In 2008 alone, there were almost 40,000 fatal car crashes in the United States. Some could have been saved if their car would have been able to withstand the impact of the car accident.
Whether it is a head-on or a rear-end collision; the cars crashworthiness can be the difference between life and death.
Crashworthiness refers to the ability of a car to prevent injuries and death to the occupants in case of a car accident.
During a collision, the occupants are subjected to a number of forces that are caused by the cars sudden deceleration or sudden acceleration.
Crashworthiness primarily deals with the second impact of the collision.
* First Impact Refers to the initial impact between the subject car and another force. The other force can be another car or a foreign object.
* Second Impact Refers to the impact between the passenger and the interior of the car. The second impact is directly caused by the first impact.
A crashworthy car will distribute these dangerous forces over as long a time and distance as possible.
Crashworthiness tests include the effectiveness of the cars safety features like:
* Crumple zones
Liability based on Cars Crashworthiness
What you should remember is that the concept of crashworthiness is under the product liability law.
Its concern lies on the question of whether the manufacturers produced a car that is designed to keep its occupants safe as reasonably as possible.
In crashworthiness cases, the cause of the accident is not given as much importance as the fact that the car has a defect that either caused an injury or made an injury worse.
The argument in product liability cases is that for a case to be valid, the car should have been operated under what the manufacturers see as its foreseeable use.
The courts decided that a collision is a foreseeable use of a car as long as it was not done on purpose by the claimant.
The difficulty lies on how to prove that the injuries or aggravated injuries were caused by the defective car.
It will boil down to proving that the car defect proximately caused the injury, or in simpler terms, that the injury or aggravated injury would not have happened if not for the product defect.
Pursuing a Personal Injury based on the Cars Crashworthiness
The burden of proof in proving a personal injury claim based on crashworthiness falls on the car accident victim.
The victim will need to prove that the car had a product defect that made the car unsafe in the first place.
An expert car accident attorney can help the victim gather evidence and expert opinion to prove that the car was not crashworthy and it caused or aggravated the victims injuries.