What You Need To Know About Automaker Recalls
With the recent Takata airbag recall reaching a staggering 34 million vehicles in this country alone, it's become clear that auto recalls are something we sadly have to adjust our lives around – expecting them, coping with them, and knowing what to do when they occur. As attorneys, we think it's important to look at the various ways auto recalls will impact your life and what you need to do if you're affected by one.
Auto recalls occur to correct a mistake – usually in the design or construction of a particular part of a vehicle. Some notable recent recalls include the aforementioned Takata recall as well as the GM ignition switch recall and the Toyota acceleration recall – all recalls that have happened within the last year.
When the parts involved in a recall have led to things like serious injury, caused the accident, made injuries worse, or caused a wrongful death to occur, you may have the grounds to seek financial compensation for your injuries. By showing that the auto part manufacturer was negligent in including faulty parts, our attorneys could help you get financial restitution for things like:
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Funeral costs
- Future medical costs
- Future lost wages
- And more
In short, you could get the money you need to recover financially from a devastating injury. However, this is only true if it can be shown that:
- The faulty part led to the accident or caused injuries to be more severe
- You were unaware of the danger associated with the part
- The faulty part is an issue known about by the manufacturer but ignored
For example, if your accident occurs a month after a recall has been issued and there are records that the company in question sent out letters alerting consumers of the dangers and yet you continued to drive without fixing the problem, you likely won't be able to get compensation. The reason is that at that point, you are the one acting negligently and recklessly, not the automaker. By learning about the issue and choosing to ignore it, you're putting yourself in harm's way willfully.
In certain instances, it must also be true that the auto company willingly hid information about the part. For example, in the case of the Takata recall there have been several reports suggesting that the company willfully hid and destroyed evidence about the problem 4 years before it was finally brought to light. That constitutes negligence, and as such it's likely that those involved in accidents involving these airbags will get significant compensation.
Most of these cases begin with a whistleblower or an investigative report, but there's always a chance that your accident could be the beginning of an issue that hasn't been discovered yet. If your accident occurred due to reasons you can't fully understand, taking a look at your vehicle could be needed. Even if a recall hasn't been issued, there's a good chance that a faulty part could have played a role in the accident. If that's the case, you might have the grounds for financial compensation according to Florida laws.
When you see an auto recall that affects your vehicle, it's important to get it fixed in order to stay safe. But on those rare occasions that it's too late for that, you owe it to yourself to get help from professionals. We have law offices located in St. Petersburg and throughout the state, and have decades of experience in these types of personal injury cases. If you need help understanding your rights or figuring out what steps to take next, contact us today to set up a completely free initial consultation.