Door Latch Design Defect Attorney

While it may seem like a tiny element in a large, complicated machine, the door latch on your vehicle is extremely important. The latch keeps the vehicle door closed in the event of an accident, which greatly decreases the risk of being ejected from the vehicle, and it also keeps the door from swinging open mid-transit, which could cause serious injury or even death.

Design defects in a vehicle door latch are serious problems, and they have potentially deadly consequences. You deserve aggressive, knowledgeable representation, especially when it comes to standing up to automakers, insurance companies, and other attorneys. Since opening our doors in 1974, Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi has been committed to protecting the injured throughout New Jersey and New York. We are proud to represent our clients with passion, experience, and a commitment to justice. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a defective door latch, contact us to discuss your legal options. Call (201) 585-9111 or contact Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi online to schedule your free and confidential consultation today.

Products Liability Law

Unsafe products fall under product liability law, which holds the manufacturer, distributor, or seller liable for putting a defective product on the market. The supply chain for a particular product can be complex, and it can open liability up to the product manufacturer, a manufacturer of component parts, the wholesaler, and the retail store that sold the unsafe product.

Generally speaking, a product must meet the ordinary expectations of a reasonable consumer. That being said, when any product has an unexpected defect or danger, it has failed to meet the ordinary expectations of a consumer. When that unexpected defect or danger leads to injury, you could have grounds for a product liability lawsuit.

Winning a products liability case requires proving that the product in question—in this case, the door latch—was defective and that the defect made the car itself unreasonable dangerous. In order to prove the product was designed defectively, the plaintiff must be able to show that the product is inherently flawed; therefore, even if the consumer used the product as instructed, it would still be dangerous. Claiming a design defect sometimes requires that the plaintiff show negligence in the defective design, but in other cases, a manufacturer can be held liable if the plaintiff can show there was a safe, cost-effective alternative.

One of the most difficult parts of a product liability claim is figuring out who the potential defendants are for your case. Any participant in the chain of distribution for your vehicle could have had a hand in producing the defective final product, and as such, it is important to identify all possible sources of liability. Possible defendants in a defective vehicle claim include the manufacturer, the manufacturer of the defective part itself, the car dealership or used car dealer, the automotive supply shop, or even the shipper of the defective products.

Defective Door Latch Lawsuits

Once you have established grounds for a personal injury lawsuit, you and your attorney can start to evaluate “damages.” Damages, or the monetary compensation in a personal injury case, are divided into two categories: compensatory and punitive damages. The vast majority of personal injury cases deal with compensatory damages, which are designed to compensate the injured person for losses suffered as a result of the accident.

Compensatory damages in an accident could include:

  • Current and future medical treatment: includes hospitalization costs, ongoing treatment expenses, rehabilitation costs, and any expected future medical expenses
  • Lost wages: compensation for wages lost while out of work due to the accident, as well as decreased earning capacity in the future if the injuries will continue to affect the victim
  • Property damage: compensation for damage to the victim’s car, clothing, or other personal effects as a result of the accident
  • Loss of enjoyment of life: covers loss of enjoyment of day-to-day activities, recreation, hobbies, and exercise
  • Pain and suffering: the physical and emotional pain caused by the accident, including the pain of the physical injuries and ongoing emotional trauma
  • Emotional distress: the psychological effects of an injury, such as anxiety, sleep loss, or fear (typically awarded in severe accidents)
  • Wrongful death: compensation for the family or estate of someone killed by a negligent driver

Oftentimes, a defective vehicle claim will apply to a large number of consumers. If so, the people affected typically join together to file a class-action lawsuit. Joining an existing class-action lawsuit has several benefits for you, including the help of a lawyer who is already familiar with the case (and probably has years’ worth of experience filing claims against large corporations) and little to no upfront cost.

However, it is wise to consult a personal injury attorney before joining a class-action suit. In certain situations, it will make more sense to file your own lawsuit rather than joining the class-action suit. For example, if your injuries are substantially different from the other plaintiffs in the lawsuit (or if the circumstances of your accident were substantially different), then you will probably have more success filing your own lawsuit.

Why Hire Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi

Our certified civil trial attorneys have more than 80 years’ worth of combined trial experience. We have collected more than $300 million for clients throughout Cliffside, Bergen County, and all of New Jersey. We have collected a number of significant verdicts and settlements over the last 40 years, including:

  • $101 million for a construction accident case in which a 10-story parking garage collapsed, killing 4 people and injuring 32 others (the largest settlement of a construction accident case in U.S. history)
  • $11.5 million for a hospital negligence case in which a behavioral health facility failed to adequately treat a patient, who later murdered his wife, daughter, and stepdaughter
  • $10 million for a car accident victim who suffered a severe brain injury and visual impairment after being thrown from a vehicle
  • $7 million to a 23-year-old pedestrian who suffered a debilitating brain injury after being struck by a vehicle
  • $6.2 million for a commercial truck driver who was struck by another truck driver while pulled off on the side of the road
  • $2.8 million for a car accident victim who was struck by a negligent driver, leading to a total knee replacement
  • $2.5 million for a driver who was struck by a New Jersey Transit Bus after exiting the Lincoln Tunnel
  • $1.7 million for a 50-year-old driver who was rear-ended at a stoplight

It is critically important to have resources on your side when you pursue a personal injury claim. After an accident, the bills can be overwhelming; hospital bills, rehabilitation costs, car repairs, days missed at work, and other expenses, on top of your regular day-to-day bills, can have a serious effect on your financial well-being. Trying to navigate these extra expenses alone can be rather frustrating. The experienced trial attorneys at Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi have helped hundreds of clients navigate these expenses, deal with insurance adjusters, stand up to opposing attorneys, and fight for fair compensation.

Whether your case goes to court or not, it is crucial to work with a law firm with a rock-solid reputation. Insurance companies know which attorneys have a proven track record of success and who will fight back in court  for their clients; with a respected, experienced attorney working on your case, the insurance company will take your claim more seriously and give you a better shot at fair compensation.

Our personal injury practice is headed by Michael Maggiano, a veteran trial attorney who has been listed by Super Lawyers Magazine as a New Jersey Super Lawyer since 2005. We are members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, which is reserved for attorneys who have won million- and multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements, including less than 1 percent of U.S. lawyers.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to a defective door latch, we can help. Call (201) 585-9111 or contact Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi to schedule your free consultation today.