Motor Vehicle Defects Information Center

When you are faced with serious injuries caused by a motor vehicle defect, working closely with an attorney who will explain clearly all rights, options and consequences can help to ensure that you make decisions that are in your interests. Call today to schedule a consultation and case evaluation with an experienced product liability attorney.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Motor Vehicle Defects

Q: What is "crashworthiness?"

A: Crashworthiness is the ability of a vehicle to prevent injuries to the occupants in the event of a collision.

Q: What kinds of things affect a vehicle's "crashworthiness?"

A: The vehicle's size, design and safety features such as seat belts, airbags and crumple zones all affect its crashworthiness.

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Motor Vehicle Defects - An Overview

In general, motor vehicles are safely designed and carefully manufactured. Some, however, are carelessly made or improperly designed. Poorly designed or defectively produced vehicles can be dangerous and can cause serious injury or death. If you or a family member has been injured in an automobile-related accident caused by a defective or poorly designed component, contact Law Office of Richard Hay in Somerset, KY, today to schedule a consultation with an experienced products liability attorney who can advise you about the rules that apply in KY to your situation.

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The Concept of "Crashworthiness"

The most important concept in vehicle defect liability cases is "crashworthiness". Crashworthiness is the ability of a vehicle to prevent injuries to the occupants in the event of a collision. During a collision, a vehicle's occupants are subject to a number of forces that can result in injury, including rapid deceleration and rapid acceleration, depending on the direction of impact in the collision.

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Elements of a Motor Vehicle Defect Claim

Unlike an ordinary personal injury claim for negligence, in order to establish a vehicle manufacturer or seller's liability for a vehicle defect, you do not need to show that they were careless, and that their carelessness led to your accident or injury. Instead, liability in motor vehicle defect cases is controlled by the doctrine of strict liability.

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Vehicle Safety and Restraint Devices

Vehicle safety is a significant consideration, both in terms of liability for injuries resulting from automobile accidents and when the average consumer is shopping for a new car. Every new passenger vehicle must meet federal standards specifying minimum safety levels, but this doesn't mean all cars are equally safe. There still are important safety differences. Identifying the safest car on the road is impossible, but it is possible to shop for a safer car because some vehicle characteristics are inherently safer than others, and many automakers offer safety features beyond the required minimums.

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Motor Vehicle Defect Recalls

One of the most common vehicle defect issues faced by the public is that of safety recalls of a motor vehicle. Safety recalls are usually instigated by either the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the vehicle manufacturers themselves in response to a discovered defect in a vehicle or a component of that vehicle. So it is important to understand the procedure that is followed in vehicle recalls and the respective responsibilities of those involved.

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Motor Vehicle Defects Resource Links

Consumer Complaints Search Engine
Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) tool to search for or file consumer complaints about vehicles, equipment, child safety seats and tires.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Guide for Consumers
An FTC auto guide for consumers.

The Insurance Institute For Highway Safety
News and data related to vehicle safety, including testing and vehicle ratings.

myCarStats
Searchable database of automobiles with mechanical or safety issues filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA)
Consumer information and guides to used cars values.

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