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Other drivers are not the only things that cause car accidents

Yes, drivers are involved in every car accident, but they are not always the primary factor in a crash. That does not necessarily let them off the hook for the injuries or deaths that result, but other parties could be held liable as well.

Defective auto parts can fail, drivers lose control of their vehicles and you were unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity when it happened. Tires explode, ignitions turn off during operation and numerous other defective parts jeopardize innocent lives every day. You more than likely heard about Takata's airbags, which might not have led to an accident, but even minor fender benders turned deadly due to that defective part.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), recalls happen more often than you might realize. Since 1966, various companies recalled:

  • 46 million tires
  • 42 million child safety seats
  • 66 million auto parts
  • 390 million vehicles

Recalls save lives here in California and across the country, but getting a recall started takes time because consumer complaints or other identification of a problem often takes time and investigation. In the meantime, people suffer serious injuries or death because they were unaware of the defect.

What kinds of auto defects trigger a recall?

Any component or system of a vehicle that, if it failed, puts you, your passengers or anyone else on the road with you in danger could trigger a recall. For example:

  • Wiring system issues
  • Steering, acceleration or braking issues
  • Wheels or tires that crack, split or break
  • Engine cooling issues
  • Fuel system issues
  • Seats or seat backs issues
  • Car jack or ramp failures

These issues and more represent a risk of serious or even grave danger if they fail while your vehicle is in operation. One or two vehicles with one or more of these issues might not be of more than a mechanical concern. However, when several vehicles of similar make, model or manufacturer, it more than likely triggers a recall.

If you receive a recall notice on your vehicle, take it to the dealer as quickly as possible. Insurance companies tend to try to deny claims for ignoring such a notice. However, if a crash occurs and you did not receive a recall notice, that is another story.

If you or a member of your family suffered injuries in an accident involving a vehicle with a defective system or part, your personal injury or wrongful death claim might include other parties such as the vehicle manufacturer or the maker of a particular part, along with dealerships and other relevant parties.

Serious car accidents potentially change the lives of those involved forever. You deserve compensation for your injuries or the loss of your loved one. Insurance companies work for themselves, not for you. Get help before talking to an insurance company or accepting a settlement.

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  • State Bar of California - California Board of Legal Specialization
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  • Super Lawyers Donald C. Randolph 2004-2016
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