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Can I sue my car's manufacturer after its back windshield suddenly exploded?

Boston, MA |

Recently, as I was walking to my car --which is a 2003 Mitsubishi vehicle --its back windshield suddenly shattered. Since this incident, I have experienced some mild health-related discomfort. Not only do I keep re-living the event through flashbacks, I find it hard to sleep at night, as I keep having bad dreams and scary thoughts about the violent explosion. After consulting with some friends who work in the healthcare field, I learnt that I may be suffering from a mild case of PTSD. Given this unfortunate occurrence, I'd like to know the following: can I sue the car's manufacturer for a) the damage done to my property, and/or b) the health-related problems that the incident has and is continuing to cause me? If a lawsuit is in order, I'd like to receive help from a competent attorney.

I'd like to add that I filed a police report shortly after this happened. Also, some of the glass debris from the explosion did get into my eyes and caused a lot of pain.

Attorney Answers 5

  1. Were you hurt? The PTSD sounds a little bit weak. If your eyes were hurt did you see your doctors? This will likely take expert witness testimony to prove 1) why the window exploded and 2) if the manufacturer was negligent in designing it that way. Experts cost a lot, so for minor injuries many attorneys may be hesitance to undertake such a case. Please contact a local attorney to see if you have a case.

    Timothy K. Hobbs II
    Attorney at Law
    Web: Hobbs Law Group

    The answers on this discussion board are general in nature and NOT intended as legal advice. Responding to questions does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Always see a lawyer about your individual situation.

  2. The products liability portion of your case is going to be tough, and very expensive. You can recover emotional injuries more easily if you have physical injuries, but I agree that the PTSD sounds tough. Good Luck.

    All responses are intended to be informative legal information only. No response consitutes legal advice. There is no attorney/client relationship, unless a signed contract between the parties is executed.

  3. It will be near impossible to find an attorney to get involved in this due to the costs involved .

    Please note that we are not forming an attorney - client relationship and the advice is meant to be general. Law Offices of Joel J. Kofsky 1616 Walnut Street Suite 2110 Philadelphia, PA 19103

  4. The Massachusetts Standard Auto Insurance Policy comprehensive provision coverage would apply to your claim for repairs to the window.

    Beyond that there are several layers to the analysis as to any recovery for "the health-related problems".

    First you need to demonstrate that your injuries are attendant to the use or operation of the vehicle. Where you were not in the vehicle or driving the vehicle, this is the first layer of the analysis. For example where people are injured while stopped, engine off, standing next to the car and a door opens, or some other injury occurs, the cases go both ways on "attendant to use and operation" depending on the specific facts.

    Second, who are these 'friends who work in the health care field' who have violated their mandate to do no harm to the patient and given you the idea that you have a particular diagnosis? What you actually need is a diagnosis from an actual physician stating that your clearly diagnosed health related problems were caused by this incident to a reasonable degree of medical certainty.

    Finally, as to the claim for causally related PTSD, the case of Sullivan v. Boston Gas Company spells out the requirements. I've checked, the case is avalable to you on line through search engines, and any attorney in Massachusetts who does such claims would be familiar with the requirements spelled out in that case.

    I wish you the best.

    Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers, North Andover, MA & Derry, NH provide answers for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be given by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, thoroughly familiar with the area of the law in which your concern lies. This creates no attorney-client relationship.

  5. If your claim is that the windshield broke because it was somehow defective, the damages you sustained do not rise to the level that would make a viable product liability claim.

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