Practice Areas

Crashworthiness

A vehicle's crashworthiness has to do with how well passengers are protected in the event of a crash. Safety equipment such as seat belts and airbags, in addition to rollover protection and other vehicle construction issues, contribute to a vehicle's crashworthiness. When occupants are ineffectively protected during a collision, our product liability and may be able to determine that automotive defects are to blame for their injuries.

Crashworthiness

Crashworthiness is the ability of a motor vehicle, as well as farm and construction machinery, to prevent occupant injuries in the event of an accident. Among other things, crashworthiness features have been designed to minimize occupant injuries, prevent ejection from the vehicle, and prevent crushing in either rollovers or from objects falling from front-end loaders. This concept has resulted in seatbelts, airbags, padded dashboards, shatterproof windows, and collapsible steering columns in our cars. Manufacturers of farm machineryconstruction equipment, and riding lawn mowers have a similar responsibility to protect occupants from these absolutely foreseeable accidents.

Safety engineering is an instrumental part of ensuring that a vehicle is crashworthy. Major factors include overall structural integrity, safety restraint technology, and fuel system integrity. Since a ruptured fuel system could have tragic results in any accident, this danger must also be protected against throughout the design and manufacturing of all vehicles.  In addition to air bags, seat belts, and tires, other vehicle components may cause injuries if poorly designed, manufactured, or installed. For example, defective headrests and seat backs can result in serious head, neck, and back injuries. Fortunately, individuals who have been injured due to automotive defects can rely on the product liability attorneys at the Locks Law Firm for exceptional legal assistance.

Although crashworthiness liability laws that determine who is responsible for defective construction equipment, farm machinery, or a vehicle vary from state to state, in most states the parties who may be held liable under proper circumstances are the vehicle/equipment manufacturer, the manufacturer of component parts, and/or the dealer. The three most common reasons for holding a party liable are breach of warranty, negligence, and strict liability. At the Locks Law Firm, we will identify the responsible party or parties and help you receive justice. Manufacturers, like individuals, should be responsible for their actions.    

Our automotive defects and product liability attorneys have the expertise necessary to provide a detailed analysis of your vehicle and your car accident, exposing all possible liability on the part of vehicle manufacturers, repairers, and other relevant parties.  If you believe you have been injured by a defect in an automobile or farm machinery, be sure that the vehicle is preserved so that it can be carefully inspected to determine and document a defect.  In cases where accident reconstruction or vehicle analysis may be necessary, you should contact an experienced lawyer at the Locks Law Firm as soon as possible.

Vehicle Defects

Depending upon the type of accident which occurs to a person in a car, be it a head-on, rear-end, or side-impact collision, or a rollover, occupants may suffer from a variety of serious injuries. Occupants may suffer from acceleration and deceleration injuries, such as whiplash or head and facial injuries if their head hits the dashboard. These safety devices are designed to protect occupants when these foreseeable accidents happen. Likewise, when farm machinery, construction equipment, or lawn equipment is adequately crashworthy it can also help prevent injuries which happen as the result of the force involved in the accident.

Crashworthiness lawsuits typically involve injuries that are sustained as a result of a vehicle or farm machinery defect. There are three types of product defects which may lead to injury: manufacturing defects, design defects, and those that involve inadequate warnings. Manufacturing defects result from a flaw during the manufacturing process. Design defect injuries occur when the vehicle is unsafe due to the manufacturer’s design, which can include lack of an adequate guard which may prevent injury in an accident. Failure to design out or guard against a hazard's foreseeable injuries can result in a valid crashworthiness claim.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident involving a vehicle or farm machinery defect, contact the Locks Law Firm.  We are experienced and can help persons injured by farm machinery, construction equipment, and lawn equipment across the country to obtain the compensation to which they are entitled.

Lack of Industry Regulation

Mandatory regulations on manufacturers of construction equipment, farm machinery, lawn equipment and off-road vehicles are seldom enacted due to intensive lobbying by these industries. Nevertheless, these companies are required to use reasonable care in the design of their machines, including economical and technologically possible protective devices for foreseeable uses of their machines. We know passenger cars are equipped with seatbelts, airbags, padded dashboards, shatterproof windows, and collapsible steering columns to increase driver and occupant safety when accidents happen. Similarly, construction, lawn, and farm machinery should be equipped with safety and restraint devices, including falling object protection canopies, roll bars or rollover protective systems (ROPS).

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