McAllen Auto Defect Lawyers

Why Hire a McAllen-Based Auto Defect Attorney?

When buying a car, few of us consider something may be wrong with it. As consumers, we have every right to believe our vehicles are safe. We trust that manufacturers extensively test their products before release to ensure they are not defective.

It is in a manufacturer’s best interests to take every precaution to prevent auto defects and minimize vehicle recalls. Lives depend on it; even a single injury would prove devastating and potentially damage trust and reputation.

Unfortunately, auto defects sometimes slip under the radar, and by the time a manufacturer identifies a fault and issues a recall, it’s sadly too late for many. The impact can be devastating, causing severe automobile accidents.

If you’ve had an accident due to a car defect, our McAllen car defect lawyer can help you recover compensation. It is possible to sue a car manufacturer, and we can help you receive compensation not just for vehicle damage but also for any injuries you’ve sustained from your accident.

We serve Texans injured across the Rio Grande Valley, from McAllen, Edinburg, Pharr, and Weslaco to Mercedes, Harlingen, and Brownsville.

Schedule Your Free Consultation With Our Experienced Injury Attorneys

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We’ve successfully recovered massive payouts for clients who have suffered an injury due to an automotive defect, but we’re most proud of our approach to your case.

Your health and safety are our primary concerns, so we can handle the complex legal process while you focus on your recovery.

Our five-star reviews demonstrate that we’re not your average personal injury attorney. We go above and beyond to protect your legal rights and promise to keep you updated on the progress of your case.

Unlike with some firms, you’ll never be in the dark about what to expect or unable to reach us when you need us most.

We offer a free, no-obligation case review with our McAllen defective car lawyer so you can find out if you have a claim. But we also understand hiring a motor vehicle attorney is a serious decision, so we will never pressure you.

To see if you have a case, we invite you to book your consultation by calling 855-LAW-NINJA or submitting the form on this page.

We can offer you a telephone or video consultation or come to you, or you can visit us at our McAllen office on 1802 N 10th St McAllen, TX 78501.

We work on a contingency basis, which means you won’t pay a cent until we win.

Excellent
Based on 314 reviews
Christian Clark
Christian Clark
August 29, 2023
Awesome law firm! Have been extremely helpful with the process of my car accident. Extremely respectful and courteous.
Librado Zuniga
Librado Zuniga
August 17, 2023
Buen servicio siempre atentos y buen personal. Gracias por SUS atenciones y por su trabajo. 100%recomendable!!
Aida Trevino
Aida Trevino
August 17, 2023
I was very satisfied with my settlement and lawyer's who handled my case thank you satisfied customer
Kristian Jimenez
Kristian Jimenez
July 6, 2023
They work hard for your case and make sure you are kept well informed while in the process!
Guadalupe Ambriz
Guadalupe Ambriz
June 28, 2023
Excellent job, excellent service... 💯% Recommended 👍👍👍 thanks for everything 👍👍👍
Lucero Trevino
Lucero Trevino
June 28, 2023
Thank you so much for the help to Patiño law from totally recommended they were to nice and helpful through whole process.
Leo Delgado
Leo Delgado
June 26, 2023
I would highly recommend you to go to Patino Law Firm as they had helped me with a car accident and did an excellent job!!!
Janie Longoria
Janie Longoria
June 9, 2023
My experience with the firm was Excellent, they take everything into consideration .They go over and beyond for a fair outcome I highly recommend Patino Law Firm.
Raul Pena
Raul Pena
June 7, 2023
The Patino Law Firm has a very profession team that is very knowledgeable in their area of practice, Personal Injury Cases. They will answer any and all questions regarding your case and they will keep you well informed of the status of your case. Furthermore, they will provide you with a fast and worthwhile resolution of your case and will ensure that you are 100% satisfied with the outcome.
Amber Gunn
Amber Gunn
May 30, 2023
Patino is literally not the stereotypical “attorney” we all think about. He is caring and real and honest and trustworthy. He fights for his clients like he would fight for himself. It’s what we all expect but very rarely see or get! We have used him twice now, and he’s just stellar. Don’t doubt this man. He’s amazing! And you get what you pay for!

What Is an Auto Defect?

An auto defect is a fault, imperfection, or defect in a vehicle’s design or manufacture that can cause harm. When an individual is injured because of an auto defect, they can recover compensation via an auto defect claim — a subset of product liability.

Product liability laws hold companies responsible for injuries their products cause, whether they are the manufacturer, supplier, designer, or installer of a faulty product.

In defective motor vehicle claims, this product is often a specific car part, such as a tire, airbag, engine, brake system, or seatbelt.

Auto defects come in many forms, but we must first understand the broad types before looking at examples.

A motor vehicle defect must fall under one of the following three categories to bring a product liability claim:

  • A design defect refers to a flaw in a product’s design that makes it dangerous when used correctly.
  • A manufacturing defect is when a flaw is introduced during the manufacturing process — typically due to a mistake or error during production or assembly — despite a sound design.
  • A failure to warn defect occurs when a manufacturer or distributor fails to inform users about the potential dangers of a product or does not provide adequate instructions.

Common Auto Defects in McAllen

Vehicles are intricate machines comprising several components that can malfunction at the worst possible time. However, some of the more common auto defects include:

  • Tire blowouts
  • Defective airbags
  • Brake defects
  • Seat belt defects
  • Defective child car seats

Any of these auto defects can cause a driver to lose control or lead to injuries that wouldn’t have happened if the part functioned correctly, and those injured in accidents caused by a faulty vehicle or car part may file a claim.

A dedicated auto defect lawyer can help you get the compensation you’re entitled to.

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Proving an Auto Defect Claim

A successful personal injury claim of any type depends on evidence.

Following a motor vehicle accident, one of the most crucial pieces of evidence you can secure is your accident report. This document — also known as a crash report — is filed when you report your accident (which you must do immediately after a motor vehicle crash in Texas), and it contains significant information that can support your case.

Your crash report explains who was involved in the crash, when and where the accident occurred, the damage and injuries sustained, and the factors that contributed to your crash.

Your crash report might not show an auto defect caused your crash — or that it was even present — but your report is still valuable. Evidence of your injuries can prevent the liable party from arguing you were hurt before or after the accident and offering a reduced settlement.

If your accident report does not indicate that a defect caused your injuries, this does not automatically mean you cannot claim — only that you will need to rely on other types of evidence to build your case.

Other types of evidence might include:

  • Your vehicle, which a professional can examine for defects.
  • Past recalls or complaints highlighting problems with the same make and model of your vehicle.
  • Documentation proving when you last had your vehicle serviced — this does not show a fault was present, but it can rule out the possibility of the defect occurring because you failed to maintain your vehicle.
  • Medical records to document the severity of your injuries and treatment required.
  • Testimony from eyewitnesses, such as a passenger who saw that airbags did not deploy.
  • Expert testimony from auto safety experts who have inspected the vehicle and identified the defect as the cause of the accident.
  • Documents or testimony proving the liable party knew about the defect but failed to address it.

Who Might Be Liable in a McAllen Auto Defect Claim?

Several parties can be liable for injuries caused by an auto defect. The vehicle manufacturer is one of the most common defendants in these cases, but they are not the only potentially responsible party.

Manufacturers

A parts manufacturer may be liable if a specific part of the vehicle is defective, such as tires that rupture, because a design flaw prevents them from maintaining ideal pressures.

New and Used Car Dealerships

Dealerships and automotive supply shops are commonly sued alongside a manufacturer, alleging they knowingly sold a defective vehicle or part or failed to warn about a known defect or hazard.

Repair Shops

Mechanics and automotive repair shops might be liable if they installed a part incorrectly, introduced a fault while servicing or fixing a vehicle, or failed to notice a defect during an inspection.

Rental Companies

A car rental company might be liable for damage resulting from an auto defect. If they knew — or reasonably should have known — a fault was present and leased a vehicle regardless, and the defect caused you harm, you can potentially pursue compensation.

Alongside proving a party was aware of a defect — a manufacturer, supplier, repair shop, or other party will often plead ignorance — one of the most challenging aspects of a product liability claim is determining who is liable and, therefore, who you should pursue compensation from.

Our McAllen auto defect attorney can help you determine who is responsible (sometimes, it may be multiple parties) and advise on your next steps to maximize your chance of recovering compensation — whether by negotiating a settlement or winning your case at trial.

What Compensation Can a McAllen Motor Vehicle Defects Attorney Recover?

There are several misconceptions about personal injury claims, and one of the most common is that they are driven by greed. But pursuing compensation is just as much about seeking justice, accountability, and preventing similar accidents from happening to others. Holding a massive corporation responsible in an auto defect claim can be rewarding, and alerting them to an issue or fault potentially affecting millions could save lives.

But we mustn’t ignore the massive financial benefit of a successful auto defect claim.

Auto defects can cause minor, severe, or even fatal injuries.

One of the most common injuries sustained in defective motor vehicle crashes — and car accidents more widely — is whiplash. Whiplash happens from a sudden jolt during a collision and can cause severe neck and back pain, as well as other complications such as headaches and dizziness.

Similarly, many injury victims suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in auto defect accidents. Whether brakes fail and cause a head-on collision or an abrupt engine cut-out results in a car rear-ending your vehicle, the impact can cause the brain to bounce forward and back. Brain injuries can range from a concussion to life-changing cognitive impairment and disability.

Other injuries commonly sustained in auto defect crashes include broken bones, spinal cord injuries, lacerations, and internal injuries.

Treatment for such injuries can be lengthy and expensive. Some individuals must adapt and manage their condition for the rest of their lives.

An auto defect claim compensates victims for their past and future medical care — including medication, surgery, physical therapy, and rehabilitation — lost wages, diminished earning capacity, and home adaptations, relieving a massive financial burden they might otherwise struggle to carry.

A victim can also recover non-economic damages to compensate them for their pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment, and loss of companionship or consortium.

An individual left paralyzed by a spinal cord injury might not only be unable to work again and need lifelong physical care, but they will likely also suffer significant emotional distress because of a loss of independence and self-esteem, affecting their relationship with their spouse or ability to form new relationships.

A person who has lost a loved one in an accident caused by an auto defect must deal with a profound loss of companionship, guidance, and support, worsened by the fact the defect could have been identified earlier and the crash prevented. Beyond their immediate grief, they may struggle if their spouse or loved one was the primary breadwinner. No sum of money can fill the irreplaceable void in the family unit, but compensation can relieve the financial strain.

A claim, then, is far from “just about the money” and much more about recovering the compensation owed for the devastating injuries they have sustained and the impact of those injuries on their life or family.

Frequently Asked Questions Our McAllen Auto Defect Lawyers Receive

  • The Texas Product Liability Act — which falls under the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code — establishes the framework for auto defect claims. This law holds manufacturers and other liable parties responsible for the harm caused by a vehicle’s faulty design or manufacturing.Individuals injured in an accident that wasn’t their fault must typically prove the at-fault party was negligent or reckless to recover compensation. Because the Texas Product Liability Act is a strict liability law, you do not need to meet this burden.So, what do you need to prove?To recover compensation in a product liability claim, you must establish several elements:
    1. The product had a defect that was “unreasonably dangerous”.
    2. The seller, distributor, or manufacturer was aware of the defect.
    3. The defect injured you while you used the product as intended, and you did not substantially alter it to cause the defect.

    A caveat applies specifically to Texas design defect claims, where you must prove there was a safe and feasible alternative design.Despite not needing to show negligence, auto defect claims are complex and challenging to prove.

Your crash report is vital evidence for a motor vehicle claim, establishing when, where, and how your accident happened, so you must know how to get a copy of yours.

Texas crash reports are easily accessible via the Texas Department of Transportation’s online portal. When you arrive on the TxDOT purchase system page, you can search for your crash report. There is also an option to download any previously purchased reports.

TxDOT does not allow anyone to search and download an accident report, so you must provide identifying information to locate it. You have several options here:

  • Your name (or the name of anyone involved in the crash).
  • The Driver License/Identification Card Number of a person involved in the crash.
  • The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of a vehicle involved in the crash.
  • The TxDOT Crash ID (an eight-digit assigned to each crash and given to the investigating officer once they submit the crash report).

If you search by name, the system will prompt you to enter additional information if you know it, such as:

  • The crash date
  • The city or county where the crash happened
  • The investigator’s name
  • The driver’s date of birth.

Providing these details helps the system pinpoint your crash, especially if you have a common name. Complete as many fields as possible here, but do not guess information if you do not know it. TxDOT will only return your crash report if the data you provide exactly matches the corresponding fields in the submitted report.

For example, you may recall the investigating officer’s name was John, but you should leave the field blank if you are uncertain if it is spelled “John” or “Jon”. It is best to stick to identifying information you know is correct, such as your date of birth and the crash date. 

Note that it can take up to two weeks after your crash for the report to appear on the portal. If your auto accident has happened recently, do not be alarmed if you can’t find a record and check again once 14 days have passed.

Once you’ve found your accident report, you must pay a small fee to download it. A regular copy costs $6, but if you require an official document for legal proceedings, you will need a certified copy, costing $8.

That said, you do not need to obtain a copy of your crash report — your McAllen auto defect lawyer can do it for you. Section 550.065 of the Texas Transportation Code allows those with a “proper interest” in the accident to retrieve a crash report. An attorney falls under the category of “authorized representative”.

We can request your accident report, help you interpret it, and advise how it might affect your case. We will also ensure the information is correct, as an error could affect your entitlement to compensation.

If you’ve been in an accident and suspect it was because of a faulty car part, the insurance company may offer a settlement to prevent future legal action. Unfortunately, these settlements are often unfair, and you might deserve far more.

This is especially the case if your injuries worsen and cause you to miss long periods of work or develop into a serious, long-term condition.

Auto defects fall under product liability, and you could recover your past and future medical expenses and the cost of repairing damage to your vehicle. An auto defect attorney will also claim additional damages for the pain and suffering the auto defect has caused.

At Patino Law Firm, our motto is “no fee until we win.” That means we’ll never charge upfront costs, and you only pay legal fees if we win your case.

The percentage of your settlement your attorney takes varies depending on the complexity of your case and if you settle or decide to go to trial. We will tell you how much you can expect to pay during your free, no-obligation case review so you can make an informed decision.

When faced with multiple fault reports — and usually after an investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) — a manufacturer may issue a recall notice. Depending on the type and nature of the defect, the recall may be for a specific car part or your entire vehicle.

You cannot sue purely because your vehicle is recalled if you have not suffered a personal injury — though the manufacturer or company issuing the recall should recommend what you should do, such as taking your car to a dealership.

However, if you’ve suffered an injury due to an auto defect, you can sue for damages, whether you are hurt before or after the recall.

A manufacturer issuing a recall does not absolve them of the injuries you’ve suffered — and it may make it easier for you to negotiate a fair settlement out of court because they have acknowledged a defect.

However, you must be within the statute of limitations.

The statute of limitations for personal injury in Texas — or how long you have to bring legal action — is two years after your accident and includes product liability claims, such as suing a manufacturer, auto shop, or dealership due to an auto defect.

The defendant can motion for a summary judgment if you do not file the necessary paperwork within the time limit. This is a request to decide the case in favor of the defendant without a trial on the matter of law — put simply, the case is dismissed because you missed the deadline. The court cannot outright prevent you from filing your lawsuit, but a motion on these grounds is typically a formality and is almost always successful. This makes it vital to consult a McAllen auto defect attorney as soon as possible after your accident and make sure you file your lawsuit on time.

Contact an Auto Defect Lawyer in McAllen

Our McAllen personal injury attorney at Patino Law Firm knows the devastating impact an auto defect accident can have. We believe vehicle designers, manufacturers, and other parties should be accountable when their negligence has caused harm, whatever their size or previous reputation.

If you or your loved one has been harmed by an auto defect, talk to us today. Our specialist auto defect attorney can pursue legal action and get the justice and financial compensation you deserve.

We offer a free, no-obligation case review to determine if you have a claim. Dr. Louis Patino — the Law Ninja — and his team are dedicated to helping you. For an informal chat, call 855-LAW-NINJA, fill in the contact form, or visit our McAllen office.

Se habla Español, and you won’t pay fees until we win.

You can reach us 24/7.

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Patino Injury and Accident Attorneys – Available 24/7

Phone

956-631-3535

Address

1802 N 10th St McAllen, TX 78501

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