Being involved in a car accident could result in devastating outcomes. Defective door latches are among the causes of car accidents in Nevada. After accidents occur, victims want to escape fast. However, defective door latches on the vehicles prevent victims from escaping on time in many cases. In other cases, the defective latch may cause the door to open when driving, exposing you to other oncoming vehicles.
Upon suffering injuries in a defective door latch-related accident, you want to seek compensation to help you recover. You want to partner with an experienced personal injury attorney. At Dallas Horton & Associates, you will receive excellent legal services tailored to help you prepare a strong case against the liable party. Our wealth of experience has enabled us to help hundreds if not thousands of clients involved in defective door latch-related car accidents in Las Vegas, Nevada, fight for their rightful compensation.
The Nature of Defective Door Latch Car Accidents
Usually, car accidents occur in different forms, depending on the circumstances leading up to the collision. It is important to remember that maneuvering problems are the leading cause of accidents, as motorists will often lose control of the vehicle before it crashes. Nevertheless, defective door latch accidents can manifest before or after the crash, depending on your vehicle type.
A defective door latch makes it difficult to open or close the door like other car defects due to mechanical mishaps. Consequently, you will find it challenging to leave the vehicle, especially after involvement in a crash. Due to this, most victims suffer avoidable injuries or die because of the inability to flee from danger on time.
Among the main ways to determine whether the doors on your vehicle are defective is by checking their open and close efficiency. The mechanics behind these motions should be quickly done with minimum friction and resistance.
If you notice any challenges in using the door effectively, you want to note the problem and link it to your accident where possible. Having the details on the door’s defectiveness can play a significant role in your case upon deciding to seek compensation for the harm done. Furthermore, you also want to note the hindrances caused by the defective door latch during your accident to help you find a basis for seeking compensation for any harm caused.
Factors Causing Defective Door Latch Accidents
Upon suffering from a car accident, you will need to assess the circumstances resulting in the incident to help you understand the line of liability. In doing so, you will need to have information on the possible errors classified as defective door latch issues to help you understand their effects on your accident.
The following are the main elements indicating a defective door latch issue in your vehicle:
Vehicle manufacturers are tasked with ensuring that all car parts fit well and work seamlessly together, including the door latches. To do this, they must ensure that quality products are used in developing the locks and latches. Further, the processes used to manufacture the vehicle parts should be well researched to ensure no safety hazards.
When these requirements are unmet, you will notice recurrent problems with your car door latch despite fixing it several times. For example, you may observe that the manufacturing parts used are of poor quality and are prone to breakage or degeneration. Thus, if an accident occurs after having noted and tried to fix the latch, you can seek compensation for the poor manufacturing that triggered the problem.
Improper Door Closure
Another standard indicator of defective door latches is improperly closing a door, so the seal does not lock completely. Driving your car in this condition can be dangerous to you or passengers present, as the lock security is faulty. Consequently, the door may loosen up and open unexpectedly, resulting in a severe accident.
Severe defects will continue to linger even after repairing the door severally. Due to this, we recommend avoiding drivers using the vehicle and seeking alternative forms of transport. If an accident occurs while the door is still faulty, you may have to bear partial liability for the effects you face, especially if you were aware of the vehicle’s condition.
Poor Door Latch Designs
Furthermore, you can easily detect poor latch designs depending on the efficiency when opening or closing the car door. Comparisons with other door latches from different manufacturers can also reveal inadequacies in the door latch designs, meaning that you may be more prone to an accident.
Most designs are incorporated to allow the door to open and close by a simple push or pull. Subsequently, applying extra force on the door to ensure it closes securely or opens indicates a defective design. Therefore, you can present a valid claim in case of an accident involving the design.
Injuries Sustained In a Defective Door Latch Accident
Different accident victims suffer from different injuries, based on the type and severity of impact after a car accident. As a result, your claims may differ from another person's, meaning that the case will require you to prepare for your suit based on your facts.
Learning of the different injuries affecting accident victims is essential to empower you to file a suit and seek compensation. This is essential where you are unsure whether your injuries warrant a legal path to file a claim against the liable party. The following are commonly reported injuries:
Traumatic Brain Injuries
After a defective door latch fails, the door may detach from the vehicle and expose you to high impact from external debris and obstacles. Consequently, you may suffer traumatic brain injuries after banging your head against a hard surface. You should also note that the injuries may result from your inability to exit the car after the collision due to the defective door latch.
A traumatic brain injury is diagnosed by observing a patient’s symptoms as they reveal the severity of their condition. For example, minor forms of the injury will cause dizziness and concussions that are treatable using medication. However, your injury may result in long-term effects like repetitive headaches, seizures, and memory loss.
Severe outcomes may also result in a coma for unpredictable durations, whereby you or a loved one may remain in a vegetative state for long. Under the conditions, you cannot wake up and perform any functions, including basic body mobility. Brain damage may also develop over time, putting you at risk of death or permanent loss of body function.
Many accident victims also suffer from bone fractures in various body parts, depending on the point of impact. Since a defective door latch is likely to cause loose and broken door parts, they may land on you at a high force, leading to broken bones. It is noteworthy that extreme outcomes resulting in the car door detaching arise during high-impact collisions.
Accident victims may be unaware of possible fractures, so thorough medical examinations are necessary. Among them include X-rays and physical examinations from a qualified medical professional. After diagnosis and treatment, your fractures will heal gradually, enabling you to return to your everyday life. If not, you may need to undergo different forms of physiotherapy to help you regain your mobility and independence.
Accident victims may suffer from severe burns after a defective car door accident caused by various circumstances. For example, if the car caught fire and you could not open the door due to a defect, your injuries can be directly linked to the door latch defects.
Survivors of severe burn injuries need to undergo intensive treatment for weeks or months because of the high-risk exposure to infections. The increased risk arises after the skin burns and exposes internal body parts to bacteria, leaving the patient vulnerable to sepsis and other life-threatening conditions.
Moreover, you may need to undergo skin graft surgery to help cover wounds caused by burns. Priority is given to the face and upper body during skin grafting to help retain the patient’s aesthetics. Afterward, you will need long rest durations and a nutritious diet to help you recover fully.
Additional injuries you could sustain in a defective door latch-related car accident include:
- Spinal injuries
- Deep tissue wounds
- Excessive bleeding leading to anemia
Determining the Liable Party in Your Case
You want to establish the liable parties when you decide to forward your matter to court for determination. This is crucial to reaching a favorable case outcome because it ensures you hold the correct party accountable for the accident. Your personal injury attorney will play a significant role in helping you establish the primarily liable party in your case by following various legal principles provided for in different laws.
The most authoritative source of information on determining the liable party is Tort law, as it discusses matters regarding negligence. Since a defective door latch accident is most likely to occur from a party’s negligence, you want to understand the basic premises behind the legal principle to help you prepare accordingly.
Under Tort law provisions, the court will find a respondent liable for negligent actions if you can prove their involvement in all four elements of negligence. The first factor in establishing is that the liable party owed you a duty of care, meaning that they had a responsibility to ensure that your car door latch would operate smoothly and without any safety hazards.
You should note that a duty of care may also extend to other obligations like quality assurance to ensure that only safety-approved vehicles are available for purchase and use. Your attorney can rely on various regulations to justify your entitlement to a duty of care by citing laws. For example, Federal law applicable in Nevada requires vehicle manufacturers to produce a door latch that can withstand an external force equivalent to over thirty times the force of gravity.
If the requirements are unmet, the liable party is said to have breached their duty of care, making them a party of interest in your injury case. Depending on specific circumstances, a breach of duty may occur through action or omission. For example, they may be liable if the quality assurance officer fails to undertake their responsibilities in inspecting car door latches before vehicles are released to the market.
Similarly, a breach can also occur where the liable party undertook wrongfully or recklessly, resulting in the defective latch. Your attorney should provide sufficient evidence and ensure that it presents the errors undertaken by the liable party, resulting in a breach.
Thirdly, you should prove that the respondent’s breach was the direct cause of your car door accident. The best approach to this is to create a premise that shows the accident outcome as only arising from the breach of duty. In multiple causation cases, you want to ensure that you assess the situation and determine all liable parties, as the law allows for joint responsibility for parties held liable.
Finally, you should prove that the breach of duty resulted in damages for you or a loved one, for which you seek compensation. For example, if you suffered from irreversible bodily harm, you can present medical and diagnostic records indicating the extent of damage you suffered.
Based on the four elements of negligence you need to establish, you may hold several parties liable for your accident. They include:
The Vehicle Manufacturer
Car manufacturers are often answerable for accidents involving defects, primarily where the client has not reported any previous impact or damage to the car. The manufacturing company is responsible for sourcing materials and assembling them when producing a car for the market. As a result, they will need to explain the decisions and procedures leading to a defective door latch installation.
Car Rental Companies
Alternatively, you can hold a maintenance company available if responsible for holding and loaning cars to users like you. For example, if you rented out a vehicle for a road trip and suffered a defective door latch accident when using it, you can hold the principal renting company accountable for failing to maintain their cars as expected.
Similarly, if you work for a transportation and logistics company, it is responsible for ensuring that the truck or car you use is well maintained to avoid accidents. Regular checks, including checking door latches, should be undertaken to protect drivers from experiencing challenges when on the road. Your claim would be more justified if you had already raised a concern on the door latch defectiveness, yet no action was taken.
Other Vehicle Users
It is also not uncommon to lend your vehicle to friends, family, or colleagues, especially after a level of trust is established. However, having your car in another person’s possession may result in previously non-existent defects, exposing you to a severe accident. Thus, you may decide to file a case against a third-party user who had your car in their possession when the door latch defects arose.
Claims to Present When Seeking Compensation
As the presiding judge listens to your grievances, they are also interested in learning the claims you intend to present against the respondent if the court holds them liable for your accident. The civil procedure guidelines direct the claimant to include their demands in their written submissions for easier identification. Nonetheless, your attorney will still have a chance to present them orally for a better chance at convincing the court of your plight.
You should remember that each party’s claims differ, depending on the hardships suffered after the accident. Hence, you want to consult your attorney at the earliest convenience to discuss the most compelling and justifiable demands to present. Some common claims include:
Compensation for Medical Expenses
Naturally, the first step after involvement in a car accident is seeking medical attention to prevent existing injuries from worsening. Subsequently, you can expect to incur considerable costs when seeking medical attention, especially if you suffer from severe injuries.
Parties who experience extreme blood loss, painful bone fractures, and severe burns will often require intensive treatment and surgery, which quickly bills up to expensive costs. Further, while your injuries may be reasonably manageable, you may need additional treatment and recovery services like recurrent physiotherapy, amounting to additional expenses.
You should also consider the prescription medication and in-patient treatment you received, if any. This also goes hand in hand with pre-treatment services you receive like CT scans, X-rays, and MRIs that help reach a correct diagnosis.
Upon presenting your claims in court, you want to support them with all relevant receipts, doctor’s notes, and other essential documents in their original format. Doing so will help you build your credibility and justify your entitlement to monetary compensation.
Moreover, you can incorporate additional expenses linked to your medical needs, like the transportation costs used to attend hospital appointments. Medical equipment like wheelchairs and other caregiver services are also acceptable as elements considered in awarding compensation for medical expenses to accident victims.
Loss of Your Source of Income
Many car accident victims can also not work for various durations to recover from their injuries. During this period, they may be unable to earn wages or maintain their jobs, especially in work environments where your output is directly linked to your earnings. For example, freelance artists rely on different assignments to sustain a steady income.
Once your ability to continue working is hindered, you may suffer harm. Primary breadwinners are especially disadvantaged because their dependents may lack alternatives to support the family. The court understands the difficulties in losing your source of income and provides avenues to ensure that victims are well compensated.
Your attorney can help you raise a strong case by providing numerical projections on the salary or wages you expect to earn in the period where you are unable to work. The allowance also accommodates accident victims who may be unable to work for the rest of their lives after severe injuries.
In court, the judge can apply several estimation procedures to arrive at an equitable lump sum that will support you until you can return to work or for your lifetime. They will consider your age, work industry, and the current market for professionals in your field. Your salary before the accident also plays a vital role in calculating the estimated price to award, as the judge will multiply it by a specific timeline within which you were reasonably expected to keep working.
Pain and Suffering
Your physical and emotional pain is also a valid consideration when seeking compensation for the car accident you were involved in. This is because your wellbeing is severely affected, reducing the quality of life you live. Thus you can request compensation by providing an elaborate system and explanation of the type of pain you faced.
Several strategies are applicable in court to determine the monetary value attached to your pain and suffering. For example, the judge may call on an expert witness like a doctor to explain the pain scale for a specific medical condition on a scale of one to ten.
After picking a value, the judge will award a reasonable amount by multiplying the pain range by the number of days you experienced the pain and suffering. In doing so, your requests are validated and considered in helping you seek redress.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
Dealing with the aftermath of any car accident can be physically and mentally tiring. Therefore, victims want to seek legal redress for the accident caused by filing a personal injury claim against the liable party. If you receive compensation, you have a chance to recover financially and support yourself or your loved ones towards rebuilding your life. At Dallas Horton & Associates, you will receive quality legal services to help you build a credible case against the liable party. With our help, you can expect to increase your chances of success in the case significantly, as we will prepare you adequately for the proceedings. We aim to help any client seeking compensation for a defective door latch accident in Las Vegas, Nevada. For more information on seeking compensation after your accident, call us today at 702-380-3100.