Houston Auto Defect Attorneys
Fighting to Recover Compensation for Victims Injured by Auto Defects in Houston, TX
When you get behind the wheel of your car, you expect it to perform as designed. After all, driving on a busy roadway comes with inherent risks, and you depend on your car’s safety features to function correctly should you ever get into a collision. Sadly, auto defects impact millions of vehicles every year. Recalls are meant to catch issues before they lead to tragic consequences, but there are inevitably situations where an undetected defect will endanger a driver and others on the road.
If you suffered injuries in an accident that appeared to be caused by some sort of vehicle defect, Potts Law Firm can offer the dependable, aggressive representation required to hold responsible parties accountable. Our Houston auto defect lawyers frequently handle these cases and have recovered over $1 billion for our clients. After reviewing the details of your situation, we can investigate the cause of the accident, determine who is liable, and review your recovery options. No matter the complexity of your circumstances, we are committed to delivering the best possible outcome and will always seek to maximize the value of your claim.
You pay no legal fees unless we win, so call (713) 348-9638 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation today. We offer same-day appointments and provide our services in English and Spanish.
On This Page:
- The Impact of Auto Defects
- Types of Auto Defect Claims We Can Help With
- How Dangerous Auto Defects Happen
- Who Is Liable for an Auto Defect in Texas?
- What Types of Compensation Can I Recover?
- Can I File a Products Liability Claim If I Caused a Car Accident?
The Impact of Auto Defects
Auto defects can have far-reaching consequences, affecting various aspects of individuals' lives and leaving a lasting impact on their well-being.
- Injuries and Fatalities: One of the most distressing outcomes of auto defects is the occurrence of personal injuries and fatalities. When vehicles have inherent flaws or faulty components, accidents are more likely to happen, resulting in harm to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. These injuries can range from minor cuts and bruises to more severe consequences such as broken bones, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and even loss of limbs. In the worst cases, auto defects can lead to fatalities, robbing families of their loved ones and causing immeasurable grief.
- Property Damage: In addition to the physical harm caused by auto defects, there is often significant property damage and financial losses involved. Defective vehicles can cause collisions, resulting in extensive damage to the vehicle itself, as well as other properties involved in the accident. Repairing or replacing damaged vehicles can be expensive, and individuals may also incur costs for medical treatment, rehabilitation, and ongoing care. Furthermore, the inability to work due to injuries or fatalities can result in lost wages and financial instability for affected individuals and their families.
- Long-Term Health Issues: Beyond the immediate consequences, auto defects can also have long-term health effects. Survivors of accidents caused by defective vehicles may face chronic pain, disability, and reduced quality of life. Some injuries may require ongoing medical treatments, surgeries, or therapy, leading to a significant physical, emotional, and financial burden. Moreover, certain defects, such as those involving airbags or seat belts, can exacerbate injuries and potentially lead to long-lasting impairments or complications.
- Phycological and Emotional Toll: The psychological and emotional impact of auto defects should not be overlooked. Being involved in an accident caused by a defective vehicle can be a traumatic experience, leaving individuals with emotional scars that may persist long after the physical injuries have healed. Survivors may experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, or other psychological conditions. The fear of driving or being in a car again can be debilitating, impacting one's daily life and relationships.
Recognizing and addressing these impacts is crucial not only for the affected individuals but also for the development of safer vehicles and the prevention of future incidents.
Types of Auto Defect Claims We Can Help With
An auto defect refers to a flaw, malfunction, or safety issue in a motor vehicle that deviates from the intended design or performance standards set by the manufacturer. Auto defects can pose serious safety risks to drivers, passengers, and others on the road.
Our Houston auto defect attorneys are ready to advocate for you in claims involving:
- Airbag Failures: Airbag defects can involve the non-deployment or improper deployment of airbags during a collision. This can lead to inadequate protection for occupants or, in some cases, injuries caused by the airbag itself.
- Seatbelt Failures: Seatbelt defects may include issues like latch failures, tears in the belt material, or retractor malfunctions, which can result in the seatbelt not properly restraining occupants during an accident.
- Broken Seatbacks: The failure of a seatback can be extremely dangerous in a collision. It can lead to the seat collapsing backward, potentially causing injury to the occupant and diminishing the effectiveness of the restraint system.
- Door Latch and Hood Latch Failures: Defective door latches can result in doors unexpectedly opening during a crash, increasing the risk of occupants being ejected from the vehicle. Hood latch failures may cause the hood to open while driving, obstructing the driver's view and possibly leading to a collision.
- Ignition Defects and Loss of Power: Ignition system defects can lead to a loss of power while driving, potentially causing accidents, especially in situations where power steering and braking assistance are affected.
- Roof Collapse and Crashworthiness Issues: Weak or structurally compromised roofs can collapse in rollover accidents, putting occupants at risk of severe head and neck injuries. Crashworthiness issues pertain to a vehicle's ability to protect occupants during a collision, including the effectiveness of safety features and the structural integrity of the vehicle.
- Steering and Handling Defects: Steering defects can result in a loss of control over the vehicle, making it difficult to navigate safely, while handling issues can affect the vehicle's stability and responsiveness, increasing the risk of accidents.
- Tire Defects: Tire defects can result in blowouts or loss of control, leading to accidents. Common tire defects include tread separation, manufacturing defects, and improper inflation.
- Vehicle Fires and Fuel System Defects: Vehicle fires and fuel system defects can result from issues like fuel leaks, faulty fuel tanks, or electrical malfunctions. These defects can pose serious fire hazards and increase the risk of accidents, especially in the event of a collision.
Auto defects can be caused by various factors, including manufacturing errors, design flaws, or inadequate quality control. When these defects lead to accidents or injuries, they may become the subject of product liability lawsuits, and vehicle recalls may be initiated to address the safety concerns. If you suspect your vehicle has an auto defect, it's essential to contact the manufacturer or a qualified mechanic to address the issue promptly for your safety and the safety of others on the road.
How Dangerous Auto Defects Happen
Defects in automobiles can occur at the design or manufacturing stage of the vehicle production process. There are instances where a vehicle’s design or the design of a specific component is inherently defective, meaning the flaw will impact all vehicles that use that design or component. These design flaws can trigger widespread flaws when the problem is discovered. In other cases, manufacturing errors or other problems at a manufacturing facility can lead to issues with a select number of vehicles.
Auto defects are often the result of ill-advised efforts to cut down on costs. A manufacturer might use insufficient materials or a flawed (but cheaper) design to increase profit margins at the expense of reliability and safety. Manufacturers may also rush the production process to meet quotas, potentially resulting in a greater degree of carelessness and raising the likelihood of critical errors.
The bottom line is auto defects are not random acts of chance. Someone (whether it be an individual or organization) is always responsible for the existence of a defect, and they can be held legally accountable when the problem causes injuries.
Who Is Liable for an Auto Defect in Texas?
Automobile manufacturers, manufacturers of automobile components, and other participants in the manufacturing and distribution of vehicles have a legal obligation to deliver safe products. These parties must do everything in their power to verify dependability and proactively warn consumers about any known dangers. That is why vehicle manufacturers must issue recalls when they learn an auto defect is present.
Manufacturers and other parties who owe you and other consumers a duty of care do not always live up to this responsibility. They may fail to issue a timely recall or otherwise warn you about problems that may affect your vehicle’s drivability and safety. If you suffer injuries due to these failures, you may have a case against one or more liable parties.
Depending on the circumstances, any of the following parties could be liable for the injuries caused by an auto defect:
- The Vehicle's Manufacturer: The primary party held liable for auto defects is typically the vehicle's manufacturer. This includes companies responsible for designing, assembling, and quality testing the vehicle. Manufacturers can be held liable under product liability laws for defects that occur during the design or manufacturing process. They have a duty to ensure that the vehicles they produce are safe for consumers.
- The Manufacturer of the Defective Vehicle Component: Sometimes, the defect may be related to a specific component within the vehicle, such as the airbags, brakes, or engine. In such cases, the manufacturer of that specific component can also be held liable. They have a responsibility to ensure the components they provide are safe and meet industry standards.
- The Vehicle's Distribution Company: Distribution companies or entities involved in the supply chain can be held liable if they were aware of the defect and failed to take appropriate action, such as initiating recalls or warning consumers about the issue.
- The Car Dealer or Dealership: In some cases, the car dealer or dealership that sold the vehicle can be held liable if they knew about the defect and failed to disclose it to the buyer or if they made misrepresentations regarding the vehicle's condition. However, liability for dealerships is often more limited compared to manufacturers or component suppliers.
- Used Car Sellers: If the vehicle is purchased as a used car, the liability may differ from that of a new car. Used car dealerships and private sellers may still be held responsible for failing to disclose known defects or engaging in fraudulent practices.
- Repair Shops and Mechanics: In some cases, if a defect is caused or exacerbated by negligent repair or maintenance work performed by a repair shop or mechanic, they can be held liable for the resulting issues.
- Government Agencies: Government agencies, such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the United States, have a role in regulating and monitoring vehicle safety. If they fail to take appropriate actions to address a known safety issue, they may share some liability.
Contact us online or call (713) 348-9638 to discuss your case if you have sustained injuries due to any kind of auto defect.
I had a wonderful experience with this law firm.- Stephen P.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him or any of the team at Potts.- Theo C.
The Potts Law Firm is a powerhouse of brilliant attorneys.- Molly H.
I would recommend Potts Law Firm for any and all legal matters that come my way in the future!- W. Gary
Great law firm!- Hugo G.
In Texas, you have two years from the date of an accident to take legal action against liable parties. If you do not file a lawsuit before this deadline, you will be barred from recovering any damages, so do not wait to discuss your case with Potts Law Firm. If a loved one died in an accident caused by an auto defect, qualifying survivors will have two years from the date of their passing to file a wrongful death claim.
Our Houston auto defect lawyers will work to get you compensation for all economic and non-economic losses, including:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses
- Property damage
- Lost income
- Reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
You can only recover damages for an auto defect if you suffered injuries due to that defect. If you learn some component of your vehicle is defective but do not get into an accident because of it, you do not have a case. Manufacturers are required to repair or replace defective components or vehicles, so if you discover an issue or learn your vehicle is affected by a recall, stop driving your vehicle until you can get the problem addressed.
Seat Back Failure Seven-Figure Settlement
Potts Law Firm secured a confidential seven-figure settlement against an automobile manufacturer when the client’s vehicle was struck by another vehicle causing the driver’s seat to collapse backward allowing the client to be thrown into the back seat where she received spinal cord injuries, rendering her a quadriplegic.
Defective Airbag Seven-Figure Settlement
Potts Law Firm secured a confidential seven-figure settlement against an automobile manufacturer for the clients when their nine-year-old daughter was killed by the passenger side airbag in this low-energy collision.
Small Statured Seat Belt Defect Confidential Settlement
Potts Law Firm secured a judgment and subsequent confidential settlement against an automobile manufacturer for a defective occupant restraint system provided for the front seat driver in a 1990 vehicle. This was a judge-tried case. After presenting evidence as to liability, the judge entered a plaintiff’s verdict.
Auto Explosion Seven-Figure Settlement
Potts Law Firm secured a confidential seven-figure settlement against an automobile manufacturer for a defective fuel tank system. The client received 3rd and 2nd-degree burns over 60% of her body when the 2004 vehicle she was driving was hit in the rear causing the vehicle to become as witnesses describe a “fireball.”
Defective Seat Belt Seven-Figure Settlement
Potts Law Firm secured a confidential seven-figure settlement against an automobile manufacturer for the clients when the restraint system in the subject vehicle failed to properly restrain their son in a rollover.
Defective Seat Belt Buckle Seven-Figure Settlement
Potts Law Firm secured a confidential seven-figure settlement against automobile manufacturers when the client’s seat belt was unlatched during a collision allowing him to move forward which caused his head to impact the interior of the vehicle. The client was immediately rendered a quadriplegic.