Catastrophic injuries typically result in permanent disability, which will have a direct effect on the quality of the victim’s life. It is common to see cases where, even the most basic daily activities are too demanding as a result of a catastrophic injury. Medical expenses usually become overwhelming to the point that families cannot recover financially. There are many different causes of catastrophic injuries. Defective products cause catastrophic injuries, as well.
A case of faulty guardrails in South Carolina
A couple in South Carolina filed a lawsuit to recover for the catastrophic injuries their daughter suffered following a car accident, where she nearly died. The 20-year-old woman was driving on a county road when she began hydroplaning and hit a guardrail. Of course, the purpose of guardrails is to deflect vehicles and prevent cars from sliding down an embankment or into another vehicle. However, this particular guardrail instead sliced right through her car.
A whistleblower lawsuit sheds light on the problem of faulty guardrails in general
The South Carolina case is certainly not the first of its kind. Last year, a case in Texas resulted in a $175 million verdict against Trinity Industries after an employer reported the guardrail manufacturer for changing the design of their guardrails. The problem was, Trinity Industries did not inform the Federal Highway Administration of the changes, thereby preventing the agency from checking the safety of the newly modified product before it was installed on highways. Ultimately, the new design was found to be defective, resulting in passengers and drivers being speared by the guardrails.
Common Types of Defective Product Claims
The most common types of defective product claims, which can result in catastrophic injuries include defective design, defective manufacturing and failure to warn. A defective design claim involves poor or inadequate design and development of a product, as it relates to the intended and reasonably foreseeable uses of that product. Defective manufacturing claims are usually found when there is an error in the manufacturing or inspection process of a particular product or batch of products. In other words, the design was fine, but the product was not actually made properly. A failure to warn claim is pretty straightforward. If there are inadequate warnings regarding known dangers associated with a product, or there are insufficient instructions for the use of the product, which make it dangerous, then there may be a claim for failure to warn.
Automotive defects also lead to catastrophic injuries
There are many examples of automotive defects that have led to motor vehicle accidents and catastrophic injuries. You have no doubt heard about the Toyota unintended acceleration cases, several years ago, which resulted in numerous cases of wrongful death and catastrophic injury. A majority of those cases were settled for upwards of $1.6 billion. Those cases also led to gas pedal and floor mat recalls for numerous Toyota vehicles. If you have been involved in any type of accident or incident resulting in catastrophic injuries, it is important to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney to determine whether a defective product may have been to blame.
If you have questions regarding catastrophic injuries, or any other personal injury concerns, call the Cottrell Law Office at (888) 433-4861.
He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.
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