Car accidents are the most highly recorded category of accidents because of the many safety hazards on the road. However, sometimes the cause of the problem arises from within the car. Such an occurrence is common in defective car door latch accidents. Such incidents are caused by a faulty door that may jam or open up as the vehicle is moving.
As a result of defective door latches, there are many recorded fatal accidents based on the horrible nature that victims fall off or succumb to other afflictions while inside or outside the car. Usually, a vehicle’s design should be up to the expected standard to prevent or reduce the risk of car accidents caused by defective door latches.
If you or your loved one is a victim of defective door latch car accidents, you have the right to seek just compensation. Your rights are mainly based on the fact that such an accident is not your fault. You can consult with our Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm team, who are sure to offer you viable solutions and legal advice. We represent you in civil court as well and fight for compensation on your behalf.
Nature of Defective Car Door Latch Accidents
An accident arising from a broken car door happens when the latch does not hold in place, therefore securing the door in position. The latch is built so that it has a designated fastener. The opposite projection rests or moves in a position to open or close the door with the help of the fasteners. When a latch does not lock, passengers are at risk of exposure to accidents because the door will probably open as the car is in motion.
If a door opens up as the car moves, the passengers may be thrown out of the car by the moving force and end up severely hurt by the hard ground or concrete road. The doors are prone to opening when a vehicle comes to a sudden stop or suddenly hits an obstacle on the way like a sizable rock. Similarly, applying sharp brakes as a reaction to an unseen speed bump also warrants the broken door to open. Consequently, the ejection of the passengers is likely to occur.
In other scenarios, when a defective door latch causes the lock to jam, victims are trapped inside the car. Such a case is dangerous because they may be trying to escape dangers inside the vehicle like fires. Sometimes, the door latches fail innocent victims of kidnapping who may be trying to find a way to escape their kidnapper by opening the car and trying to jump out. However, such an attempt may still be dangerous for the victim unless he or she is sure that it is safe to do so. Furthermore, a victim may fall off from a moving vehicle, hurt himself or herself, and, therefore, allow the kidnapper to catch up.
Overall, defective door latches cause very severe accidents to the passengers involved. They sustain many injuries that may range from mild to severe cases. Sadly, most of these accidents end up as fatal, causing worse situations for the victims’ loved ones as well as the other patients who survive them.
Types of Car Door Latch Defects
Car doors are not defective because of a single malfunction from the latches. Sometimes, the root of the problem is from other mechanisms connected to enable the door to operate as a whole. It is, therefore, essential to go through the different causes so that you can establish what other probable causes of the door defects could be and prevent them.
Defective Door Locks
In a car door, locks play an essential role in securing it when it is closed. Thus, doors secure the passengers inside from any possible danger of the door opening. Also, door locks can fail to operate because of a misplaced latch. The jam is dangerous because of the trapped condition caused. As earlier observed, a trapped passenger is posed with the threat of succumbing to hazardous situations like a fire that spreads within the car. If a door latch does not disconnect, it is difficult for the passenger to try and open the door.
Besides, some of the jams are caused by the interconnected mechanical circuit that connects to the driver’s control buttons. They can lock and unlock all the doors in the car. Because of the complexity of the wires and metal rods that promote movement to enable locks to open and close, it is easy for a malfunction to occur.
Defective Door Hatch
A car door hatch holds the entire door to the body of the car. It is the turning point that allows the opening and closing of the door. If some fastening screws are loose, the hatch will be defective and pose a risk of falling off. In adverse cases, door hatches may completely disconnect from the body of the car and fall off. This is mostly caused by previous high impact accidents that result in fallen doors. When the car owner engages a mechanic to fix it, he/she may do a substandard job and fail to secure it back to the body of the vehicle tightly.
Door hatches should also cover the mechanical door structures on the inside. They prevent human interference with other covered mechanical parts that play a role in securing the door. Therefore, if the door hatch is not placed correctly, these other vital mechanisms are prone to destruction and malfunction.
Most door hatch accidents cause the ejection of the passengers. They often land violently, resulting in severe fractures and abrasive injuries. Essentially, should door latches that secure hatches fail, a whole door part may fall off. As a car owner, we advise that you ensure your vehicle is well maintained by running routine checks on the door pieces.
If the interconnected rods are misaligned and disfigured, they do not secure the appropriate latches. A door lock system, therefore, becomes defective and creates a safety risk for the passengers. The rods are strategically placed in different places inside the door structure. Some of the disfigured rods are because of deep debts or previous accidents that caused impacts on the door. You should check and ensure that the rods are straightened to prevent the occurrence of defective door latch accidents.
Defective Door Handles
A car handle is the most common interface between the passengers and the internal mechanisms that enable locking and unlocking of the door. Thus, if the door handle is faulty, passengers could face the risk of doors opening as the vehicle moves. If the victim had not worn a seatbelt, he or she could quickly fall off the car. The effects are foreseeable and are challenging to come to terms with for the victims.
Causes of Defective Car Door Latches
Unfortunately, most cases are usually preventable and only arise because of the greedy or selfish nature of the manufacturer or mechanic in charge of car repairs. However, in other cases, a high impact from accidents simply causes door latches to break or disjoint. Some of the causes of defects are:
Cheap Car Door Part Manufacturers
Some manufacturers are enticed to buy cheaper manufacturing products at the expense of quality. Due to the preference, the finished product is of lower quality than expected and is more prone to latch defects. For example, if the rods installed are weaker than they should typically be, they will quickly wear off or bend and become disfigured. The result is a jammed or non-secure car door, even when it is closed.
Negligence During Assembly of Car Parts
Assemblers may not always pay attention when carrying out their job. Sometimes, the assembler could install a faulty latch into the car door structure and lead to future defects. As expected, an accident will probably occur and hurt innocent passengers. Luckily, advanced technology has paved the way for automated assembling robots that are more accurate in the process and have improved the quality of installation work done.
Aging of Car Parts
When a car has served you for a significantly long time, it’s parts are likely to wear off. Sometimes, you could purchase a vintage vehicle in the belief that it was well maintained over the years. However, many reported cases indicate that older cars have many defects, including door latches. Rusting of the metallic fasteners is bound to happen over time, and it is up to the owner of the vehicle to ensure that he or she does constant repairs and check-ups on the car.
Law Provisions on Car Accidents-Defective Car Door Latch
As a fundamental principle of law, a manufacturer has a duty of care to ensure that his/her products are up to reasonable standards to ensure the safety of the clients. The requirement holds grounds under the Tort of Negligence, which occurs after a disregard of the duty of care.
Despite the allowance of bringing a suit forth, the Nevada Statute Of Limitation has set a time limit, after which a court cannot listen to a personal injury suit. Section 11.190(4) provides for the specific limit as two years after the occurrence of the accident. Accident victims should, therefore, ensure to contact their personal injury attorneys and establish the course of action to take. Typically, you have sufficient evidence to instigate a suit. As a result, you should not hesitate to consult with your attorney and commence litigation immediately.
Injuries Sustained From Defective Car Door Latch Accidents
Any kind of car accident brings about repercussions that vary from one set of circumstances to another. Accident victims are left with a lot on their plates in regards to recovering from the severe injuries obtained from the mishaps. Where they are lucky, the injuries do not have a permanent effect on their lives. However, sometimes dramatic and life-altering results prevail and render the victims scarred for life both metaphorically and literally. Frequent car accidents are:
Once a passenger is ejected from a moving vehicle, he or she will likely have a significant fall. The force on the body as it hits the ground is overwhelming, and especially on the spine. A human’s spinal cord supports the rest of the bone structure as well as holding nerve endings together. Therefore, a spinal injury is potentially fatal. In unfortunate cases, the victim may succumb to the immense disfiguring of the spine.
Spine injuries cause adverse bodily paralysis. Depending on the severity of the injury, a victim may suffer the partial or full-body disease of paralysis. The effects of the disease cause drastic changes in the lives of the affected people. They are unable to carry on with life as they are used to before. Their independence is also compromised because of the need for physical support. Some patients become wheelchair users.
Luckily, most injuries are manageable, ableist requiring surgical procedures to reconstruct the spinal cord.
When a car door latch fails to work adequately and jams the lock, a victim trapped inside may succumb to dangers like fire. When a car hits an obstacle or rolls over, fuel may leak and ignite. The situation is common after many vehicle accidents. Thus, a passenger trapped inside because of a defective latch may suffer burns.
Fire burns are very severe, as they cause many open wounds. Doctors have to continually clean these wounds and wrap them to prevent bacterial infections from attacking patients. Additionally, scars from the burns cause a significant change in an accident victim’s lifestyle. When visible parts of the body like the face, neck, or arms suffer injuries, concealing them may be tasking. Fortunately, medical professionals provide skin grafting procedures to reconstruct the skin and try to eliminate burn scars. However, it is a costly procedure.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Similar to other injuries, a traumatic brain injury will mostly arise from the ejection of passengers from a moving vehicle. When a loose latch leaves doors to open any time, passengers who fail to wear seatbelts are at a highly disadvantaged position. They may land on their heads or bang them against a hard surface after they fall off. Brain injuries may also vary in severity, depending on the circumstances leading to the accident.
The injuries may be mild on a patient, causing only occasional headaches or concussions. Conversely, some conditions are advanced. A victim may suffer significant memory loss or even lose cognitive skills and functions. Such a result means that they become highly dependent on their caregivers to do almost everything for them.
Broken bones are a foreseeable effect of defective door car accidents. Despite succumbing to fracture injuries from falling off the car, passengers may also obtain them from trying to escape or of the vehicle if trapped. The fractures may be on the arms, legs, and pelvis.
Besides, victims may sprain ankles or burst their knee caps as they try to establish a safe landing. Disturbing cases on record show instances where patients suffering from fractures waited for too long before seeking treatment. The conditions usually worsen, causing severe inflammation. In the worst-case scenario, an amputation may be ordered on the patient. Therefore, regardless of the fracture sustained, victims should seek treatment expeditiously.
These are injuries that affect the body’s soft tissue. If the skin breaks and wounds open in the soft tissue area, they are termed as lacerations. Typically, lacerations do not pose a significant threat to a victim’s health, as long as they are cleaned and covered before invasive bacteria affect the open wounds.
Passengers sustain lacerations when sharp objects like tree branches or debris on the road get into contact with their skin as they fall off. Moreover, cuts may be caused by skin tears caused by protruding parts of a defective door car once it falls out of place after a high impact accident. When appropriately treated, a patient should be back on their feet in no time. A critical pointer to note is that the wounds require a constant change of dressing to keep off disease-causing organisms.
In unfortunate circumstances, accident victims do not survive the chaotic turn of events. Death may result from immense blood loss or occur instantly due to injuries on susceptible organs of the body. For example, if a victim hurts their head, and the brain is immediately injured, most bodily functions cease, as the brain controls them. Consequently, blood circulation may also stop, resulting in instant death.
On the other death, some patients succumb to injuries when already in the hospital. When a victim is in a vegetative state because of loss of bodily function, he or she is kept alive by life-support machines. When medics establish that nothing more can be done to salvage their situation, they may require to pull the plug. We understand how difficult it is to let go of a loved one because of preventable accidents. It is, therefore, one of our core duties to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Liability of Parties and Compensatory Claims to Make
When it comes to establishing the party to be held liable for the cause and effect of a defective car door latch accident, your personal injury attorney needs to perform due diligence. He or she should find out the manufacturers responsible for the production of the car you used at the time of the accident. On top of that, your lawyer will also redress events leading to the accident to establish whether an oncoming driver acted negligently and led to an accident that also affected the defective door latch.
Therefore, the liable parties in an accident caused by defective car door latches could be:
- Vehicle manufacturers
- Other drivers on the road
- Vehicle maintenance mechanics
- Road maintenance authority
For a valid claim to be brought forth in court, your attorney should ensure that all factors are aligned and remove any blame from your side. However, this is not always easy to do because the events leading to an accident often happen very quickly. Also, an assessment cannot always reveal if the vehicle in question ever had defective doors or whether the latches and other door mechanisms were destroyed after the accident. The difficulty arises from the horrible accidents that may ultimately destroy a car or cause significant and irreversible damage. Consequently, it is often the victim’s statement against the defendant’s.
Some accidents only result because of a poor state of roads, whereby there is a lot of debris or even holes on the tarmac. The situation is rampant in the highways that transverse the desert. Although some roads are in desert areas and may take a while to refurbish, the maintenance authorities still have a duty to ensure that they are well maintained. Therefore, in the event of an accident, they may be held liable.
Compensation for Medical Bills
As an accident victim, you may spend significant amounts of money on treatment in the hospital, especially when you remain as an inpatient for a while. Other therapies like physiotherapy and surgery are also costly, despite provisions of insurance covers. Also, drugs are too expensive to purchase, despite being necessary for any improvement to be noted. All these expenses can be raised against the defendant since he or she will primarily be the cause of the turmoil.
The judge will order the defendant to grant you monetary compensation, which should be sufficient to cover all present and future medical bills.
Loss of Future Income
When you suffer serious injuries that result in life-altering consequences, you could be unable to work and lose a source of income. Undergoing dangerous procedures like amputation means that you lose a significant body part, especially the limbs.
Due to the disadvantaged position you are in, the defendant liable for causing an accident will have to pay money that values future income you would have made until you retired. The court engages a specialist to do the math and make projections of possible promotions or retirement benefits you would have had access to. They do this to ensure you receive just and satisfactory compensation. Your personal injury attorney plays a significant role in ensuring that the judge is aware of all the hardships and costs you have borne so far because of the life-altering injury.
When a loved one passes away, times can be tough. Adding funeral expenses and dealing with life without them can also take a toll on the family. Liable parties are required to pay compensation for the pain and suffering caused. Moreover, they are required to cover all the processes that the family has to undertake to ensure that the deceased is buried. Additionally, compensation will include for all the future income the deceased would have brought it. The claim can be raised, as mentioned above.
Destruction of Property
On top of suffering injuries, you can seek compensation for the destruction of your vehicle as well as other property close to the accident. The defendant may choose to engage their insurance in providing payment. However, dealing with attorneys is much easier because of the hidden terms and exclusion clauses in insurance documents.
Contact a Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Near Me
Car accidents of any kind are tough to deal with. We understand the nature of the stress that comes after the occurrence of this type of accident. At Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm, we are willing to support you. We ensure that our clients receive the best legal services as we purposefully litigate on your behalf to seek justice. Contact us today at 702-996-1224.