Rental Car Deaths Force National Law Change A Decade Later
Over a decade ago, two young women from the City of Santa Cruz, CA were driving a rental vehicle when they lost their lives in a tragic car accident. While on the highway, the rental car swerved over the median and collided with an 18-wheeler. The cause of accident was not an issue of driving, rather one of negligence. The car being driven by the two young women was a particular model that had been recalled over a loss of power steering many years ago. The rental company, however, had never bothered to fix the issues surrounding the recall and continued to rent it out to its customers. Although unethical, what the rental company did at the time was not illegal, but thanks to a new law this month, many needless tragedies will be avoided in the future.
Placing a Stop on Defective Rental Cars
Beginning June 1st, 2016, rental car agencies must fix any and all open safety defects before renting out vehicles to customers. In the past, there were no existing federal regulations that required car rental agencies fix open safety defects. Under this new law, car rental companies will no longer be able to rent out defective vehicles to customers before fixing them first and making sure that they are safe to operate. In addition to this new requirement, the National Highway Traffic Safety (NHTSA) will now have the power to investigate and punish rental car companies who violate car safety laws.
The auto accident tragedy that sparked the passing of the new law is not just a minor and standalone incident. In 2014 alone, there were close to 900 recalls affecting 51 million vehicles nationwide. While many of these recalls can present minor issues, others can have the potential to have life-ending consequences.
Other Dangerously Defective Automobile Parts
Presently, there are millions of defective air bags across the country. The Takata airbag recall, the largest auto recall in history, affects over 34 million vehicles on the road. This one recall alone affects nearly two-dozen automobile brands. Under the Takata airbag recall, the defective issue involves the airbag’s inflator. The inflator was designed to rapidly expand the airbag in the event of a vehicular collision. It does this by sparking a chemical reaction in the airbag that causes the gases to expand.
When the airbag works properly, the inflated airbag will help to prevent serious bodily injury or death in the event of a front facing collision. When a defective Takata airbag expands, it can send shrapnel through the airbag and into the face of the driver or passenger. These defective airbags have ultimately caused serious lacerations to over 100 people and 10 deaths in the United States so far.
Types of Damages Resulting From Defective Automobile Parts
Undergoing a car accident can quickly result in a multitude of grievances. When the auto accident is caused by a defective auto part, the grievances are always unnecessary and demand justice. A person who has undergone an auto accident that was caused by a defective auto part can experience the following:
Bodily injuries – Physical injuries can vary from mild to catastrophic. Some auto accidents can cause whiplash, broken or fractured bones, injured spinal cords, head trauma, or skin lacerations.
Mental health deficiencies – Whether cognitive issues are the direct result of the impact, mental health issues can arise from the sheer experience of the accident. The trauma and distress can be severe enough to cause issues such as depression, anxiety, or PTSD.
Loss of income – When an auto accident has caused sufficient bodily harm, the victim may be left with the inability to earn an income.
Loss of quality of life – Similarly, those who have undergone catastrophic injuries can suffer the inability to engage in activities they may have engaged in prior to the accident. A victim who frequently participated in marathons and then became paralyzed after an accident is an extreme example of a loss of quality of life.
Medical expenses and medication costs – Whether a person’s injury is mild or severe, medical bills can quickly escalate. Depending on the injury, however, some medical expenses can last a lifetime. Some of the most common medical expenses involve medications, therapy, rehabilitation, ambulance costs, medical equipment, or specialized medical care.
Liability and Financial Compensation For Car Defects
Vehicle and vehicle part makers have an obligation to ensure that their products are reasonably safe. These manufacturing companies also have the duty to warn consumers of potential dangers, whether these dangers are existing or otherwise occur at a later date. When these companies fail to observe these obligations, the injured parties could be entitled to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
Auto accidents caused by defective auto parts can be catastrophic. Contingent on the details of the case, the lawsuit can be filed against the car manufacturer, defective part designer, auto distributor, or auto dealer. By filing a personal injury lawsuit, the driver and passengers alike can fight to obtain financial compensation for their injuries and damages. Auto part manufacturers or designers should be held responsible when their flawed product has caused the injury of another.
File a Personal Injury Lawsuit After a Defective Auto Part Has Caused Your Injury
Defective car parts only increase the risk of serious injury and death in a car accident. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident that involved a recalled vehicle, there may be a question of liability on the part of the manufacturer of the vehicle and the car part. It takes an experienced auto accident attorney in Chino and Chino Hills to properly investigate these types of auto accident claims. Do not wait to consult with a San Bernardino personal injury attorney. Contact the Law Offices of Justin King. Our skilled staff can help you with all of your auto accident injury claim needs. Recalled cars pose serious dangers; consult with a San Bernardino auto accident attorney who can represent your rights. You can learn more about our Products Liability Representation or contact us for a no cost, no obligation case analysis.