In San Antonio, Texas, seven-year-old Jesse Rivera, Jr. was sitting in the backseat of the family Audi sedan when it was rear-ended in 2012. The front seat of the Audi broke when the impact of the auto accident occurred; because of the impact. Jesse Rivera, Jr. suffered permanent brain damage, partial paralysis, and partial loss of his eyesight and will require care for the rest of his life. Patrick, his younger brother, who was sitting in the backseat, behind the empty passenger seat, did not suffer any injuries.
The Rivera family sued Audi for the injuries their son suffered. The attorney for Audi’s manufacturer argued in court that the seat of the vehicle were designed specifically to absorb the impact if an accident were to occur. To support their case, the defendant’s attorney demonstrated with a crash test video that showed the seats of the car collapsing on impact. The lawyer stated that the seats were designed to do that, and that they were “absorbing energy.”
“Fault “ Insurance State
Like Oklahoma, Texas is a “fault” insurance state. Fault can be allocated to several parties that are involved in an auto accident. In this case, the jury allocated 55 percent of the liability of the accident to the manufacturer of the car, 25 percent to the motorist that collided with the Rivera’s car, and 20 percent was assigned to Rivera, Sr., because Jesse Rivera was not in a booster seat and his father was not wearing his safety belt. This allocation meant that the jury did rule that the Rivera family was entitled to compensation due to the “gross negligence” of Audi.
Knowledge – Putting Children at Risk
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) insists that it has investigated the issue of federal standards for strength of seats in cars, however an expert that CBS News hired demonstrated that a banquet chair can pass the federal standard. The NHTSA has been aware of the potential for seats in a variety of cars to collapse for decades. The NHTSA has also been a huge advocate of only putting children in the backseats of cars for decades, despite this defect.
No one truly wins in these cases, though. If you or a loved one has suffered dangerous product injuries due to defective car seats, you need the assistance of an aggressive Oklahoma personal injury attorney who will fight for the compensation you deserve, even if you are facing a financially solid company like Audi. Contact or call the Law Office of Robert R. Robles today for a free consultation at 405-232-7980.