Springfield, MO Auto Defect Lawyers
Representing Accident Victims & Others Harmed by Defective Motor Vehicles
Every year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issues hundreds of vehicle recalls, in addition to numerous voluntary recalls made by auto manufacturers and related parties, due to dangerous auto defects. Unfortunately, just because a vehicle is recalled does not mean that it is actually taken off the road. Thousands of people are severely injured or killed by defective vehicles (and vehicle components) nationwide—and auto manufacturers and other liable parties can be held legally accountable.
At Potts Law Firm, we represent car accident victims and others who suffer serious injuries as a result of auto defects. At our office in Springfield, MO, we provide a compassionate, client-focused approach, along with aggressive, results-driven legal strategies. We have extensive experience handling both single-plaintiff claims and mass litigation, including high-profile class actions and mass torts.
To learn how our Springfield auto defect attorneys can help you with your claim, call (417) 323-6752 or contact us online. Your initial consultation is free.
What Is an Auto Defect?
An auto defect refers to an improperly designed, manufactured, or marketed vehicle or vehicle component. Such defects can render a vehicle inherently unsafe for drivers and their passengers, as well as others on the road. When an auto defect contributes to or causes a crash that leads to serious injuries or deaths, victims and their families can take legal action.
Like other dangerous products, auto defects generally fall into one of three categories:
- Design Defects: When a vehicle has an inherently unsafe design that puts motorists at risk, this is known as a design defect. This applies to vehicles, as well as various vehicle components, such as fuel systems, engine components, and safety features like airbags and seatbelts.
- Manufacturing Defects: A vehicle or vehicle component that is properly designed but incorrectly made, installed, or put together has what is known as a manufacturing defect. Examples include airbags that do not deploy on impact or braking systems that fail when applied.
- Marketing Defects: Also known as labeling defects, marketing defects occur when a vehicle or vehicle component is missing safety warnings, instructions, and other important labels. False or misleading advertising may also constitute a marketing defect in certain cases.
By identifying the type of defect a vehicle or auto part has, our attorneys are able to determine who is responsible for the victims’ damages. Such damages may include economic losses, like medical expenses and lost wages. They may also include noneconomic losses, such as physical and mental pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of earning capacity.
Examples of Common Auto Defects
Over the years, many different vehicles and specific vehicle parts have been the subject of auto defect litigation. Some of these cases—such as the defective design of the Ford Pinto, including both poorly placed fuel systems and vehicle doors that tended to jam after an impact, that led to numerous accidents, explosions, injuries, and deaths during the 1970s—are more well-known than others. However, certain issues tend to arise time and time again in auto defect litigation.
Some examples of the most common auto defects include:
- Defective tires that “blow out” or shred while the vehicle is in motion
- Braking systems that lock up or fail when the brakes are applied
- Airbags that do not deploy or explode as they deploy
- Seatbelts that fail to lock or become unfastened during an impact
- Vehicles that speed up on their own due to faulty accelerators
- Top-heavy sport utility vehicles (SUVs), leading to a greater risk of rollovers
- Defective fuel systems that leak fuel oils or fumes
- Car door latches that jam or fail to shut properly
These and other auto defects can have devastating or even deadly consequences for motorists and others on the road. When an accident occurs, injured victims and the surviving family members of those wrongfully killed may seek justice by pursuing claims against the liable parties.
Call us at (417) 323-6752 or contact us online to schedule a complimentary case evaluation.
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.
Most often, the manufacturer responsible for creating or producing the defective vehicle is legally responsible for victims’ resulting injuries, losses, and damages. In some cases, claims can be filed against certain third parties, such as manufacturers of defective parts (if different from the auto manufacturer), dealerships, etc. It is important that you work with an experienced attorney who can carefully review your case and determine who is liable for your damages.
At Potts Law Firm, our Springfield auto defect attorneys conduct independent investigations and work with industry experts, such as accident reconstructionists, to identify what happened and who is liable. We gather important evidence and secure expert testimony to bolster our clients’ claims and present the most powerful case possible to the judge and/or jury. No matter who is responsible, we seek to bring that party to justice, as well as secure the maximum compensation our clients are owed.
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.