Car Accidents

Legal Rights of Drivers and Passengers Injured in Car, Suv, Truck, Van and Bus Accidents

The laws of most states allow injured drivers and passengers, and the families of the loved ones who have died or were injured in car accidents, to file legal claims against those responsible for the accident.

Legal responsibility, called "liability," for a car accident often depends upon proof that the other driver was operating his or her vehicle in an unreasonable manner under the circumstances in which the accident occurred, known as " negligence."

Where several persons caused an accident, the law in most states provides that any one of the negligent persons is responsibility for compensating you fully for your injuries and damages.

Even if you partly caused the accident, in most states you can still get at least some compensation if the other driver was negligent and responsible for the accident. The amount of the other person's liability for the accident is determined by comparing his or her carelessness with your own.

Persons injured in vehicle accidents, and families who loved ones died, should consult with legal counsel to understand and protect their rights, including on how to demonstrate the cause of the accident, preserve evidence necessary to show another party was at fault, and obtain fair and just compensation. Statutes of limitation -- the deadline under state law to bring a lawsuit -- can be as short as six months for claims against governmental agencies. It is also important claims and two years in California for personal injury and wrongful death.

When Safety Defects In Your Vehicle Caused Injuries

Lieff Cabraser has successfully represented clients nationwide in auto defect lawsuits against nearly all car makers, including GM, Chrysler, Ford, Mitsubishi, and Toyota. These lawsuits have involved a wide range of faulty vehicles and types of accidents including:

If a safety defect with your vehicle or a component (such as the seat or tires) led to your accident or injury, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the vehicle or auto part. For example, in many cases involving older model SUVs, the complaints charge that SUVs had an unacceptably high risk of rollover in the event of a sudden emergency maneuver, that manufacturer was aware of this safety defect and yet still sold the SUV.

Today, we are one of the leading law firms in the nation representing clients in the Toyota sudden acceleration lawsuit. We are also representing the parents, spouses and children whose loved ones died in accidents linked to the faulty GM ignition switch.

Damages Available in Auto Injury Lawsuits

Damages sought against negligent drivers and major auto companies for producing and selling defective vehicles with safety flaws include general and compensatory damages for:

  • Past and future physical pain and suffering, mental anguish and physical impairment;
  • Past and future medical, incidental and hospital expenses;
  • Past and future loss of earnings and earning capacity;
  • Punitive damages; and
  • Wrongful death when the driver or passenger was killed.

Current Cases

CaseIssue
GM Ignition Switch Defects Defective ignition control switches
Ford Cruise Control Switch Fires Defective cruise control switches
Ford Explorer Accidents Rollover accidents
Kia Spectra, Sportage, Rio & SUV Fires Fuel tank explosions
Mitsubishi SUV Rollover Accidents Rollover dangers
Smart Key Roll-Away Accidents Key ignition defects
Takata Airbag Recall Defective airbags
Toyota Accidents Sudden unintended acceleration
Vehicle Fires Faulty manufacturing
View More Current Cases

Types of Accidents

TypeIssue
Airbag FailuresAirbag defects
Backover AccidentsPedestrian injuries
False Park/Park to Reverse MovementTransmission defects
Fires & Fuel Tank ExplosionsFuel tank system vulnerable to fire
Guardrail InjuriesGuardrail defects
Park to Reverse Transmission SlipsTransmission defects
Passenger Van AccidentsSafety defects
Power Window AccidentsPower window defects
Roof Crush AccidentsSafety defects
Seat Back CollapsesSeat safety defects
Seat Belt FailuresBelt safety defects
Smartkey Rollaway AccidentsKey system defects
Sudden Acceleration AccidentsTransmission defects
SUV RolloversDesign defects
Truck CollisionsHeavy truck-passenger vehicle collision accidents
View More Types of Accidents

Successes

CaseResult
Guillot v. DaimlerChrysler $7.2 million verdict (2010)
Mraz v. DaimlerChrysler $54 million verdict (2009)
Yamaha Rhino New safety features added to vehicles (2009)

Injury Law FAQ: ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS

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