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Michigan Car Accident
Product Liability Cases

Michigan Car Accident lawyers often see serious product defects when handling car accident injury cases. Under current Michigan law, a motor vehicle product liability defect case involves either a defect to a car or truck that is the cause of an auto accident; or due to a product defect, has caused personal injury or wrongful death in a car accident; or in the course of a car accident due to failure or defect of the automobile.

As the largest law firm handling serious car accidents and truck accidents in Michigan, the lawyers at Michigan Auto Law have sadly seen their share of serious product defects as a result of car accidents. 

Product liability “tort reform” has made these automobile product defect cases extremely challenging for Michigan attorneys and injury victims.  To handle a product liability auto defect or auto product failure case will normally require enormous resources to be litigated properly.  This means car accident personal injury lawyers cannot help everyone who has been injured as a result of a product defect or failure in an auto accident, as much as we would hope.  Before Michigan lawyers can undertake an investigation as to an underlying defect, there must first be serious injuries to justify the significant costs that are involved in product liability cases.   

There are some well known cars that have well documented histories of product defects, but negligent product design by itself without a serious injury or wrongful death as a result will normally preclude a lawyer from starting a product liability action.  This is due to a combination of the expense of experts in these auto product liability cases, the costs of litigation, but most of all it is due to the imposition of caps on pain and suffering in Michigan.  These caps apply even in the most catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death product liability cases.  

In addition to serious personal injury, such as a traumatic brain injury or a spinal cord injury, the car must usually still be available for the investigation into the product case.   Under Michigan law, before any product liability case involving a car or truck can be explored, the motor vehicle must still be available for inspection to both the plaintiff attorney and later also the defense attorneys and the experts that they will also hire.

There are various types of product defects in auto accident cases that the lawyers at Michigan Auto Law have been successful in investigating on behalf of our clients.  Here are some of the most common examples:

Roll-overs:  Did the seatbelt in the car or truck hold the individual in place?  Was there vehicle roof crush?  Did the glass keep the occupant in the automobile?  Was the occupant ejected from the vehicle, or partially ejected?  Was the person in the car or truck belted in their seat, and did the seatbelt work properly?

Seat Backs: Was it a rear-end impact?  Did the front seat occupant strike anything in the rear of the automobile?  If a child in the rear of the car is seriously injured, was the child hurt by the driver in the front seat of the automobile?  Was the person seat-belted?

Seatbelts: What type of car becomes important, as some cars and passenger trucks have well-known and well-documented histories of seatbelt failure.  Did the seatbelt unlatch?  Did the seatbelt hold the occupant in place (spool out)?  Was it a rear seat belt only?

Airbag non-deployments:  Where was the impact (it normally must be a frontal impact)?

Post-Collision Fuel fed Fire, also known as PCFFF: Where was the fire?

Automobile tire failure: Did the tire separate from the tread?  Is the tire still available for inspection?

Child Safety Seats: Did the seat fail to stay in the vehicle, for example, did the child safety seat unlatch?  Did the seat fail to stay in position, causing or exacerbating serious injury?

In addition to some of these examples, there are a wide variety of car mechanical failures too numerous to list.  A good common sense question that we always encourage to be asked when investigating any of these potential Michigan product liability injury or death cases is simply this: did something not work the way it was supposed to on your car or truck, and did that failure cause serious injury or make a serious injury worse than it would have been as a result of a car accident?