When one thinks of serious traffic accidents a typical image that may come to mind would likely be that of a motorist running a stoplight and striking another vehicle or perhaps a pedestrian being hit by in a crosswalk by a passing delivery truck. Most often we consider the driver as the primary cause of a bad car, truck or motorcycle crash. But there are other causes for Maryland roadway collisions, and that is where manufacturing defects can sometimes come into play.
A manufacturing defect, very basically, is a flaw found in a product that was never meant to be there; nor is it something that was designed into the device or part in the first place. Essentially, the part or product affected contains a defect that occurs due to an error in manufacturing or assembly. While the attorneys at the Law Offices of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, understand that manufacturing mistakes can and do occur from time to time during the construction or assembly of various consumer products, we also believe that manufacturers should have systems and procedures in place to recognize any errors and prevent a potentially deadly defective part from being passed on to the end user.
Of course, nothing is perfect. Statistically even the best manufacturing processes can have a small percentage of products that may experience a mistake in manufacturing. These errors in manufacturing can be as simple as a part not being assembled with the correct number of screws or bolts, or a critical component being molded or cast using an incorrect grade or type of plastic or metal material. In the case of automobiles and commercial trucks, the huge number of working parts contained in a typical motor vehicle means there is always a chance that a defect component might be assembled into a vehicle, which may then be sold to an unsuspecting consumer.
Over the century-long history of the motor vehicle industry, quality of manufacture has been a continual focus both from the standpoint of customer satisfaction as well as that of vehicle and traffic safety. These days, automobile manufacturers are held to a rather high standard when it comes to designing and building safe and efficient cars and trucks. Yet occasionally, the quality control systems that are put in place by auto makers fail to catch a serious and sometimes deadly defect. Lebowitz & Mzhen understand products liability law and how it applies to manufacturing defects.
What may be of greatest concern to drivers and passengers alike, and potentially the most deadly of product and manufacturing defects in motor vehicles, are defects affecting parts and components used in the area of a vehicle’s braking system, steering controls, safety belts and airbags, as well as other devices and systems. If these systems, or the parts that make them up, are faulty, the result can be a potentially serious or deadly traffic accident. Needless to say, even the best driver can often not avoid a bad roadway collision should the car or truck he is operating experience a braking or steering system failure at highway speeds.
Following most serious car crashes, police and vehicle safety investigators will usually study the accident scene and the vehicles involved to understand the cause or causes of that accident. If a manufacturing defect is found, the authorities will usually document the problem, after which an experienced personal injury attorney should be able to assist the injured party to sue the manufacturer of the failed part or component for damages.
As automobile accident lawyers, we understand Maryland law as it applies to defective products and the lawsuits that may develop from such a failure. We know how to employ important legal theories -- such as strict liability, negligence and breach of warranty -- when preparing personal injury and wrongful death cases for our clients. In some instances, the mere fact that a plaintiff has a strong case and is ready to fight for recovery of damages in court can actually result in a settlement before any trial takes place. The professional staff at Lebowitz & Mzhen works hard to prepare our client’s injury claim lawsuits with the intent to take that case to trial and see it through to the end.
In tragic cases of wrongful death following a traffic collision caused by a defective car or truck component, we understand the emotional stress and extreme grief and sadness that family members undoubtedly are experiencing. Because of this, we do our best to comfort the victim’s family, assess the facts of the case and understand the family’s loss in economic terms. By understanding the survivor’s financial needs, as well as pain and suffering experienced by the victim prior to his or her death, we can better provide to the court accurate and compelling arguments for economic and non-economic damages.
As Baltimore auto accident lawyers, the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen have the litigation experience to handle both personal injury and wrongful death claims. Whether an individual has been hurt or killed while riding a motorcycle, driving a car, or operating an off-road vehicle, a products liability lawsuit may sometimes be warranted if the accident was caused in some way by the failure of one or more critical vehicle parts or components.
Quite often, a person may be involved in a traffic accident due to a defect that has not yet been identified by federal automotive safety officials. In the U.S., the agency responsible for monitoring and enforcing automotive safety standards is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA. As part of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), the NHTSA is in charge of investigating alleged passenger car and truck defects.
The NHTSA makes certain that automakers disclose safety-related defects, as well as notify their customers of any safety issues. Federal law requires car manufacturers to also correct or remedy any defects that affect vehicle safety. If an automaker fails to voluntarily recall a vehicle containing a safety-related defect, the NHTSA does have the legal power to order the company to do so. The NHTSA also has the authority to levy fines against corporations for failure to fulfill their responsibility to recall vehicles that have safety-related defects.
Nevertheless, serious defects of one kind or another still result in injuries and deaths every year. A single defective part or component in an automobile can cause a crash resulting in any number of bodily injuries, such as broken bones, torn ligaments, soft-tissue injuries, internal bleeding and closed-head trauma, just to name a few.
Recovering the victim’s accident-related medical costs and physical therapy expenses -- past, current and future -- is of primary concern to the lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen. We know that a well-prepared legal claim can make all the difference following a fatal commercial trucking or passenger car wreck. Because we always prepare our clients’ cases with the full intent of going to trial, there are frequent examples of out-of-court settlements simply on the strength of the facts. When it comes to a wrongful death claim, a settlement can spare the victim’s family the pain of reliving the accident in court.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a manufacturing defect in a car, truck or motorcycle, you may wish to contact an experienced Maryland personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. The auto injury lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen are ready to listen and help you better understand your legal rights. Call us toll-free at (800) 654-1949, or feel free to email either Jack Lebowitz or Vadim Mzhen to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.