In the past few years, Ford Motor Co. has recalled over 10 million cars due to engine fires caused by a faulty cruise-control switch. Even with this overwhelming number of recalls, some vehicles still on the road remain dangerous to motorists. If you have been hurt in a Knoxville area accident involving a vehicle affected by a car recall, knowledgeable injury attorney Mark C. Hartsoe can assist you with any legal claims arising from it. Mr. Hartsoe represents individuals across Tennessee in seeking damages for the harm they have suffered as a result of defects in a motor vehicle. These types of cases can be complex and often require thorough investigation to determine what went wrong and assert the accident victim’s rights.Recent Ford Recalls
In 2005, Ford began a series of recalls on vehicles that were prone to engine fires due to a flaw in it the cars’ cruise-control switch. This flaw has been associated with over 1,000 engine fires. Over the years, more than 10 million vehicles have been recalled, including passenger cars, trucks, vans, and sport-utility vehicles. In 2012, Ford announced a new recall of its Escape SUV and Fusion sedans after another issue was found that caused engines to overheat and catch on fire. Despite these massive recalls, millions more unrecalled vehicles remain on the road and dangerous. The National Highway and Safety Administration received more than 1,400 complaints related to the Ford cruise control defect, as well as reports of over 500 associated fires. About half of those fires occurred in unrecalled models of cars. Auto manufacturers should be held liable for injuries caused by their dangerous vehicles.Assert Your Right to Compensation
Car manufacturers have a duty to warn drivers of potential defects in the design or manufacture of their vehicles. Even though Ford has recalled millions of cars over the years, there are still millions of dangerous vehicles that have yet to be included. If you have been harmed by a car accident caused by a defect, you may potentially file a personal injury claim to be compensated for your costs and losses. These lawsuits can be based on various legal theories, but car recalls based on a defective vehicle usually give rise to a product liability theory of fault. Product liability claims are broken down into categories for defects in design, manufacturing defects, or failures to warn. After Ford’s recalls regarding engine fires, particularly regarding the numerous Escape model recalls, safety advocates pointed to poor quality of manufacturing as well as design.
A manufacturing defect is one where the vehicle or part falls out of line with the rest of those assembled in the same group. Manufacturers can be held strictly liable for any defective vehicle they put into the stream of commerce that causes harm. To assert the right to damages for injuries caused by a manufacturing defect, a victim needs to prove that a vehicle or part was unreasonably dangerous at the time it left the manufacturer’s control.
Design defects are flaws in a product’s fundamental design that make it inherently dangerous, such as the cruise control defect found in cars of the same make and model that lead to fires. To hold a manufacturer liable for a design defect, an injured individual must show that the design was unreasonably dangerous, that the danger was evident in the ordinary use of the product, that the manufacturer could have used a safer, cost-efficient alternative, and that he or she would not have been hurt if the alternative had been used.
A key element in many of these claims is whether or not a manufacturer or seller of a vehicle or part knew of the danger when it put the defective item on the market. Making that determination can involve extensive research as well as expert testimony. Timing is also important in these complex cases, since the statute of limitations for when product liability cases must be filed in Tennessee is one year from the date of the injury. Once the elements of the claim have been established, an accident victim can potentially receive compensation for past and future medical costs, pain and suffering, lost wages or earning capacity, and property damage.Enlist a Knoxville Attorney to Pursue a Car Accident Claim
People who have been hurt by a Ford vehicle that has been or should have been recalled should seek the advice of a car accident lawyer. Mark C. Hartsoe has helped many injured residents of Knoxville and the surrounding communities pursue the compensation that they need to recover. He is dedicated to making sure that auto manufacturers are held liable for the harm they cause by selling unsafe vehicles to consumers. The Hartsoe Law Firm can assist in gathering evidence, investigating the cause, and determining the amount of damages you are due for your injuries. To schedule an initial consultation, call (865) 524-5657, or contact us online.