Sometimes accidents happen and they are nobody’s fault. Not every accident ending in injury constitutes negligence. A typical example is someone driving into a tree. At first glance, it does not seem like anybody is responsible for injuries sustained in that kind of accident.
Often, accidents need to be looked at more closely. When they are, it is often revealed that there is more to the accident than meets the eye.
The Death of Paul Walker
This is exactly what happened to popular Fast & Furious actor Paul Walker, who was killed when his Porsche ran into a tree at high speed. It is easy to blame the death on carelessness, high speed, or fate. But Walker’s family is now suing Porsche, and the allegations of the lawsuit are an important lesson on why it is vital to understand every fact of an accident before concluding that nobody is responsible.
Walker’s case relies upon causation. Specifically, Walker’s family alleges that the crash was survivable and that Walker died not because of the impact or force of the crash, but because of design defects in the Porsche.
The lawsuit alleges that the car did not have a properly functioning crash cage, which would prevent outside objects from intruding into the passenger compartment. The suit also alleges that the car was designed in a way that made it easy for the fuel tank to ignite, as it did in the crash. It also alleges that the car had no electronic stability system, a feature found on many lower-priced cars, including ones made by Porsche.
In fact, Walker’s family’s investigation shows that the car was going at 55mph—not 100mph—at the time of the accident, making it more likely that the crash was survivable had the Porsche been properly designed to withstand crashes.
The family alleges that because of the high-powered nature of the car and the lack of basic safety features found on most vehicles, the Porsche was too dangerous to be commercially sold or driven on public roads.
Product Liability Issues Can Often Contribute to Injury
It is quite common for product liability issues to arise in seemingly faultless accidents. The question is whether the occupants of a car were injured more severely by a product defect than they would have or should have been.
For example, it is common for airbags to improperly deploy, causing significant injury to occupants who would have otherwise only sustained minor injuries. In the 80s and 90s, many SUVs came under fire for tipping over, thus making what would be minor accidents much more severe. Poorly constructed tires can also cause accidents or make them worse.
Product liability cases can require expert testimony and can be difficult to prove. Product failures can be devastating, and in any accident, the contribution of poorly designed or manufactured products needs to be considered.
Make sure your attorneys understand every avenue for recovery and every responsible party if there is an accident. Contact the attorneys of Brassel, Alexander & Rice, LLC today for a free consultation to discuss your rights.