In a "crashworthiness" case, the plaintiff alleges that a hidden design or manufacturing defect in a motor vehicle enhanced the injuries resulting from a motor vehicle accident. Thus, the claim in these cases is not that the motor vehicle actually caused the accident, but rather that the vehicle's defective design or manufacture enhanced the personal injuries sustained in the accident.
In these cases, the plaintiff typically sues only for the enhanced injuries, which can range from broken bones and head injuries to paraplegia, quadriplegia and even death. Plaintiff must first demonstrate that the hidden defect in the motor vehicle was a substantial factor in causing the enhanced injuries, then the burden shifts to the defendant to prove that the initial accident, or "first collision," actually caused a portion of those injuries.
If you believe that any injuries sustained in a motor vehicle collision were caused or enhanced by a defect in your own motor vehicle, you should contact an experienced New Jersey / New York personal injury and products liability lawyer as you may have a claim for crashworthiness.