Case highlights the importance of investigating all possible causes of a car accident
In 2012, a Nissan Infiniti QX56 SUV crashed into a minivan at an intersection in Hollywood CA. The driver of the Nissan, Solomon Mathenge, suffered some injuries. The occupants of the minivan, Saida Mendez and her daughters Hilda and Stephanie Cruz, were killed.
At first, you might assume this accident was caused by an error on the part of one of the drivers. After all, when vehicles collide in an intersection, this means one of them must have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. But upon closer examination of the evidence, it was revealed that the accident was actually caused by the failure of the Nissan’s braking system.
The Nissan Infiniti QX56 SUV had actually been the subject of a class action lawsuit alleging defects in the software braking system that caused the brakes to fail suddenly and without warning. When Mathenge’s vehicle was inspected, it proved to have the same software error that had prompted the class action lawsuit.
A jury recently considered a consolidated case against Nissan involving both Mathenge’s personal injury claim and the Mendez and Cruz family’s wrongful death claims. The jury found that the braking system failure was 100 percent responsible for the accident, and that Nissan had been negligent in not recalling the vehicle. The jury awarded $14 million to the father of Hilda and Stephanie Cruz, plus $7.4 million to Saida Mendez’s mother and surviving daughter. They awarded $3.5 million to Mathenge for his damages.
This case highlights the importance of carefully investigating the circumstances of all car accidents to make sure liability is assigned to the parties who were really responsible. This in turn allows the correct parties to be targeted in the car accident claim, which is vital for getting a sense of justice as well as for maximizing the potential for recovery.
For example, if in this case the Mendez and Cruz family had just assumed that Mathenge caused the accident by slamming into the minivan, their recovery would have likely been smaller. After all, most private individuals do not have multi-million-dollar car insurance policies. However, big corporations like Nissan have deep pockets and are better equipped to provide compensation in high-stakes cases.
Have You Been Injured in a Car Accident?
At The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker, we have decades of experience handling all kinds of car accident claims, including ones involving manufacturer’s defects. We know how to go up against big corporations and win. As your car accident attorney, we will fight aggressively to give you the best possible chance of receiving maximum compensation for your injuries and suffering. Call us at 800-333-0000 today for your free consultation.