The Proper Safety Restraints in a Car Can Save Your Life
Help for car crash victims throughout West Tennessee whose safety equipment failed
Tennessee requires that all drivers of all motor vehicles equipped with seat belts must use those seat belts while driving. A driver caught tooling around town without wearing a seat belt – or whose passengers are not restrained, either – can be charged with a Class C misdemeanor and face a fine. Most importantly, however, seat belts and child safety seats have been proven to reduce your risk of serious injuries.
But what happens when your safety devices fail? At Bailey & Greer, PLLC our products liability lawyers have successfully represented families whose loved ones were injured because of defective safety products. We have also helped people whose claims were opposed under Tennessee’s comparative negligence laws. From our offices in Memphis and Jackson, we are able to offer comprehensive counsel and representation to car crash victims throughout West Tennessee aimed at recovering the compensation you need to move forward.
What the law says
Tennessee is a comparative fault state, which means that if you are in a car accident and sustained an injury, the amount of compensation you can collect could be affected by how much of a role you played in sustaining your own injuries. Thus, if you and another driver hit each other head-on because neither of you were paying attention, you might not be able to recover any compensation at all. If, however, you were stopped at a red light and you were rear-ended, which caused your car to slam into a tree on the opposite sidewalk, you will most likely be able to collect the full amount awarded to you because you did not contribute to your accident.
This law becomes less clear when a driver or passenger is unrestrained. Tennessee’s most updated laws regarding seat belts and comparative fault states that:
“The failure to wear a safety belt or receipt of a citation or warrant for arrest for failure to wear a safety belt shall not be admissible into evidence in a civil action; provided, that evidence of a failure to wear a safety belt or receipt of a citation or warrant for arrest for failure to wear a safety belt, as required by this chapter, may be admitted in a civil action as to the causal relationship between non-compliance and the injuries alleged, if the following conditions have been satisfied:
- The plaintiff has filed a products liability claim;
- The defendant alleging non-compliance with this chapter shall raise this defense in its answer or timely amendment thereto in accordance with the rules of civil procedure; and
- Each defendant seeking to offer evidence alleging non-compliance with this chapter has the burden of proving non-compliance with this chapter, that compliance with this chapter would have reduced injuries and the extent of the reduction of the injuries.”
In layman’s terms, this means that if you suffer an injury in a car crash and were not wearing your seat belt at the time of the crash, you might be barred from collecting the full amount of compensation available because by not wearing your seat belt, you increased both the risk and severity of your injuries.
Defective safety equipment in cars
At Bailey & Greer, we help protect families whose loved ones have been hurt when their safety equipment malfunctioned, or failed to perform up to standard. We have the skills, the resources and the experience you want on your side after you or your loved one was hurt because of:
- Defective airbags
- Malfunctioning or defective braking systems
- Faulty child safety restraints, such as booster seats or car seats
- Malfunctioning or faulty seat belts
- Poorly made or designed head restraints
- Malfunctioning all-wheel drive
You have enough to worry about from other drivers; you should not have to worry about the parts of your car designed to keep you safe. Bailey & Greer knows what it takes to build a successful products liability lawsuit against car manufacturers. We work with outside resources when necessary to build a comprehensive case against the companies that put your life and the lives of those you love at risk.
Did your safety equipment fail when you need it most?
Let Bailey & Greer, PLLC help you after you have sustained serious injuries in a car accident. We put our years of experience litigating product liability cases and auto accident cases to work for clients throughout West Tennessee every day – and we can help you, too. To schedule a no-obligation consultation about your case at our Memphis or Jackson locations, please call 901.475.7434 or fill out our contact form.