When people are injured in Houston because something suddenly went wrong with their vehicle for no apparent reason, they might not be sure whom to blame. Even if they believe their injuries were caused by an inherent defect in the vehicle, they might think that making a claim against a big automaker would be too difficult and that they would stand no chance anyway. And car defect casesdo require careful investigations and the gathering and presentation of highly technical proof by an experienced Houston auto defect attorney.
If you have questions about a potential car defect injury claim and you don’t know what to do or where to turn, contact us. Call our Houston auto defect attorneys at 713-807-9500 or just fill out our online contact form to schedule your free, no obligation initial legal consultation. The Board Certified injury attorneys at Denena Points, PC could help you make your claim a successful one. In our more than 15 years of practice, we have won our share of major unsafe vehicle claims against the big automakers and manufacturers. Click the link to read, for example, about a settlement we obtained from Chrysler.
Those who have been injured or have lost a loved one to a crash caused by a defective vehicle are not without recourse. Juries are often sympathetic to the victims of manufacturers who put cars onto the market with hidden and potentially deadly defects. After all, the jury members probably drive themselves and may have experienced their own share of problems due to defective products.
A recent jury award out of Montana ordered Hyundai to pay $8.6 million in actual damages and $240 million in punitive damages for a crash in 2011 that killed two cousins and another passenger in their vehicle. The award was actually three times the amount requested by the plaintiffs. Hyundai is, predictably, outraged.
The lawsuit claimed that a defective steering knuckle led the cousins’ 2005 Hyundai Tiburon to suddenly veer into oncoming traffic. The three victims were killed in the head-on crash that resulted. Two other people in the Tiburon sustained severe injuries from the collision.
In 2005, Hyundai did indeed recall some of its Tiburons manufactured during a one-month period because of a steering issue, but it was unclear whether the cousins were driving one of the recalled vehicles. And the defect subject to the recall seems to have been slightly different from the defect alleged in the lawsuit. However, vehicles have been known to contain more than one related defect. The working parts of a car affect each other’s operation. That’s what makes a car go.
The award is being challenged by the automaker. Montana has a cap of $10 million on punitive damages for one thing. But a Montana judge has ruled that such a paltry sum would not deter wealthy automakers from wrongdoing. This particular defect killed three people and left two with severe injuries. Such injuries might result in lifelong medical costs. So $10 million might not even begin to cover the expenses and losses resulting from the crash. It will be interesting to see what the final result in the case will be. Stay tuned.