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California Seat Back Failure Lawyers

Contact the experienced California seat back failure lawyers of Bisnar Chase if you've been seriously injured in a seat-back failure crash. We've represented more than 10,000 clients and won over $300M in verdicts and settlements. Bisnar Chase has pioneered the way for seat back failure cases and we may be able to help you too. Call 800-561-4887 for a free consultation with an experienced California auto defect lawyer that has tried these cases to victory.

Did you know that some cars have front seats equivalent to the safety and structure of a flimsy beach chair? Our firm has extensive experience when it comes to handling these seat-back failure cases.

Tragic Avoidable Loss & Injury

We represented the mother of a 7-year-old girl who died as the result of seatback failure. The plaintiff and her daughter were rear-ended at 25 mph while traveling in a Ford Escort. As a result of the seat back failure, the mother's head struck the daughter in the chest, causing the young girl's heart to rupture. She also suffered from internal bleeding.

We represented another young client who is paralyzed from the chest down due to seatback failure. You can watch their stories here along with an interview with auto defects attorney, Brian Chase explaining what took place when these car seats failed.

All auto accidents pose a threat for serious injuries such as fractures, head injuries, internal organ damage, scarring, disfigurement and spinal cord injuries. We help our clients secure fair compensation for medical bills, funeral costs, lost wages and all other related damages. If you or a loved one has been injured in California as a result of seatback failure, please contact us for a free, comprehensive and confidential consultation.

Our law office specializes in cases like this. We have over three decades in personal injury law including serious and catastrophic auto defect cases. We have the talent, funds and reputation to take your auto defect or product malfunction case to the finish line.

Seat back failure is a serious vehicle defect in many automobiles that causes numerous catastrophic injuries and fatalities each year. Poorly designed and defective seats, for example, can collapse backward on impact resulting in devastating injuries to vehicle occupants. A seatback collapse causing a catastrophic spinal injury, for example, can occur even in a low-speed, low-impact rear-end collision.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) received 390 complaints regarding seatback failure in one year resulting in 112 injuries and one death. Many of these injuries could have been prevented had the auto manufacturer designed and manufactured these seatbacks using technology that has been available for decades now.

Causes of Seat Back Failure

Seatback failure occurs when the weight of a vehicle occupant forces the back of the seat to collapse. This can result from a faulty design, poor assembly or improper installation. If strong materials are properly assembled, it is much more likely that the seat will stay upright during a collision. When flimsy materials are used, the seatback frame may become deformed.

The two most common types of seatback collapse involve the failure of the seatback support system to maintain an upright position and the deformation of the seatback frame. Failures that have been attributed to the deformation of the mounting system that holds the seat to the vehicle floor or to a collapse of the vehicle floor pan are less common. Another common problem with seatbacks is the detachment of adjustable head restraints during an accident.

Why Seat Back Failures are So Dangerous

The main safety features in a vehicle are the safety belt and airbag system. If the seatback collapses, neither of these critical safety features will be effective in the event of a crash. The airbag will likely not protect the victim at all and the seatbelt may not be able to prevent the occupant from being ejected. In some cases, the lowered chair can act as a ramp, causing the victim to be jettisoned from the rear window.

Other potentially serious conditions that may arise include:

Loss of control: If the seatback fails while the vehicle is in motion, the driver may be unable to sit upright. This situation can make it difficult for the driver to avoid an accident before pulling over and coming to a stop.

Vehicle ejection: During a high-speed collision, a seatback failure can result in partial or complete ejection of the occupant from the vehicle.

Rear-passenger injuries: If there is an occupant in the back seat at the time of the failure, he or she may be crushed by the seat or the front seat occupant. A collapsed seat can also trap the rear passenger resulting in catastrophic and even fatal injuries.

Flying head rest: A defective headrest, in addition to failing to protect the head of the occupant, can also become a deadly flying projectile in the event of a high-speed collision.

Blocked exits: Vehicles are full of combustible fluids and gases. In the event of a car fire, a defective seat can trap the occupants inside the vehicle preventing them from escaping to safety.

Blunt force trauma: A vehicle occupant can get thrown around in the vehicle during a crash. This could result in severe head and spinal injuries, which could leave victims with permanent injuries and disabilities.

Defective Seatback Recalls

When a number of people have been injured in seatback failure accidents, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) will likely conduct an investigation into the safety of the vehicle and determine if a recall is warranted. When a seat is deemed defective, the auto manufacturer may have to issue a recall.

In March of 2013, Ford recalled 230,000 Freestar and Mercury Monterey minivans that have third-row seats that could come lose because of rust issues.

In June of 2013, Tesla recalled Model S vehicles for faulty rear seat latches that allowed the seat to move during a crash.

Nissan recalled 11,000 Juke crossovers from model year 2012 for an incomplete welding issue that allowed the rear seatback to become loose in an accident.

Federal Safety Standards

Federal safety standards relating to automobile seatbacks have not been updated in a long time and are way too lenient. According to safety experts, who have studied seatback safety for decades, the seats in most of our automobiles are no better than lawn chairs. Automobile seats are only required to pass a strength requirement. They don't have to go through a crash test rating system although seatbacks routinely fail during NHTSA's 30-mph rear-impact crash tests (FMVSS 301).

FMVSS 207, the federal rule pertaining to seating systems in automobiles, has not been updated in more than three decades. This rule mandates that a seat must withstand a pull of 3,300 inch-pounds applied on the seatback in a rearward direction. Despite numerous petitions over the years to revise this standard, there has been no action on the part of NHTSA. The seatback strength in most vehicles needs to increase six-fold to provide a reasonable degree of safety to vehicle occupants in the event of a crash.

Important Facts about Seatback Failure

There are several vehicle models in which seatback failure is a routine occurrence and automakers are aware of these serious defects:

  • Ford Motor Company has been aware of dangerous seats for over 30 years. This deadly problem was investigated by Ford in 1992, and the outcome was that the seats cause serious harm in the event of rear-end collisions. Ford did not make any design changes to combat the seriousness of the seat back failure. Our law firm has seen first-hand evidence of weak seatbacks in the Ford Escort and Ford Explorer models.
  • Virtually every front seat produced by General Motors Corporation from 1970 to the mid 1990's was designed to collapse rearward in an impact in which there was a speed change of 15 mph or greater. According to documents obtained by CBS for its series on seats collapsing in rear-end collision in 1992, GM attorneys advised top executives that there standard seats could no longer be defended.
  • GM knew, as early as 1966, that seat strength is directly related to occupant safety in a rear impact collision. They have known that the occupant survival depends largely upon a front seat structure that holds the passenger in an upright position, and yet, they have not upgraded their seats. A leading GM engineer, David C. Viano, in a 1994 internal GM study, projected that 376 to 470 lives could be saved each year and estimated that improvements would prevent 1,000 serious injuries each year in rear-end collisions if the company strengthened its seat backs.
  • DaimlerChrysler has been known to have seats collapse as well. In 2001, a mother, one of our clients, was driving one of the manufacturer's minivans and was ejected from her seat during a crash due to a seat back collapse. The collapsed seat caused the mother to fatally strike her 8-month old child, who was in a car seat behind her. In 1999, a woman was rendered quadriplegic after an accident in which the driver's seat recliner bracket of a DaimlerChrysler Dodge Ram Pickup broke. This caused the seat to collapse backwards and eject the woman out of her seat, striking her head on the roof of the cab. This structural weakness exists in all 1995, 1996, and 1997 Dodge Ram extended cab models.
  • Cars equipped with bucket seats and/or split bench seats have a higher risk for seat back failure. These models have been known to bend or collapse in rear-end collisions. They are unable to safely withstand impacts, even in a collision occurring at a speed as low as a 15 mph.

Contact an Experienced Seat Back Failure Attorney

If you or a loved one has been impacted by a defective auto part such as a failed seat-back, call our office to discuss your case. You may be entitled to compensation. Our experienced auto defect trial lawyers are compassionate and highly skilled in the field of defective products. Call 800-561-4887 for a free confidential consultation.


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Seatback Failure Lawyers

  • Seatback Failure happens when a car is rear-ended and a car seat breaks at the hinge, sending the passengers backwards into the seat behind them with no restraint. This forceful push into the back seat can cause brain damage to the passenger in the broken seat, or damage to the passenger in the back seat.
  • Most broken seatbacks are a result of flimsy construction and insufficient standards, but some incidents can happen when incorrect materials have been used to create the seat, or a retaining pin that keeps the seat upright is sheared off. All of these are dangerous defects that should not happen under normal rear-end accidents.
  • If you or a loved one have suffered as a result of a seatback failure, know your rights and contact an attorney today. We may be able to get you the compensation you deserve.
  • Over $300M in verdicts and settlements.
  • Firm commitment to public safety and holding corporate giants accountable.
  • A team of auto defect attorneys who are dedicated and compassionate.
  • Serving California since 1978.

Client Reviews of Bisnar Chase

“I am very pleased with the results this law firm obtained for me. Their professionalism, attentiveness and friendliness was outstanding. They listened to me, answered my questions, advised me and kept me informed. A truck hit my car causing me serious injuries, medical bills, lost time from work and damaged to my car. They took care of everything wonderfully. They helped with getting my car repaired and a rental car. They helped me get medical help. They got my doctor bills paid, kept me from having to go to court and obtained a settlement for me beyond my expectations. Four of my family members have used these guys and had equally good experiences. One of my relatives consulted with them and got great advise about handling her matter. Mr. Bisnar told her she didn't need an attorney and told her how to handle it. She couldn't believe the compassion and great advise, especially without a fee. Mr. Bisnar helped my brother-in-law get a multiple six-figure recovery in an employment law dispute. Starting with the receptionist, my paralegal, the paralegal supervisor, Mrs. De La Torre, Mrs. Barker and Mr. Bisnar himself, everyone was helpful, friendly and professional. It was a refreshing experience after a bad accident. They send me a birthday card with a Baskin Robins gift certificate every year. In January they send me chocolate dipped fortune cookies. They have even offered me Lakers' tickets. They certainly didn't forget me after my case was done.”

by Kim E.

reviewed at Yelp

“We received an email from A.G. Edwards stating they have received the settlement check from Nissan. Once again, I cannot begin to articulate our gratitude to the Bisnar Chase staff - we are so very thankful for all you have done for Josh. As parents, Charlotte and I can rest in peace, when that day comes, knowing that Josh's needs have been taken care of, and his financial future is in good hands with sound financial planners at A.G. Edwards. On December 17, 2003 we received a call from the paramedics stating that Josh and Lisa had been in a severe accident, and we needed to meet them at the emergency room. I remember telling God that I can deal with missing limbs because they can be replaced, but please do not take him from us. A month later we met with members of your staff for the first time, Josh had a traumatic brain injury and his future was looking pretty bleak; we had no idea where he would be eighteen months later. All we could think of at the time was that our son's future, his goals, and dreams had been taken from him so abruptly. As time passed, Josh continued to improve and he began his journey of recovery. Many have been involved in this process, and you and your staff have been an integral part of Josh's recovery, and we will be forever grateful. God has brought so many people into our lives, and we are so very blessed. Numerous emails were sent to Personal Injury Attorney's. John...you were on a ski trip at Big Bear with your family, and you were the only Personal Injury Attorney to respond - I believe this was divine intervention. Josh has a professor from Mt. San Jacinto College who has taken him "under his wing," and is showing him other career possibilities. John, the future looks good for Josh - thank you!”

by K N.

reviewed at Yelp

“While my wrongful death case is still being decided I really love how this firm cares for the people they represent I feel so much better after talking with Doug on a monthly basis he reassures me things will be okay. Looking for to ending this real soon but I am very thankful to Bisnar and Chase for all they do!”

by Karla Hawley

reviewed at Facebook

Videos

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How Does The Auto Recall Process Work?

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Why Focus on Auto Defect Cases?

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