importance it deserves. The manufacturer may actively try to limit their liability, leaving you with limited options or even without the ability to seek financial compensation at all. A product liability attorney with experience in dealing with automobile defects can make a significant difference, not only in proving liability but in seeking the full and fair value of your claim.
Contact an auto product liability lawyer to find out how Arnold & Itkin can help you.