R: Hello Mr. Cleary. As a leading personal injury lawyer in Miami, you have to be a fierce advocate of your client’s cases and to make sure the insurance companies are held accountable. This is your main domain of expertise?
S.M. C: Hello. Yes, I am the president of The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary, personal injury law firm focusing on car accidents, trucking accidents, and other motor vehicle situations that result in an injury. Many accidents happen as a result of a mechanical malfunction, technical failure or another car defect where it was supposed to be none. When something like this happens, the insurance company or the car manufacturers can be held responsible.
R: Can you tell us what are the most common design or mechanical defects that lead to catastrophic car accidents. What should consumers pay attention to when they buy a car?
S.M.C: I advise everybody to do regular preventive maintenance to keep your ride happy. Older cars, from the resellers, as well as new ones, are likely to be involved in accidents. For example, tire blowouts cause many accidents. People should always check the pressure in their tires. Sometimes you’re not able to notice or to feel it when driving.
Another common cause of accidents is an electrical problem. Something goes wrong with the electrical cables, and a short circuit occurs. Smells of burnt or melted plastic should never be ignored. Pull over immediately, stop the engine and have the car towed to the repair facility.
One of the biggest auto recalls in American history centered around an exploding airbag and this is a technical error I often encounter.
Automobiles have advanced technologies that make everything easier. For example, the ABS sensor, fixed to the hub of a drive tire is responsible for monitoring many vehicle functions such as traction control, anti-lock braking systems, and the vehicle’s speed. When the sensor is failing or going bad, it will usually affect the operation of other vehicle functions and display specific warning signs that you can immediately notice as you drive. But once in a while, something can go wrong. That’s why your car needs to be regularly checked and serviced.
R: What can we do if a defective car part causes an accident?
S.M.C: If you get into an accident because of a defective part, you have rights. For example, if the manufacturer had not yet released recall information at the time of the accident, it may be liable for the injuries and damages the faulty part caused.
First, keep all evidence from the accident. You should save anything that could support your claim or help prove that a faulty car part caused your accident. Also, take pictures of the crash scene, your damaged car, and any injuries, assuming you’re well enough to do so. If not, ask a friend or family member to help you. It’s essential.
Another piece of advice? Don’t get your car repaired until you’ve hired a car attorney. Fixing your car means losing the evidence, and you’ll need the car in “faulty” condition for when your lawyer has his or her experts come to inspect the defective parts.
Defective car part crashes are complicated, and a lot of factors come into play. I highly recommend consulting an experienced personal injury attorney before talking to the insurance companies or attempting to handle the manufacturer on your own.