Crashworthiness is the ability of a vehicle to prevent passenger injuries in the event of collision, independent of the severity of the collision. Crashworthiness features include many automobile components that each serve an important role in the protection and safety of passengers.
If you have been injured in a collision due to a defective crashworthy feature, it is imperative that you contact one of the experienced car accident lawyers in your area. In Chicago and throughout the state of Illinois, seriously injured victims have relied for decades on the expertise of Healy Scanlon Law Firm. Our car accident attorneys have successfully tried thousands of cases in Chicago and Illinois courtrooms.
Since airbags became standard safety features in most modern vehicles, they have successfully reduced the fatality rates of frontal collisions by 30 percent, saving thousands of lives each year. However, airbags are expensive safety devices and manufacturers often cut corners in order to save money and increase profits, leading to serious and deadly airbag design defects. Most airbag-related injuries occur when the airbag deploys too forcefully or does not deploy at all during a collision. Airbags are also extremely dangerous to small children.
Recently, against the advice of consumer safety and rights groups, the Department of Transportation lowered the standards airbags must meet in unrestrained crash tests. Consumer advocates raised valid concerns that the decreased quality of airbags will result in an increased number of deaths. Unfortunately, car manufacturers still have considerable power and influence over government regulatory agencies.
The door latch is a fundamental crashworthiness feature. If a door latch becomes disengaged during what would otherwise be a survivable crash, it creates a dangerous opening through which the driver may sustain a serious injury or be completely ejected from the vehicle. Door latch failure results from weak metal or poor design. Often, the simplest design alteration or correction can create a stable, effective latch that prevents unnecessary and serious injuries.
Seat backs are frequently overlooked as a valid and important factor in the crashworthiness of a vehicle. There are currently no laws in place governing seat back strength and effectiveness, and seat backs are not required to undergo any crash tests. Regardless, defective seat backs account for thousands of unnecessary injuries and deaths each year, notably in rear-end collisions.
During a collision, a defective or unstable seat back may collapse rearward, possibly ejecting the passenger out of a broken window or slamming the passenger against the interior of the car. These injuries are known to occur even at very low speeds. Back seat passengers can also become trapped underneath the collapsed seat.
Seat back failure is preventable and consumer safety groups have advocated safety standards for seat back design and strength, but with little success. Without government regulations, manufacturers have little economic incentive to rectify structural design flaws, and the safety of passengers has been compromised as a result.
If you or a loved one has suffered serious injury as a result of the failure of any important crashworthiness feature, you may be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer in accordance with product liability law. We will aggressively represent your interests and help you obtain full and fair financial compensation for your injuries. Call 312-226-4236 or use our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.