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Frequently Asked Questions about Motor Vehicle Defects

Airbags and lap or shoulder belts together are very effective, but there are circumstances when inflating airbags have caused serious injuries, even deaths.

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At Kolker & Germeroth, L.L.C., we provide an aggressive pursuit of justice for the victims of injuries that occur as a result of motor vehicle defects in St. Louis and throughout Missouri. To learn more about our practice in this area, visit our Car Parts Defects page.

Below we have included some helpful information about motor vehicle defects. To find out more about how our attorneys can help you with your specific legal needs, contact us today.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Motor Vehicle Defects

Q: What is "crashworthiness?"

A: Crashworthiness is the ability of a vehicle to prevent injuries to the occupants in the event of a collision.

Q: How does the fact that a driver may have caused an accident affect a crashworthiness action?

A: The doctrine of crashworthiness centers around the enhancement of injuries caused by a motor vehicle defect. The issue becomes whether the defect increased the injuries, and fault of a person injured does not prevent recovery in a crashworthiness action. The fault issue may arise when the court or jury weighs the comparative fault of the individual causing the accident with the fault of the manufacturer, so that a reduction in the amount of damages you are entitled to may result.

Q: What kinds of things affect a vehicle's "crashworthiness?"

A: The vehicle's size, design and safety features such as seat belts, airbags and crumple zones all affect its crashworthiness.

Q: What is a lemon law?

A: Lemon laws are enacted to protect the purchaser of a new or almost-new car from the risk that the car is defective. Under a typical lemon law, a purchaser may return a new car that was leased or sold with a manufacturer's warranty if it is defective, provided the defect cannot be repaired in a reasonable number of attempts or at all. Most lemon laws also apply to used cars that are still under the manufacturer's warranty and that meet any applicable mileage and/or time requirements.

Q: I was injured because of a brake defect in a used car I bought. May I recover from the dealer?

A: A used car dealer might be subject to liability in a negligence action for failing to inspect or discover such a defect, but courts disagree on whether dealers in used goods should be subject to strict liability.

Q: Who pays for a motor vehicle recall, the automobile's manufacturer or the vehicle owners?

A: In general, the vehicle manufacturer must remedy the defect at no charge to the vehicle's owner.

Q: Do I need a lawyer if I believe I may have a motor vehicle defect claim?

A: Due to complex issues involved in a motor vehicle defect claim, discussing your case with an attorney who is experienced in the area of motor vehicle and product liability is a good first step. Call today to schedule a consultation.

Q: Can I still sue even if I've made changes to my car after I bought it?

A: As long as the vehicle had not been substantially changed from the condition in which it was originally sold, your claim will most likely not be affected by any minor alterations to the car.

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DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.

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