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Seattle Car Accident Lawyer Talks About How Litigation Can Lead to Safety Innovation

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on November 29, 2010

With the recent automobile recalls by car manufacturers from Toyota to Chrysler to BMW, the safety of the vehicles we depend on is once again called into question.

One of the most interesting realities is that consumer reaction and accident victims litigation following accidents resulting from these safety issues have actually led to key safety innovations. Litigation has played an important role in holding manufacturers accountable and protecting the American public in the future. It may surprise you to learn how many critical safety improvements resulted from litigation:

1. Gas tanks. Several car manufacturers designed defective gas tank placement, resulting in fires and explosions in even minor collisions. As a result of litigation, gas tanks are now universally located within rigid frames.

2. Air bags. Auto manufacturers developed air bag technology in the early 1950’s, but only 2% of cars were equipped with as late as 1988. Courts found that manufacturers knew their cars were safer with air bags and they were eventually forced to install them in all vehicles.

3. Seat belts. Court cases went a long way in determining the dangers of inferior seatbelts or no seatbelts at all. Both seat belts and the seats themselves were redesigned to meet stricter safety standards thanks to litigation.

4. Side impact protection. When a police officer was left paralyzed as the result of a low impact collision, a court held that the absence of side protection was a design defect. Now all cars are equipped with rigid side impact protection.

5. Roof crush. Auto makers, particularly of SUVs, knew that roof strength was a critical weakness during rollovers. It was litigation that required manufacturers to begin strengthening roofs.

6. Tires. Defective tires have caused hundreds of deaths. Being held accountable in court has meant increased scrutiny of the industry and better manufacturing processes.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident as a result of defective manufacturing, you may be able to file a personal injury claim and get compensation for your injuries. If you think you have a claim contact our Seattle personal injury attorneys for a free consultation. You obtain the best possible legal services at the time of your injury without having to pay money out of your pocket for legal services. No recovery means no attorney fee.

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