Nagel Rice LLP is a nationally known New Jersey personal injury law firm with decades of success in winning multi-million dollar awards and settlements for its clients. Our sharp product liability attorneys have comprehensive knowledge of New Jersey and federal law. If you have suffered serious harm as a result of a vehicle defect, such as faulty brakes or defective steering, our talented attorneys are prepared to protect your rights and see to it that you win the compensation you deserve.
We Will Take Care of All Legal and Insurance Matters
At Nagel Rice, we pride ourselves on being effective, efficient and empathic. Well aware of how disorienting a vehicle defect injury can be, we are ready to lift the burden of dealing with insurance companies and legal matters so that you can rest and recover. We know all too well the feeling of betrayal you experience as a victim of a vehicle defect accident — one moment you are securely belted into a car you trust as your home away from home; the next you are hospitalized with a disabling injury through no fault of your own.
We will provide you the full array of legal services you need and the compassion you merit.
Once you contact us for a free initial consultation and become our client, we will:
- Process all legal and insurance documents in a timely fashion
- Investigate and assemble evidence of the accident and of the defective vehicle part
- Examine police records and medical reports
- Check carefully to see if there is a history of complaints, lawsuits, or recalls involving similar vehicle defects
- Interview any witnesses to the accident
- Consult with automotive experts and accident reconstructionists who may be able to shed light on the precise defect that led to the crash
By compiling evidence pertaining to the design and manufacture of the vehicle, we will strategically build a case to convince the court that you were injured as a direct result of a vehicle defect. The experts we have consulted with will most likely be called upon to testify on your behalf and validate our claims.
Types of Vehicle Defects
Because motor vehicles are complicated pieces of machinery with an enormous number of parts and several steps that take the vehicle from the drawing board to the customer, a great many things that can go wrong. Mistakes can be made during the design process, the manufacture of components, assemblage, shipping, or even at the car dealership. Therefore, once Nagel Rice pinpoints the origin of the defect with the help of automotive engineers, we will negotiate a settlement with, or, if necessary take to court, the auto manufacturer, parts manufacturer, car dealership, automotive supply shop, shipping company, or used car dealership that harmed you.
Vehicle defects that have occurred with some frequency and for which vehicles have been recalled and/or lawsuits filed include:
- Tires prone to blowouts
- Vehicles that wobble at high speeds
- SUVs and ATVs that are poorly balanced and prone to rollovers
- Steering components that break or detach, causing loss of control
- Problems with fuel systems that may lead to fuel leakage and possible fire
- Accelerator pedals that stick, causing the car to accelerate uncontrollably
- Electrical wiring problems that result in fire or sudden loss of lighting
- Airbags that deploy without reason
- Brake defects that prevent the driver from stopping the vehicle
Of course, when you are seriously injured because of such an error, you are far less interested in the origin of the terrible mistake than you are in what can be done to compensate you for the damage inflicted on your body, your earning power, and your future.
Damages Nagel Rice Will Fight To Win for You
No matter what vehicle defect caused your injuries or who bears responsibility for making the dangerous mistake, or for letting it slip by, our determined attorneys will fight vigorously to make certain you receive the damages you need and deserve for:
- Medical, surgical, and rehabilitative costs
- Lost income, present and future
- Property repair or replacement
- Nursing and home care services (long-term if necessary)
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Permanent disability
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Furthermore, if you have suffered the tragic loss of a loved one because of a vehicle defect, we will file a wrongful death lawsuit to obtain monetary recompense for final medical costs, funeral expenses, and loss of emotional and financial support. Though we know that this reimbursement cannot replace your family member, we hope it will help you restart your life with some sense that justice has been done.
Punitive Damages in Vehicle Defect Lawsuits
Because there have been far too many cases in which car manufacturers or sellers have valued their bottom line over public safety, the courts may award punitive damages above the compensatory ones mentioned above. Punitive damages, in some cases for millions of dollars, are intended to punish such heartless behavior and to incentivize large corporations to make certain their vehicles are safe before they hit the road.
How Vehicle Defect Claims Differ from Other Personal Injury Claims
Typical personal injury claims rest on proving negligence; vehicle defect claims do not. Instead, the latter work under the principle of strict liability. Strict liability means that as the plaintiff you do not have to prove that the vehicle manufacturer or dealership was careless. Rather, you have to prove that:
- The vehicle had an “unreasonably dangerous” defect — related to design, manufacture, handling or shipment, or failure to warn — that resulted in your injury.
- You suffered the injury due to the vehicle defect while using the vehicle in the way it was intended (e.g. not while driving through deep water)
- The vehicle defect was in existence when you purchased the vehicle and did not occur under your ownership — i.e. you have not altered the car “substantially” since you purchased it
Nagel Rice’s skilled product liability attorneys have a thorough understanding of which strategies work best when negotiating a fair settlement or litigating against a large corporation. When you contact us you can have confidence that you have a powerful legal engine working to resolve your case favorably.
If You Have Been Injured by a Vehicle Defect, Contact Nagel Rice Today
As you probably know, the wheels of justice turn slowly. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we will dedicate ourselves to holding the appropriate parties accountable for your physical, emotional, and financial pain. We are eager to provide you and your family with the compensation you are entitled to and will charge you no attorneys’ fees until we win your case.