When we take our foot off the gas pedal, we expect our car to react. It should start slowing down immediately, and if it doesn’t you know something has gone horribly wrong. In a blur, your heart begins to race and utter panic consumes you as your car continues to speed down the highway as though possessed. You can do nothing to stop it.
It may sound like the beginning to a Stephen King thriller: possessed cars whipping down the road of their own free will. Tragically, this scenario is true for some owners of defective Toyota vehicles. This week, the car company has settled the first of hundreds of wrongful death and injury lawsuits, according to USA Today. Anytime a defective product causes injury or death, the survivors have the legal right to pursue compensation from the company at fault. You have no control over how a product is made and you certainly didn’t choose to become a victim. Don’t let a company go on with business as usual while you bear the burden of their mistake.
In 2009, a California Highway Patrol officer and three of his family members were killed after their Toyota-made Lexus reached sped uncontrollably at 120 miles per hour, hit another vehicle, flew off a levee, rolled numerous times, and burst into flames, according to USA Today. This horrific accident garnered attention, and in 2012 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed serious defects known as “floor mat pedal entrapment” and “unintended acceleration” in Toyota vehicles.
The NHTSA discovered that Toyota had known about these defects for three years, but had neglected to report them. After the situation became public, they recalled more than 14 million vehicles for wrong-sized floor mats causing stuck accelerator pedals, as well as brake defects.
Now, hundreds of tragic reports of severe injuries and death are coming to light.
The fact that Toyota lets consumers naively drive these dangerous vehicles is shameful. They should have come forward after the first incidents in 2009 and prevented the hundreds of injuries and deaths that are now being laid at their feet. Worse, instead of admitting fault outright, USA Today reports that they will continue to defend their product at trial.
Unfortunately, saving lives doesn’t seem to be enough of an incentive to prompt car manufacturers to take action as soon as defects are discovered. Profits, sadly, win almost every time. The only way to keep these car giants accountable is to literally make them pay – money seems to be the only thing they respond to. Filing personal injury and wrongful death claims won’t heal the injured or bring back the lost, but they will show car manufacturers that they cannot get away with this blaring disregard for consumer safety. Furthermore, compensation will help these grieving families in their time of need, accounting for their pain and suffering, potential lost income, and an uncertain future.
Massive corporations have expensive legal teams that are ready to negotiate until they’re blue in the face. Our seasoned attorneys can match their experience and their aggression. More importantly, we have the compassion your family needs at such a difficult time.