At 65mph my fiance over corrected to avoid another driver. Our car rolled 3 times I was ejected after the first flip as I had just removed my seatbelt. I was thrown about 50feet. I suffered a T4 spinal cord fracture as well as many more breaks throughout my body as well as internal injuries. I was informed that there were a few recalls with ford and I'm wondering what route should I take.
Ford Explorers had publicized rollover problems, but not certain those problems extend into 1997 models. Ford had some very nasty secrecy and hide the ball policies. I'd recommend contacting a few reputable products liability attorneys. Your having removed the seatbelt is a strong negative in your case, and Ford will blame your fiancée, but if there is a product defect, you may be able to recover damages to help cope with your profound injuries.
You should definitely consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who has handled rollover cases.
You should Google California Association for Justice to find a lawyer who has handled similar cases. AVVO has a lawyer search area on this site. Also Google Tab Turner. He has handled these cases all over the country.
If you feel this is the "best" answer or is "helpful," please indicate. Since I am limited to the information you provide, I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the answer. You should seek the advise of an attorney who can explore all aspects of your question. This communication does not form an attorney client relationship.
The 1997 Ford Explorer had stability problems and was prone to rollover. Many states have something called the statute of repose which limits people's ability to file a product liability lawsuit after a certain amount of time has passed. For example Texas limits product liability cases to vehicle that are less than 15 years old, to the best on my knowledge calfornia has no limit. You do have a great case, and you should contact a lawyer that has handled some of these cases There are still a few of us around.
Look for a California attorney specializing in product liability. They will know if there is a problem with a statute of limitation which could bar your claim if you have waited too long.
When I was in law school I was also involved in a roll over accident in a Ford Explorer. I wasn't injured nearly as seriously as you were but did lose a portion of my right ear. As a result of my personal experience I represent people in serious injury accidents and have done so for more than 20 years. To answer your question, there has been a lot of litigation on the design of the Ford Explorer. Most of the cases filed center on design defects. I suggest that you contact an experience trial attorney to discuss your case immediately.
Yikes... the Ford rollover cases can be winners or losers depending on many factors... they are expensive to wage and done by attorneys with a proven track record of success in these actions... contacting one would be the way to start... and make sure to tell the attorney the bad news up front... the failure to use the seat belt could be fatal to the case... could be... as in not necessarily so... but it sure ain't good.
Fortunately, most of us personal injury types offer free consultations and take such cases on contingency no matter where the case is in California, so there is nothing to fear in calling us.
Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D.
Attorney at Law, Physician
* Dr. Paul J. Molinaro, M.D., J.D. (Attorney and Physician) ** This post and all others I make on Internet are for informational purposes only. None of the information or materials I post are legal advice. Nothing I post as comments, answers, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. While I try to be accurate, I do not guarantee accuracy. *** Fransen & Molinaro, LLP practices in the areas of defective drug and medical device litigation, medical malpractice, personal injury, health supplement litigation, and real estate law and does so anywhere in the State of California. **** If you enjoy my posts, enjoyed a consultation with me, or are a happy satisfied client, please give me an Avvo recommendation/review.
If you can, I would strongly recommend that you consult with an experienced attorney that has taken and won cases similar to yours (especially that make and model of Ford). You may have a case but it is impossible to tell with only this is as the information. I wish you the best of luck.
I am sorry to learn of this tragedy.You should obtain needed medical care and treatment immediately and follow the doctor's advice. Do not give any statement to the adverse party or insurance company nor grant them access to any medical records. Photograph the injuries and the damage done to any property. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area as soon as possible so that you can protect your rights. You may also find it helpful to review the Legal Guides I have published on Avvo.com dealing with many of the issues you are now facing. The Guides can be accessed through my profile page on Avvo.com.
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Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
Legal Disclaimer: If this information has been helpful, please indicate below. Mr. Lundeen is licensed to practice law in Florida and Vermont. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Lundeen strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
My firm works with another firm to do these types of cases all over Southern California. There are a lot of factors that go into a successful case--we'd need to meet with you and have a look at the vehicle, which I hope you still have or can get access to--before we could say if it's a good case or not. As others have said, the seatbelt situation is not ideal, but not necessarily fatal to the case.
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