There are times where, as a personal injury lawyer in Grapevine TX, we see that the driver is not solely to blame for an accident. There have been many times where a manufacturer was either partially or fully at fault. Many people may remember the lawsuit brought against Ford and Firestone a few years ago after a Ford Explorer rolled due to the failure of a Firestone tire. In this case, a woman suffered brain injuries and became wheelchair bound. The lawsuit was settled outside of court, and Firestone paid over $7 million.
These cases are certainly more unique that the standard car wreck which is typically the fault of at least one of the drivers. In most cases that we see, there is a clear victim and a clear cause of the accident. Even when both drivers are partially to blame it is typically easy to identify what led to the accident in the first place. There are, however, times, where a driver was following the rules of the road and an accident, occurred anyway. In these cases, it is important to look and see if anything went wrong with the car itself, the tires or any other components of the vehicle.
As a personal injury lawyer in Grapevine TX, we recommend that our clients keep their vehicles in proper working order, have them serviced, and get them inspected on a regular basis to ensure that nothing needs to be replaced. When the tire tread or break pads are worn down, they need to be replaced so that the car can function smoothly. These are important factors for staying safe. If you do this and still get into an accident while driving appropriately, you may not be to blame.
A perfect example of this is the unintentional acceleration problem that Toyota had. In statements by the FBI, it appears that Toyota knowingly manufactured and sold cars that had a mechanical issue leading to acceleration problems. Clearly there was an issue since Toyota was forced to pay a $1.2 billion fine.
In several cases, one involving an off-duty police officer, the Toyota owners were driving like normal when the car suddenly accelerated and wouldn’t stop. In the case of the officer, he died along with his family after his Lexus reached speeds around 100 miles per hour and wouldn’t stop. In another instance, a man was sentenced to jail for vehicular manslaughter only to find that it wasn’t his fault. It was the car company’s fault, but he still lost two years of his life. Many other accidents, though less fatal, occurred as a result of Toyota’s problem.
Understandably, when a car manufacturer or tire manufacturer puts out a faulty product, many of them will continue to function like normal. Occasionally, one won’t and this is what leads to accidents. As a driver, think about how your car is responding to your commands and if, during an accident, you were doing everything right. If you were, we need to explore if the accident was perhaps the fault of the manufacturer. As a personal injury lawyer in Grapevine TX, we will explore all options when evaluating your case to ensure that the party to blame is held accountable.