Auto Accident Lawyer

According to statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car and other motor-vehicle accidents are one of the most common causes of injury and death in the United States. Many of these accidents are caused by negligent driving and/or defects in cars and other motor vehicles and may lead to the liability of negligent drivers and the entities that produce and distribute defective motor vehicles for damages suffered by injured victims and deceased victims’ families as a result.

If you have been injured or one of your family members has died in a car or other vehicle accident and you suspect that the accident and/or injuries were caused by someone’s negligence or a defect in a car or motor-vehicle safety equipment, you may be entitled to compensation through legal action. The Killino Firm’s auto- and car-accident lawyers have extensive experience with car-accident cases, including those arising out of accidents caused by negligent drivers or defective motor vehicles. Contact The Killino Firm at 213-623-2544 for a cost-free evaluation of your case and additional information about your legal rights and options.

Legal Responsibility for Car or Auto Accident Injuries and Deaths

Most car and other motor-vehicle accidents are caused by driver negligence and/or defects in motor vehicles. In some cases, the negligence of one or more drivers may combine with defects in one or more vehicles to cause car crashes and consequent injuries and deaths.

Car and Auto Accidents Caused by Driver Negligence

A significant number of car accidents and resultant injuries and deaths are brought about by careless, inattentive, or otherwise negligent drivers who failed to fulfill the duty of care owed by all drivers to other vehicle occupants and pedestrians. When a driver is found to have violated a traffic law or rule of the road or to have engaged in other incidences of driver negligence, the driver may be held liable in a negligence personal-injury or wrongful-death action for an accident victim’s injury or death determined to have been caused by the driver’s negligence.

auto accident lawyer laA driver’s traffic-law or road-rule violation may be considered negligence per se in a negligence action to recover damages suffered by an injured victim or deceased victim’s survivors. This means that proof of the violation, alone, will be considered sufficient to establish two of the required elements of a negligence action: 1) the duty to exercise reasonable care for another’s safety and health, and 2) the breach, or failure to fulfill, that duty. Once these two negligence elements have been established through evidence of a law or rule violation, the plaintiff must also prove that the violation was a cause of the accident victim’s injury or death and that the plaintiff suffered legally compensable damages as a result.

Thus, a driver who is shown to have driven a car or other motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) over the legal limit of 0.08%, for example, may be held liable for an accident victim’s injury or death if the driver’s alcohol impairment is found to have been a cause of the accident that led to the victim’s injury or death. Drivers may also be found to have been negligent per se for speed-limit violations, talking or texting on cell phones while driving in states that prohibit such activity, passing vehicles on shoulders or on the right, or failing to obey traffic signals, to name just a few. Drivers found to have committed these violations and others may be held liable for accident injuries and deaths ruled to have been caused by such violations.

Drivers may also be found liable for accidents and resultant injuries and deaths determined to have been caused by driver negligence other than traffic-law or road-rule violations. In these cases, plaintiffs must establish the drivers’ breach of the duty of care owed by all drivers to other vehicle occupants and pedestrians by providing sufficient evidence of other incidences of driver negligence. This may be shown, for example, by evidence that a driver was taking his or her eyes off the road while talking to a vehicle passenger, driving while fatigued or while impaired by a BAC under the legal limit, eating or drinking or using a cell phone while driving in a state in which such behavior is not prohibited, or otherwise driving in an inattentive manner or engaging in any other distracting activity or behavior. If these and other negligent driving behaviors are found to have caused or contributed to auto accidents and resultant injuries and deaths, the drivers may be required to pay damages to the injured victims or deceased victims’ survivors.

Car and Auto Accidents Caused by Defective Motor Vehicles

Defects in cars and other motor vehicles may cause car accidents or contribute to accidents that are also caused by driver negligence. When any one of certain types of vehicle defects is determined to have been a cause of an accident and resultant injuries, the vehicle’s manufacturer and others involved in the vehicle’s production and distribution may be held legally responsible for victims’ injuries or deaths in products-liability personal-injury or wrongful-death actions. These actions are generally brought as Restatement (Second) of Torts, Section 402A, strict-liability (rather than negligence or breach-of-warranty) claims, because the strict-liability form of products-liability actions relieves plaintiffs of the necessity of proving negligence by any of the defendants. Defendants that may be held strictly liable in such actions include the designers, manufacturers, suppliers, assemblers, wholesalers, and in some states, the retailers of defective vehicles that are found to have caused or contributed to accidents and resultant injuries and deaths.

The types of defects that may result in such liability include defects in vehicles’ design, manufacture, or warnings that rendered the vehicles unreasonably dangerous for their intended or expected use and that existed both at the time the vehicle was sold and at the time the injury-causing accident occurred. A car with a faulty steering system, for example, may be found to contain a design or manufacturing defect in a products-liability action to recover damages for a driver’s injuries sustained in a collision caused by the driver’s loss of steering control, leading to the strict liability of the car’s manufacturer and others involved in the car’s production and distribution.

Car Accident Injuries Enhanced by Motor Vehicle Crashworthiness Defects

Cars and other motor vehicles may also contain certain types of defects, commonly known as “crashworthiness” defects, that do not cause car and other motor-vehicle accidents but that enhance (or increase) injuries sustained in accidents due to other causes. A car crash caused by a vehicle with defective brakes but involving another vehicle with a defective airbag, for example, may result in greater injuries to an occupant of the vehicle with the defective airbag than the occupant would have sustained had the airbag not been defective. These greater injuries are known as “enhanced” injuries in products-liability law and may result in the strict liability of the producers and distributors of the vehicle containing the defective airbag for the injuries sustained by the occupant over and above those the occupant would have sustained in the absence of the airbag defect.

Contact Us

If you have been injured or one of your family members has died as a result of a car accident caused by driver negligence or a defective car or other motor vehicle, The Killino Firm Los Angeles car-accident lawyers are ready to fight for the justice you deserve from the parties responsible for your injuries or loved one’s death. Contact The Killino Firm at 213-623-2544 for experienced and aggressive assistance with your case.

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