Seat Belt Defects2018-01-03T21:52:59+00:00

Faulty Seat Belt Injury Attorneys

Seat belt use has been proven to reduce the risk of serious injury or death in a car accident by 50 percent, and 88 percent of New Jersey residents report using their seat belts while in a vehicle. However, these incredibly important safety measures are only effective when they are designed, manufactured, and installed correctly.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to a defective seat belt in your vehicle, Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi can help. Our certified civil trial attorneys have more than 80 years’ worth of combined trial experience, and we have collected more than $300 million for clients throughout New Jersey and New York. Call (201) 585-9111 or contact us online to schedule your free and confidential consultation today.

Product Liability Claims for Defective Seat Belts

Defective brakes 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. For example, it is reasonable to expect your seat belt to prevent you from being ejected from the vehicle during a crash; if you were wearing your seat belt and you were still ejected from the vehicle, you could have grounds for a product liability suit.

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.

Winning a products liability case requires proving that the product in question—in this case, the seat belt—was defective and that the defect made the car itself unreasonable dangerous. There are three common types of defects that can open a manufacturer or supplier up to liability:

  • Design defects are flaws in the intentional design of a product. 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.
  • Manufacturing defects occur when a product does not meet the designer’s or manufacturer’s specifications for the product. In these cases, a manufacturer failed to properly assemble the product according to the design, resulting in an unsafe final product. These types of unsafe product claims are often the easiest to prove, as the manufacturer’s internal design standards can show that the product was defective. When dealing with manufacturing defects, there are two legal principles in play. Res ipsa loquitor—meaning “the thing speaks for itself” in Latin—means that the defect would not exist unless someone in the manufacturing process had been negligent. In cases when this principle applies, the plaintiff is not required to prove the defendant was negligent. Instead, the defendant must prove it was not negligent. In other manufacturing defect cases, strict liability helps plaintiffs collect damages. In these cases, the plaintiff must only prove that the product was defective (and is not required to prove that the manufacturer was negligent).
  • Marketing defects, otherwise known as failure to provide adequate warnings or instructions, occur when a product is improperly labeled. If the product does not come with sufficient instructions or it fails to warn consumers of hidden hazards, the company could be found liable for injuries. In addition, intentional misrepresentation of a product can qualify for product liability in certain cases.

Why Hire Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi?

Simply put, the law firm of Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi offers the experience, resources, and reputation you need for a successful personal injury case.

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.

SuperLawyer Top 100 NJOur 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 suffered a serious injury due to a seat belt defect, we can help. Call (201) 585-9111 or contact Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi to schedule your free consultation today.