Power Window Injury
Parents across the country and right here in Nashville, Tennessee want what is best for their children. So when something poses a potential danger to their children, parents will choose to avoid anything that could cause harm. Power windows, present in a majority of automobiles, pose a potential hidden danger to children riding in vehicles. Although many parents assume that power windows are merely a convenience, these devices can cause serious harm to children. If power windows have seriously injured your child, we encourage you to contact our experienced Tennessee power window injury attorneys at The Higgins Firm.Power Window Injuries Seriously Affect Children Each Year
Although many people may not realize it, power windows injure thousands of people every year in the United States. A 2009 national survey found that over 22 million U.S. adults have been either personally injured by power windows or know someone who has been injured by someone else closing a car window. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported in a 2007 study that nearly 2,000 people are treated at emergency rooms annually for injuries caused by power windows. Over 1,000 of those treated for injury as a result of power windows are children. The same NHTSA study found that an average of 6 people every year are killed because of power windows.Technology to Prevent Power Window Injuries
Nearly all of these injuries can be prevented by safety technology known as auto-reversing systems (ARS). Specifically, ARS technology reverses a window being closed when any obstruction is detected. ARS technology helps to prevent passengers and especially children from being injured by the force of power windows. ARS is a low cost safety feature costing approximately $6 per window. This technology comes standard on most European vehicles. As of October 2010, the law requires all new vehicles with power windows to have “pull up/push down” switches in hopes of improving safety. However, it is doubted that this will have nearly the preventative effect as ARS technology.Injuries Commonly Caused by Power Windows
Some of the most common injuries caused by power windows include harm to extremities including arms, hands, and fingers. Should a power window close on any of these body parts, vehicle passengers may experience injuries from the mild bruising to the severe broken bones. Some common power window injuries may include but are not limited to:
- Strain / Sprain
Many times a child may not be watched closely if he or she is allowed to reach outside the window of a vehicle. Negligent supervision or even an adult’s careless behavior may lead to a child’s injuries. However, an automaker’s faulty design or faulty manufacturing may also cause power window injuries.
Most vehicles are equipped with power windows. These generally come with one of two different operating systems:
- Rocket Switches - The passenger will press on one end of the switch to open or shut the window.
- Toggle Switch - The passenger presses a toggle switch forward to operate the window.
Both switches can be easily used by children, resulting in a large number of visits to the hospital every year. In addition to the two switches above, there is a third kind of switch known as a lever switch. These are more difficult for children to operate because to do so, the passenger must pull up on the switch. Advocates are currently urging popular motor vehicle companies to use this system. Daimler Chrysler and General Motors have introduced the lever switch to their newer car models, but most still use the older systems.Safety Mechanisms for Power Windows
Safety mechanisms that force a window to open when it is obstructive can prevent injuries or deaths. These are similar to the mechanisms found in elevators. The majority of American made cars do not have these safety mechanisms; whereas, Japanese and some European cars typically have them. As a power window injury lawyer might tell you, many accidents caused by power windows could be prevented if safety mechanisms and lever switches were installed.The Nashville Higgins Firm can Help
For a person who has been severely injured by a defective power window, life may become increasingly difficult. Medical bills may pile up. Trying to deal with insurance claims and other matters related to the incident can be complex and frustrating. The physical pain of the incident may cause lasting emotional trauma, as may the financial problems that may arise. In these situations, you should turn to a product liability lawyer.
An attorney can help with a claim or lawsuit against the manufacturer of the defective power window, seeking financial compensation for medical bills, lost earnings, and various other expenses or losses that the incident has caused. Though the manufacturer may have considerable resources to counteract a product liability lawsuit, an experienced attorney can take a stand to protect an injured consumer's rights nonetheless.
If power windows have injured your child, you may be entitled to compensation. We encourage you to talk with one of our experienced Tennessee power window injury attorneys at The Higgins Firm. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Contact us online or call us at 800-705-2121 to set up a FREE consultation to discuss your legal options.