Las Vegas Defective Vehicle Parts Attorneys
Experienced representation when you’re injured by defective cars, trucks, and motorcycles
After a serious car or truck accident, authorities and insurance companies generally focus on driver error. Did someone run a stop sign, fail to yield, or drive distracted or drunk? However, in some cases, a crash wasn’t the driver’s fault at all. Defective and malfunctioning auto parts can contribute to accidents even when motorists are following all traffic laws to the letter.
Going up against a big auto manufacturer is a lot more difficult than holding an individual person responsible for your injuries. These companies spend a lot of money avoiding liability, and when you’re injured by a defective auto part, you need experienced and skilled legal help on your side, too. That’s where the Las Vegas product liability attorneys at Claggett & Sykes Law Firm come in. Our legal team has the knowledge and resources to get things done, while you take the time you need to recover from your injuries.
“Claggett and Sykes have been extremely professional and helpful during the time we worked together. They would be sure to update me on the progress of my case and made sure to answer any questions that I had and that I understand where we were in the process. They closed my case in a timely matter especially considering the fact that they were working remotely due to COVID. Thank you!” – Isabella G.
What is a motor vehicle defect?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that traffic accidents are the number one cause of debilitating injuries in the country. The NHTSA also has the authority to recall vehicles with safety-related defects, or any vehicles that don’t meet federal safety standards. These vehicles can include cars, trucks, buses, and motorcycles, and parts can include tires, brakes, seatbacks, and fuel systems, among others.
The NHTSA ensures motor vehicle safety for the public, which includes protecting us “against unreasonable risk of accidents occurring because of the design, construction, or performance of a motor vehicle, and against unreasonable risk of death or injury in an accident, and includes nonoperational safety of a motor vehicle.”
A vehicle defect, then, is a problem in a motor vehicle or piece of equipment that poses an “unreasonable risk to motor vehicle safety, and may exist in a group of vehicles of the same design or manufacture, or items of equipment of the same type and manufacture.”
The vast majority of car and truck defects are preventable, and occur when companies and manufacturers cut corners on costs and safety measures.
What are common defective vehicle parts?
Whenever a vehicle component fails to work in the way it’s intended, it can cause a collision or contribute to severe injuries. Just a few examples of common vehicle defects include:
- Brakes. Faulty brakes can cause serious accidents, collisions, and loss of life. Problems with anti-lock brake systems, brake pads, brake lines, or brake pads can cause brakes to fail, resulting in disaster for drivers and other vehicles on the road. Claggett & Sykes secured over $3 million on behalf of a client who suffered serious injuries after a flatbed tow truck’s parking brake failed, causing the truck to roll out of its parking spot and into traffic, where it hit our client’s vehicle.
- Tires. One of the most common defective vehicle parts, when tires malfunction, drivers can lose control of their vehicles. Tire defects include blowouts, tread separation, bead failures, low pressure, and sidewall or zipper failures. When a truck with 18 wheels is riding on defective tires, the risks to everyone increase. When a motorcycle rider’s tire blows out, the rider can be thrown from the bike.
- Electrical and fuel systems. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that most truck defects are found in the fuel and electrical systems. Faulty ignition switches, bad wiring, loose spark plugs, fault belts – each of these small parts can contribute to the overall failure of the truck, or even cause an engine fire. When that failure occurs on a hill or while traveling at highway speeds, the driver may be unable to control the truck, leading to a collision, jackknife, or rollover. Fuel system defects are also common in motorcycles, often leading to burns and leg injuries for riders.
- Steering. If the steering components on a vehicle fail, the driver will almost certainly lose control, risking a serious collision. These defects can include fluid leaks, faulty hydraulics, steering wheel locks and jams, and other problems with the steering column. Motorcycle riders have to contend with these same issues, but also with potential design defects in the handlebars.
- Seatbelts. When seatbelts fail, passengers can be ejected from the vehicle or suffer other severe injuries inside the cabin. Defective seatbelts can have problems with the latch, webbing, or restraint mechanism.
- Accelerators. Poorly-designed or defective gas pedals can cause cars to suddenly accelerate or decelerate without warning, resulting in serious crashes. Automaker Toyota went through a massive recall and public relations fiasco in 2009 and 2010 with millions of vehicles due to defective accelerators.
- Airbags. One of the largest products of all time is the Takata airbag recall, where tens of millions of vehicles were recalled due to defective airbags. These airbags could deploy with such force some victims were severely injured or killed. Other airbag defects include failure to deploy, or unexpected deployment.
Other potentially defective auto parts can include things like seats and seat backs, , wiring systems, car jacks, and engine blocks.
Not every problem you might have with your vehicle qualifies as a safety defect, however. Under the NHTSA’s rules, the following are NOT considered safety-related defects:
- Air conditioners and radios that do not operate properly
- Ordinary wear of equipment that has to be inspected, maintained, and replaced periodically (e.g., shock absorbers, batteries, brake pads and shoes, and exhaust systems)
- Nonstructural or body panel rust
- Quality of paint or cosmetic blemishes
- Excessive oil consumption
If you believe your car accident or injuries were caused by a defective auto or truck part, the Las Vegas attorneys at Claggett & Sykes can provide knowledgeable guidance on your potential claim.
What should I do if my vehicle is recalled?
The NHTSA initiates vehicle recalls when cars, trucks, motorcycles, or related equipment fails to meet federal safety standards. Manufacturers may conduct recalls voluntarily if they discover any safety issues through their own safety testing and research. However, the NHTSA can also require a manufacturer to recall unsafe vehicles if they fail to take appropriate action.
If your car or truck is recalled, by law the manufacturer must issue an alert to vehicle dealers and owners, describing the problem along with a solution (typically a repair or replacement part). This alert should contain details like the nature of the defect, its potential risk, whether or not your vehicle is safe to drive, warning signs of a problem, and instructions on what to do next. In most cases, an authorized dealer can repair or replace the defective part free of charge.
To see if your vehicle is currently affected by a recall, you can check the NHTSA website any time.
Remember, though, just because a manufacturer issues a recall doesn’t mean they’re not liable for any injuries or deaths their defective vehicles cause. For many families, that recall may come much too late.
Who is liable for my Las Vegas defective vehicle part accident?
Every entity that plays a role in the design and development of a vehicle can potentially be liable for injuries resulting from a defective auto part. From the manufacturer to the dealer to the parts supplier to the repair shop, determining who is liable can depend on where in the development process the defect occurred. The part may have been defective all the way back in the design stage, or suffered a defect during a manufacturing run. In some cases, a faulty part may end up in your vehicle during a repair job.
When you suffer an accident or injury from a defective car part, the attorneys at Claggett & Sykes can file a claim on your behalf. We’ll work to show the following under Nevada product liability law:
- The vehicle, or one of its parts or components, had a dangerous defect that caused you or a loved one harm.
- You were using the vehicle lawfully and in the way it was intended, and
- The vehicle wasn’t significantly changed or altered from its original condition.
With hundreds of millions recovered for our clients, we know what it takes to build a successful case.
Contact a Las Vegas defective vehicle parts attorney today
Millions of cars and trucks are recalled every year for defective parts and equipment. If your accident was caused by a defective auto parts, the Las Vegas attorneys at Claggett & Sykes can help. Let our legal team take over while you heal from your injuries. We can answer all your questions during a free consultation. Just call 702-333-7777 or fill out our contact form today.