West Texas Auto Defect Lawyers
Injured in an Accident Caused by a Defective Auto Part in Abilene or Midland, TX?
When you purchase a new vehicle, you expect it to be safe and reliable. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Every year, millions of vehicles are recalled due to defects that can cause serious accidents and injuries. In some cases, the defect is so severe that it can cause the vehicle to become uncontrollable, leading to a rollover accident. In other cases, the defect can cause the vehicle to catch fire or the airbags to fail to deploy. All of these defects can cause serious injuries and even death.
At Potts Law Firm, our West Texas auto defect attorneys are committed to helping the victims of defective vehicles recover the full, fair compensation they are owed. We understand the complexities of these cases and have a proven track record of success in even the most challenging of circumstances. If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident caused by an auto defect in Abilene or Midland, TX, we can help you understand your legal rights and options.
Types of Auto Defects
An auto defect refers to any flaw, failure, or imperfection in a vehicle or its components that compromises its safety, performance, or compliance with design specifications. Defective auto parts can pose serious risks to drivers, passengers, and other road users, potentially leading to accidents, injuries, or fatalities.
There are three main types of auto defects: design defects, manufacturing defects, and marketing defects. All three types of defects can cause serious accidents and injuries.
Design defects are inherent in the vehicle’s design. This means that every vehicle of that make and model will have the same defect. Design defects are often the result of poor engineering or a failure to properly test the vehicle before it is released to the public. In some cases, the vehicle’s design is not defective, but the manufacturer fails to include certain safety features that could have prevented an accident or injury.
Manufacturing defects occur during the assembly of the vehicle. This means that only some vehicles of that make and model will have the defect. Manufacturing defects are often the result of poor quality control or the use of substandard materials. In some cases, the defect is the result of a mistake made by an assembly line worker. Manufacturing defects can affect any part of the vehicle, from the tires and brakes to the airbags and seat belts.
Marketing defects occur when the manufacturer fails to provide adequate warnings about the vehicle’s potential risks or fails to provide proper instructions for its use. For example, if a vehicle has a high risk of rollover, the manufacturer has a duty to warn consumers of this risk. If a vehicle requires a certain type of fuel, the manufacturer has a duty to provide instructions to this effect. Marketing defects can also occur when a manufacturer makes false or misleading claims about the vehicle’s safety or performance.
Common Auto Defects
There are many different types of auto defects, all of which can cause serious accidents and injuries. Some of the most common auto defects include:
- Airbags: Defects in airbags might include failure to deploy during a collision, spontaneous deployment without cause, or improper deployment that causes injury instead of protection.
- Tires: Defective tires can have issues such as tread separation, blowouts, or sidewall failures, leading to loss of control and accidents.
- Brake Systems: Malfunctions in brake systems can result in loss of braking power, brake fluid leaks, or sudden brake failure, increasing the risk of accidents.
- Fuel Systems: Defects in fuel systems can lead to leaks, fires, or explosions, posing significant dangers to vehicle occupants and others on the road.
- Seatbelts: Defective seatbelts might fail to properly restrain occupants during a crash, increasing the risk of severe injury or ejection from the vehicle.
- Electrical Systems: Faulty wiring or electrical components can cause various issues, including fires, loss of power steering, or sudden engine shutdown.
- Steering Components: Defects in steering systems can cause sudden loss of control or difficulty in steering, leading to accidents.
- Engine Components: Defective engine parts, such as timing belts or fuel injectors, can lead to engine failure, stalling, or other operational issues.
- Child Car Seats: Flaws in design or manufacturing of child car seats can lead to inadequate protection during accidents, risking the safety of children.
- Ignition Switches: Malfunctioning ignition switches can cause unexpected engine shutdowns, loss of power, or failures in safety systems like airbags.
I had a wonderful experience with this law firm.- Stephen P.
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I would recommend Potts Law Firm for any and all legal matters that come my way in the future!- W. Gary
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In Texas, strict liability laws concerning defective auto parts hold manufacturers responsible for any defects in their products, irrespective of their negligence or intent. When a defective auto part causes harm or injury, the injured party can seek compensation without having to prove that the manufacturer was negligent.
To establish a strict liability claim in Texas for a defective auto part, several conditions generally need to be met:
- Defect: There must be a defect in the auto part that makes it unreasonably dangerous when used as intended or in a foreseeable manner.
- Causation: The defect in the auto part must be the direct cause of the injury or harm suffered by the individual or property damage.
- Product in the Ordinary Course of Business: The defective auto part must have reached the consumer without any substantial changes to its condition from the time it was sold by the manufacturer.
- Foreseeable Use: The injury or damage should have occurred during the intended or reasonably foreseeable use of the product.
Texas follows a statute of limitations that establishes a specific time limit within which a lawsuit must be filed after the discovery of the injury or harm caused by the defective auto part. It's crucial to consult legal counsel to ensure compliance with these limitations.
Courts in Texas recognize strict liability claims to protect consumers and incentivize manufacturers to produce safer products. These laws hold manufacturers accountable for their products' safety, encouraging them to maintain high standards and prevent defects.
Keep in mind that legal processes can be complex and vary depending on the specifics of each case. Consulting a qualified attorney experienced in product liability cases in Texas is essential for proper guidance and representation.
Transvaginal Mesh Settlements Over $1 Billion
The Potts Law Firm and its joint venture partners have been successful in resolving over $1 billion in transvaginal mesh settlements. Derek H. Potts was one of a handful of plaintiffs’ lawyers from around the country who spearheaded the establishment of what would become the largest medical device MDL consolidations in history.
Kugel Mesh Hernia Patch $184 Million
Derek H. Potts was a member of the Kugel Mesh MDL Plaintiffs Steering Committee which was instrumental in obtaining a $184,000,000 global settlement for several thousand persons who had received the Kugel Mesh hernia patch.
ERISA Class Action Settlement $36 Million
Potts Law Firm served as class counsel in the ERISA class action, Diebold, et al. v. Northern Trust Investments, N.A. et al., 09-Civ-1934 (Diebold), in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois where the Court approved a collective settlement of $36 million dollars for class representatives resulting in millions of dollars returned to investors.
Paraplegic Minor $12 Million
Derek H. Potts and Timothy L. Sifers obtained a $12,100,000 verdict against Lisa Gard, M.D. for medical malpractice involving a minor. The jury found the Salina emergency room doctor to be negligent in her assessment of the minor upon presentation in the emergency room, failing to timely diagnose a rare spinal condition. The case was one of the largest verdicts in history in the State of Kansas.
Fraud Against Lender $10.7 Million
Potts Law Firm represented a United States Bankruptcy Trustee. The case stemmed from the massive bankruptcy of Royce Homes, one of the largest homebuilders in the country. Micah and Chris represented the bankruptcy Trustee against a multitude of defendants, including the chief Lender, for claims related to the homebuilder’s downfall and the fraudulent transfer of assets from the rightful owners, the creditors.
Birth Injury $4.6 Million
Derek H. Potts and Samuel Cullan were members of the plaintiff's trial team which obtained a $4,600,000 verdict for a minor delivered at Bethany Medical Center. Ariana Wilburn, the minor, suffered a spinal cord presentation after being born in the breech position.
Hypoxic-Ischemic Birth Injury $3.5 Million
Potts Law Firm secured a $3,500,000 settlement for a single mother whose infant suffered severe brain damage while being delivered in a New Mexico hospital. The mother, having no previous pregnancy or medical issues, began laboring and immediately went to a hospital. Despite the clear signs of fetal distress and hypoxia (lack of oxygen), the doctor and nurse did not order an emergency cesarean section.
Fraudulent Transfers $2.42 Million
Potts Law Firm represented a Bankruptcy Trustee, resulting in a combined $2.42 million being recovered for creditors of ATP Oil & Gas Company. The claims related to fraudulent transfers of overriding royalty interests in oil & gas properties made by ATP in a failed attempt to liquidate the assets of the company.
Catastrophic Injuries $3.5 Million
Derek H. Potts was co-lead counsel with Thomas Cartmell in representing John Novogradac of Kansas City whose health was neglected during his stay at two nursing home facilities. Mr. Novogradac developed bedsores on his body and had above-knee amputations on both legs after his wounds became severely infected with gangrenous and dead tissue.
Pharmaceutical Birth Defect $1.05 Million
Potts Law Firm secured a $1,050,000 settlement for a mother whose infant suffered birth defects from a pharmaceutical drug that was taken during pregnancy. Though the migraine drug manufacturer knew the medication could cause a fetus to develop a cleft lip and/or cleft palate when consumed by the mother during the early stages of pregnancy, they failed to warn consumers about these dangers.