You Need Kansas City’s Best Auto Defect Lawyers
For decades, there has been a large gap between what is and what should be in the safety of our automobiles. As a result of many auto manufacturers’ failure to incorporate readily available safety features into their vehicles, thousands have been needlessly injured or killed in what should have been uneventful, survivable collisions. As Kansas City’s best auto defect lawyers, Kuhlman & Lucas, LLC has extensive experience in handling auto defect cases and is ready and willing to evaluate your potential case today.
Types of Auto Defect Cases
There are two types of auto defect cases: one arises when a car defect causes the accident which results in serious injury or death. Examples of this type of auto defect case include a tread separation of a defective tire which results in the driver losing control of the vehicle or a defective GM ignition switch which results in total loss of vehicle control.
The other type arises when a vehicle fails to provide reasonable crash protection to its occupants. Since approximately 1965, automotive manufacturers have been required to design crashworthy cars. The crashworthiness doctrine recognizes that automotive manufacturers have a duty to provide reasonable protection to occupants in accidents.
A crashworthy vehicle must be designed to (1) control energy from the collision; (2) maintain occupant survival space and minimize intrusion into the passenger compartment; (3) package or compartmentalize each seating position; (4) adequately restrain occupants and prevent ejection; and (5) prevent vehicle fires. Basic features utilized to improve a vehicle’s crashworthiness are seat belts, airbags, interior padding, crumple zones, laminated glass and strong roofs.
Examples of this type of auto defect case include failing to include side airbags in a vehicle, failing to include rollover airbags in a vehicle or failing to install a shoulder belt instead of just a lap belt for all vehicle seating positions.
Cars and their components must be designed and built to be reasonably safe. Despite the progress made in auto safety over the years, defects still occur frequently, many times as a result of an auto manufacturer costs savings decision. If you believe you have an auto defect case, contact Kansas City’s best auto defect lawyers at Kuhlman & Lucas, LLC to learn more.
Airbags were developed to reduce injuries in motor vehicle collisions, particularly those that occur at higher speeds. While properly functioning airbags do a tremendous job at keeping people safe, poorly designed airbag systems have resulted in countless serious injuries and deaths. A defective airbag may deploy at the wrong time (too quickly or slowly), explode, send shrapnel at vehicle occupants or fail to deploy at all. Airbag defects can be devastating, often resulting in traumatic brain injury, brain stem injury, brain hemorrhage or swelling, broken vertebrae, paralysis, blindness or death. Many times airbags that should deploy fail to deploy at all, leaving vehicle occupants completely unprotected in the event of a crash. If you believe you have an airbag defect case, contact Kuhlman & Lucas, LLC today for a free case evaluation.
Seat Belt Defects
The integration of seat belts into automobiles has saved millions from death or injury over the years. Properly designed and manufactured seat belts play a pivotal role in reducing injuries and deaths in motor vehicle accidents, but seatbelts that are defective in any way can have devastating effects. Defectively designed or manufactured seat belts can fail to properly restrain an automobile’s occupants in the event of a crash or collision, often resulting in serious injuries such as traumatic brain injury, paralysis or deaths. Some of the most common seat belt defects include: rear seat lap belt only designs, torsion bars or load limiters that allow excessive slack into the seat belt system, passive restraints, rip stitching, spool out and defective buckles which permit inadvertent unlatching, inertial unlatching or false latching. If you believe you have a seat belt defect case, contact Kuhlman & Lucas, LLC today for a free case evaluation.
Seats play an important role in protecting and restraining vehicle occupants in the event of a crash. Seat defects can result in occupants, both adults, and children, sustaining injuries they would not have otherwise sustained in an otherwise uneventful crash, including severe brain injury, quadriplegia, and even death. Some of the most common seat defects include seat back collapse, reclined seat defects, vehicles with no or inadequate headrests, seat track failure or broken seat components. Unfortunately, seat defects can also result in severe injuries to infants or young children sitting behind the collapsing seat. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed as a result of a car seat defect, contact Kuhlman & Lucas, LLC today for a free case evaluation.
Tires are one of the most important components of a vehicle, yet according to figures published by the National Highway Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA), there are more than 8000 accidents per year involving serious injury or death resulting from tire failures. Tire defects can and do lead to crashes and rollovers that affect not only the occupants of the vehicle with the defective tire, but also other drivers on the road. Tire defects cause premature tire failure, including tire tread separation or tire blowouts. Aging tires also pose a hazard to motorists and can cause crashes that result in serious injury and death. Tire manufacturing companies can and should be held accountable for their defective tires. If you believe you have a tire defect case, contact Kuhlman & Lucas, LLC today for a free case evaluation.
Most automotive engineers agree that if a vehicle occupant can survive the crash forces without serious injury, there should be no vehicle fire. Unfortunately, there are still many vehicles on the road today with fuel systems that are susceptible to post-collision fuel fed vehicle fires. Some of the more common defects which result in vehicle fires and burn injuries to occupants include a lack of or inadequate fuel tank shielding, improper gas tank placement behind the rear axle, side saddle fuel tanks, unprotected fuel lines or filler neck defects. If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in a vehicle fire, contact Kuhlman & Lucas, LLC today for a free case evaluation.
Rollover Stability and Roof Crush Defects
Rollover accidents have become much more common with the proliferation of sport utility vehicles. Unfortunately, many of these vehicles are top heavy, unstable and susceptible to roll over, particularly when a driver is forced to take evasive action. Rollovers often result in occupant ejection or severe roof crush which may cause severe injury or death to vehicle occupants. Along with strengthening vehicle roofs and structure, many of these injuries and deaths could have been prevented by electronic stability control, also known as ESC. Unfortunately, many manufacturers have been slow to strengthen roofs or structures or incorporate electronic stability control because of cost. If you or a loved one have been injured in a rollover or a vehicle with significant roof crush, contact Kuhlman & Lucas, LLC today for a free case evaluation