When you are driving a car, there are numerous ways that you can create a car accident. One of these is if you drive too fast and collide with someone else. Many drivers understand this, though, and obey speed limits or keep from driving at an unsafe speed.
However, if your car was defectively made, this can be easier said than done. Unintended acceleration has proven to be a common design defect in cars, particularly in the past decade. Unfortunately, these defects can lead to serious high-speed crashes that can hurt both you and others on the road. In these situations, it can be crucial to have a Philadelphia personal injury attorney from the law office of Gilman & Bedigian at your side.
The Problem of Unintended Acceleration
One of the most important parts of driving is how fast you go. Most of the time, this is easy to control – hitting the gas pedal makes you go faster, while hitting the brake slows you down. However, if there is a defect with your car that prevents you from controlling your speed, this can become impossible.
Unfortunately, there are numerous types of defects that can prevent you from controlling your speed. Some of these defects are simple, like floor mats that are so poorly designed they can get wedged underneath the pedal, making it stick when you press it far enough into the mat. Other defects are much more complex, like software problems in your computer's electronic control unit.
Regardless of the source of the problem, the result is the same – being unable to control how fast you are driving makes it impossible to adjust to new road conditions or other drivers. Needless to say, this inability to control your vehicle drastically increases the odds of a serious car accident. While these crashes were caused by your car, they were not necessarily caused by you – you had no control over how fast the car was going. However, convincing others that this was the case can often take an attorney.
Design Defects Behind Unintended Acceleration
The problem of unintended acceleration has been in the news lately since it came out that Toyota vehicles had been dealing with these issues for over a decade. Between 2000 and May, 2010, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had received more than 6,200 complaints about Toyota vehicles suddenly and uncontrollably accelerating. The crashes associated with the problem during that timeframe had resulted in 89 deaths and 57 injuries.
At first, Toyota claimed that the defect was with the floor mats in the vehicles that crashed. Some of the cars in the accidents that were linked to unintended acceleration had floor mats in the driver's compartment that were not designed for the vehicle. However, as more and more people came forward with unintended acceleration issues, it became clear that this was not the only problem. Nevertheless, Toyota continued to maintain that its pedals were not to blame.
Only after intensive investigations did Toyota come forward with a recall that brought 8 million vehicles back to its facilities. They ended up admitting to covering up a defect with the gas pedal that caused the unintended acceleration issue, and paid $1.2 billion in fines for their role in the crashes caused by the design defect.
Crashes Resulting from Unintended Acceleration
An important practical problem of every crash that gets caused by an unintended acceleration defect is that it is difficult to prove. It is not uncommon for people who know they caused a car accident to lie about it. Even after Toyota's gas pedal defect and massive recall, many people are not convinced when you say that the accelerator got stuck, and that caused the crash. This is why contacting a Philadelphia attorney to legally represent you after such an accident is crucial. Doing so will make the other people who were affected by the crash know that you mean what you said.
Philadelphia Auto Defect Attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian
Being in a car that accelerated unintentionally and caused a crash is traumatic. However, showing that it was the defective car that was the cause of the accident can be difficult and frustrating, as well. The cost of not being able to prove that you were not at fault can drastically impact your financial well-being.
This is why hiring the auto defect attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian soon after the crash can make a huge difference. Contact us online or at (800) 529-6162 for the legal representation you need.