Nevada registers a high number of car accidents every year. It is primarily because of the several safety threats on our roads. But, sometimes, car accidents result from a problem inside the car itself. An example is a defective car door latch accident. A faulty car door could jam, or open abruptly while a car is moving, forcefully ejecting its occupants. The results are devastating injuries and sometimes death.
Fortunately, Nevada personal injury laws allow victims of defective vehicle door latch accidents to seek compensation for their damages from responsible parties. You should recover enough money to cover your monetary and non-monetary losses, including medical bills, pain, and suffering. If you have incurred injuries in a defective car door latch accident in Las Vegas, contact our team at Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm. We offer quality and professional legal assistance to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
Defective Car Door Latch Accidents — Overview
Car accidents are prevalent throughout the country. They occur due to many reasons. Defective car door latch accidents are the least common, but they leave a trail of destruction behind. They happen when a faulty car door latch fails to secure the door in position, causing the car door to open in the middle of the road. When a vehicle moves fast and one door opens abruptly, it could cause the driver to lose control. Occupants on the side of the faulty door could be forcefully ejected out of the vehicle.
Car door latches are designed in a way that they have designated fasteners. A latch is a mechanism that secures the car’s door when it's closed. When you pull the handle of your car door, the latch will immediately or electronically be actuated, allowing the car door to open. Thus, car door latches must work well at all times. When they don’t, they put the vehicle occupants at significant risk of accidents if the door opens while the vehicle is in motion.
Sometimes it is hard to notice that one or more of your car doors have defective latches. You do not receive a warning and only realize it after an accident. Vehicle manufacturers have been warned severally about checking to ensure that all the vehicle parts are functioning well before bringing a vehicle to the market. Sometimes fault falls on the car repair shop that regularly maintains the car. It depends on the exact cause of the defect that resulted in the accident.
Thus, it is crucial to engage the help of a car accident expert if you have injuries from a defective car door latch accident. The expert will help you understand the cause of the defect to determine the responsible party. That will make it easier for you to file a claim in court against the responsible party for compensation.
Causes of Faulty Car Door Latch Accidents
Sadly, many vehicle accidents involving defective car door latches are preventable. They occur out of negligence by vehicle manufacturers and mechanics in charge of vehicle repairs and maintenance. Other door latch issues result from a high crash like an accident. When a vehicle is involved in an accident, it could cause its door latches to disjoint or break. If the car is not correctly repaired, it could cause another accident in which its occupants are severely injured. Here are some of the common causes of faulty car door latch accidents in Nevada:
Use of Cheap Materials in the Manufacturing Process
Vehicles are essential and valuable. Therefore, they must be made from quality materials. Manufacturers should not use cheap materials to minimize production costs and maximize profits at the expense of vehicle users. If the parts used in making car door latches are of low quality, the vehicle will, sooner than later, develop car door latch issues. The vehicle owner will not realize it until after a devastating accident.
Negligence During Vehicle Assembly
Some vehicle manufacturers are cautious with the materials they use in making vehicle parts. They produce quality vehicle parts that, if correctly assembled, will enable the vehicle to work and serve its owner well for an extended period. Some problems with vehicle parts occur at the assembling point. Vehicle assemblers must have adequate training and experience. Any mistake made during the assembling process could cause a devastating accident. Thus, problems with vehicle door latches can be traced to the assembling point. If the assembler was somewhat negligent, they could be responsible for the resulting accident.
Aging Vehicle Parts
Vehicle parts wear out after prolonged use. Thus, they must be replaced to ensure they are working well. If a vehicle has served your needs for a very long time, it is advisable to have some of its parts replaced and others repaired. If that does not happen, it could be your fault you were involved in a defective car door latch accident.
People who buy used vehicles believe that the vehicle owners must have maintained these vehicles well. For instance, buying a vintage car is exciting. You could have used it immediately after closing the deal without taking time to have it checked to ensure all its parts are functional. If the car causes an accident due to its defective door latch, the seller could be held responsible for knowingly selling a dysfunctional vehicle.
Possible Injuries From Defective Vehicle Door Latch Accident
Vehicle accidents differ in the resulting damages. Some accidents are more devastating than others. It is the same with accidents resulting from defective car door latches. The nature of your injuries will depend on the impact. However, most of these accidents leave a trail of destruction behind, in which some victims incur severe physical injuries while others lose their lives. Here are possible injuries if you are involved in an accident due to a faulty car door latch:
Spinal Cord Injuries
Your spinal cord is what holds your body together. If injured, it could affect several functions of your body, including your mobility and ability to speak.
The common occurrence when a car door abruptly opens while the vehicle is in motion due to a faulty latch is that its occupants are ejected out of the vehicle. When that happens, and the car moves at high speed, you will likely land on your back with significant impact. That could automatically cause a severe injury to your spinal cord.
The human spinal cord supports all bone structures and nerve endings. Thus, a fall on your back could be fatal. If not, you could be left nursing catastrophic injuries. An injury to the spinal cord could cause paralysis. It could be partial or total paralysis, based on the gravity of the back injuries. Thus, your life will not be the same again.
A vehicle could cause fire due to many reasons. If the fire is inside, and the occupants cannot quickly escape due to a door jam caused by a faulty car door latch, they could sustain serious burn injuries or even lose their lives.
Burn injuries could also occur if the driver loses control of the vehicle, thereby crashing it after his/her door abruptly opens while the vehicle is in motion. If the occupants are lucky enough to be rescued soon after the accident, they will not sustain severe burns. But some people are not fortunate, and they lose their lives after sustaining severe burn injuries.
Burn injuries are always severe and could result in open wounds. These wounds take a long time to heal, leaving the victim scarred. The costs of treatment increase with the length of time you require medical attention.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Some people suffer serious head injuries after falling out of a moving vehicle at high impact. Like spinal cord injuries, head injuries are devastating and could affect several functions of the victim’s body.
During a vehicle accident, some victims bang their heads on hard surfaces. You could incur serious brain injuries if you were forcefully ejected out of the vehicle and landed on your head. These injuries vary in severity from one victim to the other. But even minor trauma to your brain could cause a lengthy stay in hospital and costly treatment. It could also affect several functions of your body, thereby requiring you to depend on other people’s support until your full recovery.
Some victims suffer memory loss, loss of functions and cognitive skills, and others experience severe headaches and migraines. It is advisable to have a doctor check you immediately after the accident to treat some of these injuries before they worsen.
A fall from a moving vehicle will likely result in fractured bones. The severity of your fractures will depend on the speed at which the car was moving and the ground on which you fell. Bone fractures are serious injuries that could take a long time and cost a lot to heal. You will need to remain in the hospital for some time to recover. Some bone fractures could result in internal bleeding, which could be fatal if not treated on time. It helps to seek medical attention immediately after the accident to prevent your injuries from worsening.
Some victims do not survive after an accident resulting from a defective car door latch. Death would be a devastating result, especially if the accident were due to negligence. A victim could lose his/her life for many reasons, including immense blood loss or injuries to their internal organs.
When a death occurs due to a car accident, the family that loses their loved one is greatly affected. They have to worry about the loss of their loved one, prepare for his/her funeral and burial, and deal with the loss for the rest of their lives. That is why they, too, deserve compensation if the accident was another person’s fault.
Some victims die after several days, weeks, or even months of treatment. The family has to deal with the loss even after putting resources to ensure that their loved one receives proper treatment.
Possible Liable Parties in a Defective Car Door Latch Accident
Nevada personal injury laws cover car accident victims whose damages are due to another party’s negligence. But, the plaintiff must demonstrate how the alleged defendant caused the accident in which they were injured. Thus, you must first identify the liable party.
Defective door latch accidents could occur as a result of several factors. It means that there are several possible liable parties from which you can find the one responsible for the accident in which you suffered injuries.
Working alongside a competent personal injury attorney helps you quickly identify the liable party for your damages. Your experienced attorney will conduct an in-depth investigation into the accident to determine its cause if it was avoidable, and the possible liable party. Some of the likely responsible parties you could consider in your case are:
- The vehicle manufacturer
- Other motorists and road users
- Vehicle repair and maintenance mechanic
- Road maintenance authorities
Skilled personal injury attorneys call in accident experts to establish the actual cause of the accident and determine the responsible party. An expert witness can even provide a report that you can use to strengthen your case in court.
An assessment of your vehicle will reveal if the car had a defective door latch before the accident or an accident caused the door latch problem. If the vehicle is new and has a faulty door latch, the manufacturer could be responsible. But if the car was not new, and you had it checked for repair and maintenance right before the accident, the mechanic responsible for the repair and maintenance could be held accountable.
Compensatory Damages in a Defective Car Door Latch Accident
An initial investigation into the accident will reveal the cause and type of accident. If the accident could have been avoided, it means that another person could have negligently caused it. Thus, you will be eligible for compensation under the Nevada personal injury laws. In that case, you will come up with a list of damages, including all losses you have incurred due to the accident. The guidance of your attorney goes a long way in ensuring that you do not leave anything to chance. That is the only way to recover the compensation you truly deserve.
Compensatory damages in Nevada car accidents are classified into economic and non-economic damages. The judge can decide to grant you punitive damages in addition to your compensatory damages. That will help you deal with the losses you incurred due to the accident.
They refer to the financial costs you incur due to the accident. They must be directly connected to the accident and could include:
- Medical bills and all related costs incurred right after the accident. Include costs of emergency services, hospitalization, doctor visits, and cost of medicine. Also, factor in any out-of-pocket medical-related expense you could have incurred and expected medical needs if you are yet to recover fully from your injuries.
- Lost wages — These include the amount of money you have lost in the days you were in hospital and/or at home recovering from your injuries. Also, include future lost wages if you have not fully recovered from your injuries.
- Property damage, including damage to your vehicle and anything else of value you will have lost in the accident
- Lost earning capacity — It includes any lost ability to engage in gainful employment. For instance, if the accident incapacitated you, or you lost some bodily functions that will make it impossible for you to work, you will need compensation for that.
They include intangible losses you could have incurred due to the accident. Examples are:
- Suffering and pain
- Emotional anguish
- Worsening of previous injuries
- Loss of enjoyment
These are awarded at the judge’s discretion. The judge considers the nature of the accident to decide whether you deserve punitive damages. For instance, if it is clear that the responsible party acted with gross negligence in causing the accident, you will be eligible for punitive damages.
Nevada civil court judges award punitive damages to punish gross negligence so that the responsible party will be careful to act better in the future. It also serves as a warning to others to act more carefully to avoid causing similar damages.
What a Car Accident Attorney Can Do For You
Personal injury cases in Nevada are complex. You must understand the law in detail to know what to do and avoid losing the compensation you deserve. Sometimes you will be expected to deal with insurance companies, which is usually an uphill task. That is why you need legal help from the start of the process. You also want to be sure that an attorney is handling your case to relax and concentrate on your recovery. Here are some of the issues a car accident attorney can do for you after a defective car door latch accident:
Personal injury cases succeed due to the strength of your evidence in court. Thus, you must know the type of evidence, where to gather it, and how to preserve and prepare it for the court. Experienced personal injury attorneys have the skills and experience to collect and present evidence. Thus, your attorney will ensure that you have a solid case against the liable party to maximize your compensation.
Your attorney will use all types of evidence to support your claim in court, including pictures and videos from the scene of the accident, pictures of your injuries and vehicle damage, a report from an accident expert, and eyewitness testimonies.
Documenting Your Injuries
You must prove your injuries in court to support your claim. For instance, if you suffer brain damage, the judge should know its extent and how it affects your life. Your attorney will obtain all medical records and a doctor’s report to prove your injuries and resulting damages.
Investigating the Accident
As previously mentioned, vehicle accidents occur all the time, due to many reasons. Every accident is unique. Therefore, you need a detailed report on the nature and cause of your accident to determine if it was due to negligence and the possible responsible party. An experienced attorney will involve accident experts to avoid overlooking details that could weaken your case.
Preparing Documents for Trial
Legal documents must be appropriately prepared to be acceptable in court. Competent car accident attorneys know what documents they need to prepare and file in court for the case. Your attorney will also file the required documents in time to avoid missing crucial details that could cause the court to dismiss your case.
Negotiating With Insurers
It is a challenge to deal with insurance providers without legal skills. That is why you need a legal expert to do that for you. Insurance companies will always look for a way to deny you the compensation you deserve. They will point at mistakes you supposedly made, and intimidate you into accepting lower compensation for your damages. Your attorney will be present to safeguard your interests and ensure you are not falling into any trap that could compromise your claim.
If you have lost a loved one to a car accident, your attorney will be the pillar your family needs during the most challenging period of your life. He/she will ensure all legal processes are moving smoothly as you take care of other details needed to lay your loved one to rest.
Find a Experienced Car Accident Attorney Near Me
If you or your loved one has incurred injuries in a defective car door latch accident in Las Vegas, it is good to partner with a competent car accident attorney from the beginning of the process. An attorney will smoothen the legal process, be with you in the most challenging situation, and work tirelessly to protect your rights. Your attorney will also offer advice and guidance to help you obtain fair compensation for your damages. We offer professional and timely legal services at Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm for all vehicle accident victims. Call us at 702-576-0010 today, and let us study the details of your case.