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At Gallagher & Kennedy, we are in business to help you succeed in seizing opportunities & overcoming obstacles. Our approach to the law is uncommonly practical.

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Product Liability

$17M

Jury verdict against General Motors for transmission slipping from park to reverse and killing a woman.

Product Liability

$9.9M

Settlement for death of woman killed by stuck throttle in vehicle.

Product Liability

$4.5M

Settlement for woman injured in crash when defective seat failed.
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After a serious car accident in Arizona, work with Gallagher & Kennedy to determine whether an auto defect may have contributed to the crash. If we find evidence of a defective or dangerously designed auto part, our Phoenix auto defect attorneys can file a product liability claim against the appropriate party in pursuit of damage recovery. A manufacturing corporation or car company could owe you compensation for your significant losses. Call our firm at (602) 530-8400 for a free case review.

Why Choose Gallagher & Kennedy?

  • We have proven our ability to resolve cases, acquiring hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for our personal injury and wrongful death clients.
  • We have years of experience handling complicated auto defect and other product liability claims throughout Arizona. We understand the elements of these unique claims.
  • We believe in making legal representation available to all accident victims. We take auto defect claims on a contingency fee basis, with $0 in upfront fees.

How To Find the Right Auto Defect Attorney

The right lawyer for your auto defect claim will have experience in this practice area, as well as the resources to build a strong case on your behalf. Gallagher & Kennedy has successfully resolved a wide range of product liability and auto defect claims for clients over the last two decades. Our Phoenix personal injury attorneys understand the intricacies of product liability law, and the important safety changes that such cases enable.  Through our work for our clients, we have achieved vehicle recalls, new vehicle designs and important safety changes to dangerous automotive products.  We have also worked with the federal government to ensure that the National Highway Traffic Safety Institute is made aware of dangerous vehicles, and our efforts have led to millions of dollars in fines to automakers.

Types of Dangerous Auto Defects

An auto defect can refer to any mistake during a product’s design, manufacture or marketing that interferes with its ability to function safely and effectively. If someone installs a defective auto part in a vehicle, its driver and passengers could be at risk. The auto defect could either cause a car accident or contribute to serious injuries in a collision. All products, components, and parts in a vehicle must operate as the manufacturers intended for safe travel.

  • Accelerators
  • Airbags
  • Brakes
  • Electrical systems
  • Seatbacks
  • Seatbelts
  • Self-driving technologies
  • Starters
  • Tires

At Gallagher & Kennedy, our Phoenix auto defect attorneys have successfully negotiated and litigated auto defect cases against top automobile manufacturers. Our firm can take claims involving high-profile defects such as exploding airbags, sticky accelerators, and seatback failures. We are not afraid to take on major corporations, manufacturers and insurance companies in pursuit of compensation for our clients.

Which Auto Defects Are Most Common?

Although any part of a vehicle could contain defects that ultimately cause car accidents, certain types of auto defects make the news for causing severe crashes and injuries more often than others. Regardless of what type of part defect you believe caused your car accident, speak to our attorneys about your legal options. One or more parties may owe you compensation for creating, distributing or installing the dangerous and defective part.

  • Dangerous vehicle designs
  • Sticking transmissions and gear shifts
  • Defective engine belts
  • Airbags and seat belts that do not operate properly
  • Compromised gas tanks and fuel systems
  • Faulty electronics and wiring systems
  • Defective engine cooling fans
  • Poorly designed roof or roll cage
  • Seatback failures
  • Bad brakes
  • Tires that fail prematurely

A defect of any car part could lead to a disastrous traffic accident. The defects most accidents involve are brakes, tires, airbags and seat belts. It is a vehicle manufacturer’s responsibility to create reasonably safe products. While a manufacturer might discover the defect and issue a recall, the faulty part might have already caused serious injuries and deaths. Even without a recall connected to your vehicle, you could still be eligible for compensation.

Which Auto Defects Are Most Dangerous?

Over the last few decades, certain auto part defects have caused higher numbers of car accidents, injuries and deaths than others. Defective Takata airbags, for example, have killed at least 16 people and injured 250 others by exploding upon deployment. The most dangerous auto defects are those that interfere with a critical component of a vehicle, such as acceleration, braking and the engine. Other highly dangerous products may cause catastrophes such as fires and explosions.

  • Design defects. Errors with the design of a vehicle could make it more prone to certain types of collisions. An SUV with a high center of gravity by design, for instance, could be excessively prone to rollovers.
  • Acceleration and deceleration defects. Sticking pedals, bad brakes and other defects that can cause unintended acceleration or trouble stopping could lead to loss of control of the vehicle and accidents such as rear-end collisions.
  • Tire defects. Tires are critical for a vehicle’s safe operation. They are what connect the vehicle to the road. A tire defect such as tread problems or a tire wearing out too quickly could cause tire blowouts, rollovers and tragic accidents.
  • Fires and explosions. Defects that can cause fires or explosions are highly dangerous for consumers. They can include issues with starters, ignition switches, fuel lines, fuel tanks and engines.
  • Airbags and seat belts. Defective safety equipment can risk lives by failing to adequately protect passengers during accidents. Defective airbags or seat belts could make injuries much worse than they would have been with properly working equipment.

Even a minor auto defect could be enough to cause a vehicle crash, resulting in serious occupant injuries and deaths. A manufacturing company or another party may be liable for even small part problems. More major vehicle defects can lead to the complete loss of vehicle control and fatal collisions. No matter what type of auto defect your recent car accident involved, speak to our lawyers about your rights and legal options. One or more parties may owe you compensation in Phoenix.

Common Injuries Resulting From Auto Defects

Auto defects can cause cars to lose control, rollover, crash into objects and collide with other vehicles. Victims can suffer serious and painful injuries in these car accidents, ranging from whiplash to losses of limbs. Defective parts such as a seat belt that comes unlatched in a collision can also fail to prevent serious car accident injuries. Many different physical injuries can arise due to auto defects.

  • Head injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Burns
  • Contusions
  • Lacerations
  • Broken bones
  • Chest injuries
  • Soft-tissue injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Internal bleeding
  • Crush injuries
  • Wrongful death

It is our mission at Gallagher & Kennedy to help victims with injuries from auto defects. We know how to establish liability using evidence gathered from the scene of a car accident and during our investigations. We work with subject-matter experts to help demonstrate fault and negligence during insurance settlement negotiations and injury trials. Our attorneys can make sure you do not settle for less than the full value of your injuries. We can take your product liability lawsuit to court in Maricopa County or anywhere in the country, if necessary.

How To Obtain Compensation for an Auto Defect

The two goals of the civil justice system are to compensate victims for their losses and institute fundamental changes within the industry. At Gallagher & Kennedy, we have dedicated our professional lives to the pursuit of settlements and verdicts – not for profit, but for the people of Arizona.  Our lawyers work hard to protect consumers. Our auto defect and product liability attorneys seek not only to recover compensation for victims but also to force automakers to take better care in the design and manufacture of vehicle parts in the future.

No matter what type of auto defect caused or contributed to your recent accident, contact a Phoenix auto defect attorney to help you hold the at-fault party accountable. A lawsuit against the part manufacturer, distributor or installer could end in payment for your past and future economic and noneconomic losses. Filing a product liability lawsuit in Arizona could grant you the monetary recovery your family needs to move forward after a tragedy. Trusting the right law firm could make all the difference to your case.

Who Can Be Held Liable for Defective Car Parts?

Defective car parts typically come down to the negligence and liability of the part manufacturer or distributor. Product liability law is the practice area these cases involve. Product liability is the legal responsibility manufacturers and distributors have over the safety of their products. The rules of product liability assert that a part manufacturer or distributor will have to pay for a victim’s damages if a defective product caused them. Many of these cases do not require the victim to prove negligence.

It is up to manufacturers to ensure the reasonable safety of their parts through safe designs, adequate testing and regular inspections. Failure to do so, often to save time or money, could lead to auto parts that are unreasonably dangerous for consumers to use. When a defective car part causes an accident, an investigation may be necessary to determine the identity of the liable entity. The party responsible for paying for damages could be the part manufacturer, vehicle manufacturer or a third-party vendor.

If the defective car part contains issues due to improper installation, the mechanic or installer could be liable instead of the manufacturer. It is a mechanic’s job to properly install vehicle parts based on quality standards and industry best practices. Failure to do so could lead to a part that does not operate the way it should and related car accidents. An improperly installed tire, for example, may wear down at a faster rate than the other tires, risking a blowout or tread separation. A review of your recent car accident by Gallagher & Kennedy could help you determine the cause of your crash and liability for damages.

Can You Sue a Car Manufacturer for Defective Auto Parts?

Auto manufacturers could be liable for defective car parts they designed, created or distributed. Manufacturers of vehicles and other consumer goods are held to high standards in terms of safety, care and the integrity of their business operations. They must take reasonable steps to ensure the safe design, production and marketing of their vehicles and parts. Failure to fulfill this duty of care could give injured crash victims grounds to file negligence-based claims against the automaker. A basic negligence claim requires the claimant to prove four main things.

  1. Duty of care. Every product manufacturer and car part distributor has a duty to create adequately safe and effective parts. This duty involves many laws, regulations and standards of care item designers and manufacturers must obey.
  2. Breach of duty. A breach of the duty of care is an act of negligence or recklessness that a reasonable party would not commit in similar circumstances. Skipping auto part safety tests to debut a new product faster than competitors would be an example of a breach of duty.
  3. Actual cause. The manufacturer’s breach of duty must be the cause in fact of the injured party’s accident. The breach must be the proximate cause of the injury in question.
  4. Damages. The plaintiff must have quantifiable injuries or damages due to the defendant’s breach of duty, such as physical injuries, vehicle damages, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Even if the manufacturer was not negligent, it could still be liable for a victim’s damages based on the legal theory of strict liability. Strict liability does not focus on the action or omission of the automaker. Instead, it looks at the car part itself. Strict liability laws state that a manufacturer will be liable if a car part contains a defect, even if the manufacture was not responsible for making the item defective.

Strict liability laws may come into play if the plaintiff can prove the auto part contained one of three main types of defects, and that the auto part was the cause of the accident. The three types of defects are in the design, manufacture and marketing of the part. Proof of an auto part defect and its connection to the car accident could save a plaintiff from having to establish the manufacturing company’s negligence.

Your claim could also center on the breach of warranty doctrine. Breach of warranty cases state that an automaker failed to fulfill the terms of a warranty, claim or guarantee regarding the part. If the manufacturer made a promise about the quality of a car part, for example, but sold a lower-quality part than advertised, it could be liable for a related accident based on breach of warranty. Our Phoenix auto defect lawyers at Gallagher & Kennedy can help you base a case against a car manufacturer on the correct grounds after a defective part car accident in Phoenix.

Contact our Phoenix Auto Defect Lawyers Today

Proving that a vehicle contained an unreasonably dangerous defect and that this caused your injury or a loved one’s death are tasks our Phoenix product liability attorneys can handle on your behalf. We can represent you during insurance settlement negotiations or a product liability lawsuit in Arizona. Let us guide you through the complexities of the claims process after a serious or fatal accident involving auto defects. Call (602) 530-8400 to contact our lawyers today.