Phoenix Seatback Failure Attorney

Seatback failure is a terrifying tragedy that can turn a minor accident into a fatal or catastrophic tragedy. Seatback failure describes a product defect in which a weak car seat collapses backward in a collision, and they occur most frequently in rear-end car accidents.

If the driver or front-seat passenger’s seat collapses backward, it could potentially crush a rear-seat passenger. Many car passengers, particularly children, suffer severe or fatal injuries each year due to seatback failures. Also, many car drivers and front-seat passengers suffer catastrophic injuries, including head, neck, and spine injuries.

At Gallagher & Kennedy, our Phoenix seatback failure lawyers have decades of product liability claim experience in Arizona. We can help you understand your legal options, and we are prepared to go up against an auto part manufacturer after a seatback failure accident resulting in serious injuries. 

Call our law firm today at (602) 902-1707 or complete our contact form online to request a free, confidential consultation.

Why Choose Our Phoenix Injury Lawyers?

Founded in 1978, Gallagher & Kennedy has served injured clients throughout the greater Phoenix metro and across the state for more than 45 years. During that time, we have successfully handled thousands of complex personal injury cases, and we offer personalized attention to every case and will fight hard to help you get the monetary compensation you deserve. Other items to consider about us:

  • Our law firm has earned an excellent reputation in Arizona and has unrivaled success in automotive product liability
  • Our firm has a proven history of positive results, and we have secured multi-million-dollar results for injured clients and their family members, including a $4.5 million award for a victim of a car seat malfunction.
  • Our skilled lawyers take cases on a contingency fee basis, only charging attorney’s fees if we obtain a financial award for the client.

Our personal injury attorneys have received numerous awards and honors from prominent legal organizations for our outstanding professionalism and client service. We have in-depth knowledge of Arizona’s personal injury and liability laws and will work diligently to help you obtain the maximum financial recovery possible.

If a manufacturer or design defect caused your seatback failure and you suffered serious injuries as a result, contact Gallagher & Kennedy for a free consultation. Our lawyers are here for you when you need us, and you can call us at (602) 902-1707 or online to speak with one of our experienced seatback failure attorneys at no cost.

When To Hire a Phoenix Seatback Failure Lawyer

Seatback failure is a serious product defect. Yet manufacturers can pass government safety tests by using folding lawn chairs and cardboard boxes.  With such lax standards, the manufacturer of the seat, its components, or the vehicle itself could be responsible for your damages if seatback failure occurred during your auto accident. This type of defect should not happen if the manufacturing company took due care and thoroughly tested the product before bringing it to market.

Preventing seatback failure takes a simple and cost-effective fix, but manufacturers often neglect to remedy the issue even after receiving reports of problems and injuries. 

At Gallagher & Kennedy, we believe in holding manufacturing companies responsible for their negligence. Hiring one of our Phoenix car accident attorneys could help you craft a compelling case against the defendant.

Why Do Seatback Failures Happen in a Car Accident?

Many vehicle owners do not realize the important role seatbacks play in the overall safety of a vehicle. A strong and sturdy seatback can protect the driver’s back and neck. It also allows the seatbelt and airbag to work properly to protect the driver as the vehicle manufacturer intended. When a seatback fails, the driver could suffer life-threatening injuries when the crash normally would have only caused minor damages.

Seatback failure occurs because of weak seatbacks that can bend, break, or malfunction in the forces of a car accident. A flimsy seatback may not remain upright in a collision, causing it to fly back and potentially fracture the driver’s spine or cause other significant injuries.

Vehicle manufacturers must ensure their seatbacks can withstand the violent forces involved in accidents. Most often, setbacks fail because of:

  • Faulty design
  • Flimsy or cheap materials
  • Substandard assembly
  • Improper installation

The two most common types of seatback failures are:

  • The support system holding the seat up fails
  • The seatback frame deforms or breaks

A less-common reason is when the mounting system that secures the seat to the car’s body fails or deforms.

Regardless of the reason, seatback failures cause many injuries each year, resulting in millions of dollars in health expenses and missed work.

If a child is sitting in the back seat – as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends to parents – seatback failure could cause traumatic impact injuries to the child. Many families have lost their children due to seatback failure, even in minor rear-end collisions. In fact, CBS News published a report regarding seatback failures involved in hundreds of accidents over the past 30 years, many of which seriously injured or killed children.

Why Are Seatback Failures So Dangerous in an Auto Accident?

Seatbacks serve critical functions in helping a driver maintain control of the vehicle and ensuring the car’s important safety components–seatbelts and airbags–work as intended.

If a seatback collapses backward, the airbags will no longer protect the driver or front seat passenger. The seatbelts will also become useless, and since seatbelts automatically engage in an accident, they can cause severe injuries to occupants since the straps are out of position. For instance, the shoulder strap could fall around your neck and strangle you, or it could engage across your torso, waist, or legs and cause serious injuries.

Other possible scenarios that can result from seatback failure include:

Vehicle Ejection

Since the seatbelt and airbags will likely no longer serve their intended purpose, drivers and front seat passengers could be ejected–partially or fully–from the vehicle in a crash. Also, crash tests have shown that a lowered seatback acts as a ramp to help propel occupants out the rear window.

Loss of Control

If your seatback collapses during an accident, your body is naturally going to want to follow. You may find it impossible to remain upright, and this can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. This scenario is one instance in which a seatback failure can make a relatively minor accident more serious.

For example, if someone rear-ended you in a low-speed accident and your seatback remained upright, you would likely be able to maintain control of your car so as not to involve any other vehicles or run off the road. You would also be able to move your car to the shoulder to prevent another vehicle from striking it in a secondary collision. If your seatback collapses, you will have virtually no control over your vehicle.

Rear-Passenger Injuries

Any passenger in the back seat can sustain serious and even fatal injuries in a seatback failure accident. The setback combined with the driver or front seat passenger’s weight could crush a backseat passenger’s legs, or the backseat passenger could strike their head on the front seat’s headrest or back.

Children in particular most frequently suffer severe injuries from seatback failures because federal law mandates babies and children under a certain age, size, and weight ride in the back seat.

Blunt-Force Trauma

If you are thrown from the crash because your seatback failed, you could sustain serious head, brain, and spinal cord injuries, along with crushing injuries and broken bones. These types of catastrophic injuries may result in permanent disabilities that require lifelong medical treatment and therapy.

Blocked Exits

If a seatback collapses backward, it can block the back doors so that occupants cannot escape the wreckage. If the vehicle catches fire in the crash and the backseat occupants cannot get out, they can sustain horrible burns or die.

Headrest Can Become a Projectile

The headrest is supposed to support and protect the head and neck of the driver and front-seat passenger. However, in a seatback failure accident–particularly one that occurs during a high-speed accident–the headrest can come loose and fly throughout the cabin. In essence, the headrest could become a flying projectile and cause serious harm.

Seeking Justice for Seatback Failure in Phoenix, AZ

Victims of car accidents involving seatback failures may suffer serious injuries to the head, brain, neck, and spinal cord. Some may experience full or partial ejection from the vehicle, loss of vehicle control, or the seat throwing them into the back of the car.

These issues and injuries most likely would not occur if the vehicle’s seat performs as it should.

At Gallagher & Kennedy, our Phoenix auto defect attorneys help victims seek compensation for losses relating to auto defects including seatback failure.

  • Catastrophic injury treatments
  • Disability expenses and live-in care
  • Home or vehicle modifications
  • The costs of missed work and lost income opportunities
  • Personal impact the injuries had on the victim
  • Loss of consortium for the victim’s family
  • Physical pain and emotional suffering

Seatback failure can have a lasting impact on victims and their families. When a defective seatback collapses, a minor car accident can become major with tragic and permanent consequences. If you or a loved one suffered catastrophic injuries because of seatback failure in a Phoenix car accident, you may have a claim against the manufacturing company.

You have two years in Arizona to file your personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, so you have no time to delay getting the compensation you need.

Contact a Phoenix wrongful death lawyer if your loved one was killed due to seatback failure.

Get Help From an Experienced Phoenix Personal Injury Attorney

Gallagher & Kennedy takes auto defects seriously. We realize the critical nature of vehicle safety features such as seatbacks, headrests, and seatbelts, and we will hold negligence manufacturers and other responsible parties accountable. Our Phoenix personal injury lawyers have witnessed firsthand how traumatic car accident injuries can be when auto parts malfunction. We dedicate our time, skill, and resources to helping injured crash victims in Arizona get the justice they deserve.

We have obtained hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients injured in serious car accidents caused by manufacturer and design defects. You can count on us to fight hard to help you get full compensation for your injuries and other losses.

If you believe you have a case and want to speak to an experienced attorney for free, contact Gallagher & Kennedy at (602) 530-8400 or go online and complete our contact form.

An experienced seatback failure attorney will get back to you promptly to help you determine your options during your free consultation. If you have a viable claim, we will fight for your rights and do all we can to help you and your family recover from this preventable tragedy.