Visitor Question

Burned by Defective Car Seat…

Submitted By: Anonymous (USA)

In 2009 I was burned by my heated car seat in my foreign luxury car. My skin blistered, I got medical attention and was treated and released.

I contacted the car manufacturer to explain the nature of my concern. They were very rude and unprofessional. Their resolution was to bring the vehicle in to fix the seat. I was more concerned about the injury that it caused. I did not ask for any monetary compensation.

The manufacturer was very callous and unconcerned about me being burned. I had and still have an issue with that. It’s been almost 2 years and I am reminded of this scar everyday and the fact that my concerns were negated.

Recently I wrote a letter to the President of the Auto Manufacturer company. I received a call back and again, the only resolution they had was to fix the seat. My question was, should it have ever happened?

I was not injured to the point that I missed time from work or had astronomical hospital bills. I am suffering emotionally from this ordeal because no one addressed the issue of be being burned. What recourse do I have?

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

You have obviously exhausted all of your negotiation discussions with the auto manufacturer. From your discussions with the President of the company it seems your only alternative would be to file a lawsuit against the company.

Normally a case like this would not merit a substantial settlement or court award. Your case may be different though. Permanent scarring is in and of itself a very serious injury.

Be aware the Statute of Limitations for the filing of a personal injury lawsuit in most states is 2 years. That means from the date of the injury you have 2 years to either settle your case, or file suit. After that time you will lose any rights you had to sue.

Cases of scarring are different than most personal injury lawsuits. With personal injury

cases there is a method of calculating appropriate settlement offers. It has to do with amounts of medical and other related bills as well as lost wages. In your case you have little if any costs for medical treatment. Don’t let that deter you though.

Sometimes the only way to cause a change in the safe manufacturing of automobiles is to file a lawsuit. Teddy Roosevelt once said “Speak softly and carry a big stick”.

The value of a lawsuit is dependent upon the size of the scar, it’s location, and yes, whether the scar is on a man or a woman. Your case would be even stronger in that you initially were not seeking monetary compensation. If you intend to make a difference you should make an appointment with a reputable and qualified Personal Injury Attorney.

Most “PI Attorneys” will not charge for an initial office consultation, and if they decide to accept your case you will not have to pay any amount of money until your case is either settled or won at trial. At that time the Attorney will be paid her fee (usually 1/3rd) of the total amount.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: May 21, 2011

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