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Auto Accidents

Leave the Heavy Lifting and Red-Tape to Us


Car accidents can be chaotic. If your accident was caused by the reckless or negligent behavior of another driver, it's critical that you take strong legal action as soon as possible. Otherwise, you might miss important deadlines and opportunities to get the financial compensation you deserve, including receiving the right medical care, recovery of wages, and compensation for pain and suffering.

Rockville, Maryland auto accident lawyer Stuart L. Plotnick knows how overwhelming motor vehicle accidents can be in Montgomery County and the surrounding DC Metro Area. That's because he has dedicated his legal career to fighting for the rights of injury victims for nearly three decades. We help accident victims in Maryland, the District and Northern Virginia.

A former attorney for the insurance companies, Attorney Plotnick brings an insider's knowledge to the accident claims he handles at the Law Offices of Stuart L. Plotnick, LLC. There's no substitute for experience, no substitute for success, no substitute for hard work. That's why he has such a strong track record. That's why clients rave about him. Plotnick produces results.

How did your accident happen?

Why did your accident happen?

Understanding Your Car Accident

There are many different legal issues that often arise after a serious car accident. We know because we have worked with many people who were hurt in auto accidents and had to deal with the aftermath. Some of the most common legal issues we deal with can be found on the pages listed below:

We also understand that every car crash is unique. That's why we never take a one-size-fits-all approach to the auto accident cases we handle at our law firm. We custom-design every legal case to address your specific legal needs. Some of the more complex cases we handle include:

How We Can Help You

At the Law Offices of Stuart L. Plotnick LLC, we go beyond the expected in helping the victim of an auto accident. Our auto injury lawyers know that an accident results in trauma and loss that you may be not be able to cope with right away; including bodily injuries, medical expenses, the loss of your car, and time missed from work among them. From negotiating with the insurance company to the final recovery for the injuries and losses you suffer, we will pursue the compensation you are entitled to. No matter how big or small your car accident case, we will give you and your case our personal attention.

In order to protect your rights after a traffic accident, never accept the first settlement an insurance company offers you. Insurance companies know that many people are be desperate or in distress after an accident, and preying on that fear, they often try to resolve claims quickly by offering the lowest amount possible up front - which is often much less than you deserve. If you accept a settlement too soon, you waive your right to receive further compensation, leaving you unable to pay for future medical expenses and other losses caused by the accident that may not be known at the time.  You need to wait until you fully recover before even thinking about settlement.

An important aspect of an auto accident claim is accurately determining the true and full dollar value of your claim based on the nature of your injuries, amount of medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any long term consequences. The responsible driver's insurance company will not take all of these relevant factors into consideration unless your attorney forces it to. Make sure that you know the true value of your injury claim by consulting with our experienced auto accident attorney. Please contact the Law Offices of Stuart L. Plotnick, LLC today to schedule a free case evaluation.

We're on Your Side, Guiding You Every Step of the Way

When you contact us, we take an aggressive approach with insurance companies and the person(s) responsible for your accident. Instead of insurance companies calling the shots, we dictate which direction your case will go right from the start. We demand results.

Some people are lucky enough to walk away from an auto accident without a scratch. But millions of others sustain permanent, life-altering injuries. A serious brain injury or spinal cord injury can leave you with a permanent disability that requires lifelong medical care. Even a relatively minor injury can result in chronic pain or physical issues that plague you for years. Fatal car accidents happen far too commonly as well. That's why you need us on your side, fighting for your rights.

This might sound simple, but it takes a tremendous amount of skill and determination to take on insurance companies and beat them at their own game. That's because the stakes are so high and many insurance companies do everything they can to reduce or deny claims and protect their bottom line.

Such scare tactics don't intimidate us. Attorney Plotnick and his talented legal team know how to find the evidence you need to build a strong legal case designed to succeed. We know how to take on insurance companies and win. Find out what we can do for you. Contact our law firm and schedule your free case evaluation. We demand justice for you.

Whiplash in Car Accidents

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries suffered in car accidents.  Whiplash is defined as a neck injury due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck and head, which causes the brain to strike the front and then back of the skull due to the violent motion.  The force that causes whiplash is very much like the cracking of a whip. Whiplash is most commonly the result of a rear-end auto accident and can commonly result in a concussion and in some cases, more severe brain injuries. Even in car accidents occurring at lesser speeds serious injuries can result. Attorney Plotnick knows how this injury can affect you and your family after an accident. He can help you fight for the medical benefits and financial compensation you need to get back on the road to recovery.

Causes and Symptoms of Whiplash

Whiplash occurs when your neck is suddenly whipped or jerked out of its normal range of motion. When you are the driver or a passenger in a car, your body is moving forward with the speed of the vehicle. An impact from another vehicle will stop that forward motion and transmit those forces into your body. Your neck is often whipped forward and backward as it tries to stabilize your head during the turmoil of the crash.

This whipping motion can strain and tear the ligaments and muscles in your neck and shoulders causing you pain and discomfort and in some cases limiting your range of motion. The jerking movement might also lead to concussion if the brain impacts the skull during the event. You may not experience symptoms for 24 hours or longer after your car accident, so it is important to watch for signs of whiplash induced injury in the first few days following your accident. Symptoms include:

  • Stiffness and pain in your neck
  • Headaches
  • Pain in your lower back
  • Pain in your shoulders or between your shoulder blades
  • Numbness in your arms or hands
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Trouble Focusing or Remembering

It's always important to be checked by a medical professional following a car accident, but if you experience any of these symptoms, it is very important to seek medical assistance for diagnosis and treatment of your condition.

For many people, whiplash presents as mild muscle strain and will heal with proper care within a matter of days. But some car accident victims develop chronic pain because of whiplash and other serious injuries, particularly long-term neck pain or mild brain injuries. In more severe cases, you may need prescription medications and physical therapy to return to good health.

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Teens and Auto Accidents

Inexperienced and often distracted teenage drivers pose a greater accident risk than any other age category of driver. Many teens simply cannot avoid the temptation of their cell phone, texting, and other distractions while driving. In fact, for teenagers ages 16-19, car accidents are the leading cause of death. Rockville, Maryland auto accident attorney Stuart Plotnick helps families seek the compensation they need when they have been injured in an accident.

Hazardous Behaviors of Inexperienced Drivers

Teens exhibit a variety of behaviors that put them at greater risk for auto accidents. The risk factors for inexperienced drivers include:

  • Lack of skill in handling the vehicle
  • Inability to detect hazards
  • Distractions caused by passengers, usually other teenage friends
  • Engaging in risky behaviors such as speeding, tailgating, or passing at inappropriate times
  • Not wearing seat belts
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Inability to perceive risks as they arise or underestimating dangers on the road
  • Cell phone usage, texting, emailing, and other distracted driving

Many of the risk factors for teen drivers are due to their inexperience behind the wheel and their susceptibility to distraction. Distracted driving is a problem in every age group of drivers, but for teens it can be even more dangerous because it is coupled with inexperience and overconfidence in their driving abilities.

Lowering the Risk of Auto Accidents for Teens

Many states, including Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C, are implementing graduated drivers licensing programs (GDL) to assist teens in the development of the necessary skills and experience to become safe drivers. Research shows that GDL programs are linked to a reduction in fatal and serious injury auto accidents among teen drivers.

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Fatal Car Accidents

You hear about Maryland fatal car accidents, which end in wrongful death, almost every day on the news and probably think that it could never happen to you or one of your loved ones. If it does, you need an attorney to turn to who understands the emotional and financial toll that fatal accidents can take on your family. Stuart Plotnick has represented  auto accident victims all over Maryland, and surrounding areas in and around Arlington, Bethesda, Gaithersburg, Alexandria, Fairfax, Rockville and Washington D.C. for more than 25 years. He understands how serious injury and death can devastate your family, not just financially, but emotionally.

Relief for Your Family

So often with fatal car accidents, it is difficult enough to deal with the emotional pain that accompanies the death of a loved one and the loss of companionship, but the other reality is that you and your family may be faced with losing the financial support provided by that loved one. Stuart Plotnick helps families recover the compensation they need to begin to move forward. You may be able to recover financial compensation for:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Funeral expenses
  • Emotional suffering and anguish

Each case is different. Mr. Plotnick can evaluate the facts of your case during your initial consultation and provide an idea of the type of damages that may be available for you to recover and what it will take to move forward with your wrongful death case.

An Experienced Attorney Handling Fatal Car Accidents

At the Law Offices of Stuart L. Plotnick, LLC, we have the experience and dedication that you need for representation in your wrongful death action. We want to see justice done for your family and ensure that you get the compensation you need and more importantly assist you in anyway with the healing process due to the loss of your loved one.

Along with representing you in an action against the negligent party in the fatal car accident, we can also help your family settle the estate of your loved one and guide you through the probate process, and locate counseling resources. We can also refer you and your family to experienced grief counselors to help you on the path to healing.

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SUV Rollover Accidents

Even though the automotive industry has worked over the last several decades to improve the crashworthiness of SUVs in the past decade, these vehicles still pose a danger to their drivers and passengers. According to tests performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, SUVs are more likely to be involved in a rollover accident than passenger cars.

Taller vehicles like SUVs and trucks are at greater risk for rolling because of their higher center of gravity. which makes them naturally more unbalanced. Vehicle manufacturers now equip many vehicles with electronic stability to help drivers maintain control of their vehicles, but fatalities and serious injuries are still all too common.

Rollover accidents have a higher fatality rate than other types of crashes. Ejection from the vehicle plays a major role in the severity of injury and incidence of fatalities in most rollover crashes. Additionally, collapsing roofs of the rolled vehicles play a large part in occupants' injuries. Survivors of rollover crashes are likely to suffer spinal cord, back, and brain injuries.

Stuart Plotnick has seen the devastating effects that rollover accidents have on the injured and their families. He is aware of the difficulties you will face in trying to put the pieces of your life back together. As a former insurance advocate, Mr. Plotnick also understands how the other side will try to settle for less than you deserve.

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How did your accident happen?

Rear-End Collision

Among the most common types of car accidents, rear-end collisions can cause serious, painful injuries can quickly occur that leave you unable to work or live your life normally, even if the accident occurred at slower speeds.

For rear-end accidents in Maryland, the law presumes negligence for the driver of the vehicle in the rear. This means that the driver that hit you is presumed to be liable for your injuries. That driver may try to escape liability by claiming that you are partially at fault, e.g. cut him off, stopped short, or that you had pre-existing injuries not due to the accident he/she caused.

You will need an experienced lawyer on your side to help you fight these arguments and get the compensation you deserve. Call (301) 251-1286 today to speak with an experienced Maryland car accident attorney.

Common Injuries from Rear-End Accidents

The most common injuries sustained in rear-end car accidents are neck injuries. The force of having your car jolted forward and coming to a sudden stop can result in whiplash. These kinds of injuries can take several days and sometimes weeks to show their full symptoms. If you begin experiencing any of the following symptoms after your rear-end collision, you should visit your doctor immediately for an examination:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Pain or stiffness in your neck
  • Pain in your back, either lower or upper
  • Numbness and tingling in your fingers or arms
  • Blurry vision

Serious neck injuries, especially spinal injuries and concussions, often occur due to rear-end accidents. Back injuries, broken bones and other internal injuries also often occur due to collisions caused by another driver crashing into the back of your car. And if you don't receive medical treatment right away, you could experience serious health problems in the future.

These types of accidents have become increasingly common in recent years due to distracted drivers. Even though texting or using a cellphone while driving is against the law in Maryland and surrounding areas, many drivers still do so and cause serious rear-end collisions because they are not a paying attention to traffic ahead. And just because another driver clearly caused your crash, don't automatically assume you will be fairly compensated. Often, you need to fight for what's rightfully yours. That's why you need us in your corner, defending your rights.

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T-Bone/Intersection Accident

Car accidents often occur at intersections. And when they do, it's usually because another driver didn't follow the rules of the road. A driver may have run a red light, raced through a stop sign or simply didn't look carefully enough before proceeding through an intersection.

Whatever the reason, you shouldn't have to pay for someone else's reckless or negligent behavior. If someone slammed into the side of your car (known as a T-bone accident), our law firm can help you hold the other driver accountable for his or her actions.

There are many telltale signs that someone broke the law when these types of accidents occur.  This includes when drivers run a red light or fail to stop for a stop sign, or turn into your car. There might not be any skid marks on the road because the other driver didn't slow down. Or the skid marks might be longer than normal due to the driver going too fast before trying to stop before the crash. Whatever the evidence is, we will not rest until we find the facts you need to succeed in your intersection accident case.

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Head-On Collision

Among the most serious car accidents we handle at our law firm, head-on collisions can leave people with permanent injuries and families devastated from the loss of or injury to a loved one. This is especially true if both vehicles were traveling at a high speed.

Head-on car accidents or collisions often happen because one driver crossed the center line and crashed straight into the other vehicle. Such accidents can occur for many reasons, including:

  • Driver falling asleep at the wheel
  • Driver speeding where road curves
  • Driver distraction
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or another substance

Whatever the cause of your crash, don't simply assume you will be fairly compensated because you did nothing wrong. Even if the other driver was completely at fault, insurance companies will often search for any reason to deny or limit your accident claim. Attorney Stuart L. Plotnick knows how to prepare for such situations. That's because he used to work as a chief counsel for the insurance companies. He brings that experience to work for you and gives your case an edge.

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Sideswipe Accident

As the name of this type of accident suggests, sideswipe accidents involve one vehicle brushing up against the side of another vehicle. Picture two cars driving side-by-side in two lanes in the same direction and you have some idea how sideswipe accidents occur. Somebody cuts over or goes out of their lane.

Sideswipe accidents might sound minor. But if another car crashes into the side of your car, the consequences can be very serious. Depending on the location of your vehicle, you could have a head-on collision with another oncoming car or crash into a tree or a utility pole on the side of the road.

Sideswipe accidents happen for many reasons, including drivers not paying attention or falling asleep while driving. Whatever the cause of your sideswipe accident, it's critical that you contact a lawyer who will defend your rights. Attorney Plotnick knows what evidence to look for after a sideswipe accident and how to transform those facts into a strong, legal case.

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Rollover Accident

Vehicle rollover accidents in suburban Maryland and the surrounding DC and Virginia area occur for many different reasons. Sometimes, it's because another driver did something unexpected, causing you to swerve quickly to avoid them and resulting in your car overturning. Other times, rollover accidents occur due to a defect in the vehicle. Defective tires or design flaws are common causes. Other causes may be accident where the car goes off the road on to a hill or dangerous terrain.

Rollover accidents can be especially serious since the driver and passengers in such vehicles are sometimes thrown out of or ejected from their seat and tossed around the car. In certain situations, the vehicle's occupants may be even thrown or ejected out of the vehicle and onto the road.

If you or a loved one was hurt in a rollover accident, Attorney Stuart L. Plotnick wants to meet with you to review the details of your case. He knows what evidence to look for, what questions to ask and how to turn that information into a winning case. Put the power of Attorney Plotnick to work for you. Call now.

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Multi-Vehicle Collision

When several vehicles crash into each other at the same time, multiple injuries often occur and multiple parties try to blame each other. These types of car accidents can be especially confusing since different drivers often have very different accounts of exactly what happened.

Our law firm can help you cut through the confusion and make sure your case  receives the attention it rightfully deserves. Attorney Plotnick knows how to find the facts and perform the investigation necessary to build a strong legal case.

In terms of multi-vehicle collisions, that often means analyzing accident reports, consulting with accident reconstruction experts and even visiting the scene of the crash as soon as possible to look for clues other investigators might overlook. Preparation and rolling up our sleeves is the secret to our success. We leave no stone unturned.

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Why did your accident happen?

Distracted Driver(s)

Car accidents caused by distracted drivers have become increasingly common around the country. In most cases, people using a cell phone while driving are to blame. Texting or looking at email while driving is the activity many people think of when they think of distracted driving.

But distracted driving has always been a problem. Other types of distractions while driving include:

  • Eating while driving
  • Applying makeup
  • Reading a book or the newspaper
  • Operating a GPS
  • Changing the radio station or playing along to loud music
  • Talking with passengers

Unfortunately, drivers often don't give a second thought to taking their attention from the road, but any of the three main types of distraction can cause an accident in a split second and today often do more than ever:

  • Visual: Driver takes their eyes off the road
  • Manual: Driver takes their hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive: Driver takes their mind off the task of driving; daydreaming

Because texting requires all three of these functions, it is an alarming distraction that is on the rise as a leading cause of accident, especially in the population of least experienced drivers - teens. Anti-texting campaigns such as the "End Distracting Driving" program are helping to make all drivers aware of the dangers of distracted driving. States including Maryland, Virginia, and the District have passed traffic laws aimed at stopping these dangerous practice, but the accident statistics keep climbing, and the families affected by personal injuries in these entirely preventable accidents are left to cope with lives that have been shattered by an instant of someone else's careless driving.

Whatever the cause of your distracted driving accident, Rockville, Maryland attorney Stuart L. Plotnick wants to meet with you. He can review your case, offer honest advice and get straight to work on helping you get your life back in order.

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Texting While Driving

Texting while driving accidents are very common in the Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. areas. Of all the ways a cell phone or smart phone use can lead to an auto accident, texting is the most common. Studies find that a person is twice as likely to get in a car accident if they are texting while driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Studies have shown that even after sending that text or email, it may take 10-15 seconds for a driver to refocus on the road, so don't think just because you were stopped when you sent that message, you are ready to roll.

Texting is just one example of distracted driving, and there are many other ways cell phone use can lead to serious car accidents. If any of these activities were a cause of your accident, you may be entitled to pursue compensation if the other driver was driving carelessly. Please call the Law Offices of Stuart L. Plotnick, LLC, at 301-251-1286, to schedule a consultation with our experienced Maryland car accident attorney. He possesses many years of experience handling texting while driving accidents.

Distraction Caused by Cell Phone Use While Driving

With the many ways we use cell phones and handheld electronic devices, it's not just using the phone for talking that can lead to a car accident. Accidents can be caused by:

  • Texting while driving
  • Talking on a cell phone
  • Looking at or setting a mapping application
  • Using a hands-free device

All of these uses of a cell phone have the ability to distract a driver so that the driver's response to brake lights, red lights, stop signs and other warnings is slowed. A distracted driver using a cell phone often follows too closely or makes sudden changes that other drivers do not anticipate.

There are many sources of distracted driving, but cell phone use is increasingly becoming the most common and widespread driver distraction. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one study showed that cell phone use was a factor in many fatal car accidents caused by distraction. Although texting is one of the most dangerous uses of a cell phone while driving, studies show talking on a cell phone and even using a hands-free device is not significantly safer, according to the National Safety Council. Although texting involves mental, visual, and manual distraction, studies have found that conversation is a significant source of cognitive distraction on its own.

In Virginia, Maryland and DC, there are several laws regarding cell phone use and driving, particularly pertaining to certain types of drivers, such as school bus drivers. These laws will likely change and evolve over time as cell phone use continues to grow.

If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident caused by a driver using a cell phone or otherwise driving carelessly, please contact the Law Offices of Stuart L. Plotnick, LLC, to schedule a consultation.

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Drunk/Drugged Driver Under the Influence

In Maryland, Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia, drunk driving accidents are common. In fact, they are one of the leading causes of auto accidents resulting in serious injuries and wrongful death. Being injured by a drunk driver can change your life forever. Rockville accident attorney Stuart Plotnick has seen the devastation that these accidents can bring to the victim and the victim's family -all because of the senseless and reckless decision of a stranger.

You should not have to pay for your accident-related expenses if your crash is caused by a drunk driver or a driver under the influence of drugs. We take personal exception to these cases since the other driver knowingly choose to put others in danger when he or she got behind the wheel and drove while under the influence.

Our law firm has years of experience handling serious accidents caused by drunk and impaired drivers in Rockville and the surrounding D.C. Metro area, including the District and Virginia. Attorney Stuart L. Plotnick thoroughly understands the laws governing such accidents and what strategies work best.

First and foremost, we will examine the accident report and the results of any sobriety tests which may prove that the driver who caused your crash was driving under the influence (DUI). In certain circumstances, if the law allows, we may also pursue legal action against the business that sold or served the alcohol to the driver, especially if the driver was already impaired when buying or consuming it.

No one plans for the injuries they sustain in accidents like these. Stuart Plotnick can help you make your case to get the compensation you deserve for your recovery. You may be able to recover damages for:

  • Medical bills
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Punitive damages used to punish the other driver for driving while impaired

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Speeding might not seem like a big deal. Many people drive over the speed limit. But if someone drives too fast, they don't have as much time to slow down and avoid a hazard or traffic activity ahead, which can cause a serious accident. Speeding drivers also have less time to react and to control if something sudden happens. Since they're going so fast, the injuries they cause are often much more severe since the speeding vehicle strikes other cars with even greater force.

Many speeding drivers deny going over the speed limit after an accident. We know how to uncover the truth. We know how to analyze skid marks on the road and often consult with accident reconstruction experts who can examine the damage to both vehicles and determine how fast the other car was driving.

We leave no stone unturned in pursuit of justice. We're eager to meet with you and learn more about your speeding accident.

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Fatigued/Asleep at the Wheel

Falling asleep at the wheel while driving might seem like a victimless crime, but the reality is that tired drivers have a choice. They can always pull over and take a break. Instead, these drivers choose to continue driving and ended up causing a serious accident involving another vehicle when they doze off.

Many drivers who fall asleep at the wheel later try to claim they were wide awake the whole time. We know how to find the evidence that proves what really happened. An obvious clue is that the driver who was asleep has no memory of the accident.

Attorney Plotnick and the experts we regularly consult with have the necessary skills to uncover the truth. More importantly, we have the drive and the passion it takes to aggressively fight for the rights of injury victims. We're eager to meet with you.

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Dangerous Conditions and Other Road Hazards

Drivers need to make adjustments based on weather and other road conditions. If the roads are treacherous for any reason, drivers should slow down and make sure they don't put themselves or anyone else on the road at risk.

Unfortunately, some drivers ignore dangerous road conditions and continue to drive as if conditions are normal. This creates a risk of danger. Some of the reasons why conditions can be treacherous include:

  • Icy roads
  • Snow-covered roads
  • Heavy rain
  • Road construction
  • Unmarked obstacles

Whatever the cause of your car crash, make sure you hold the other driver accountable for his or her actions. Contact out law firm today. We have years of experience dealing with motor vehicle accidents caused by dangerous road conditions.

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Defective Vehicles

Car manufacturers sometimes cut corners and don't spend enough time carefully testing their vehicles before selling them to the public, or they make the decision that the risk of a defect in a vehicle design is somehow worth the money they might pay out for injuries and even lives. The Chrysler ignition switches or the Takata airbags found in millions of vehicles are prime examples of this careless disregard. Other times, parts manufacturers (tires, brakes, etc.) do not design or manufacture parts properly, or it could be the auto mechanic doing a simple repair who makes a mistake causing a vehicle to be unsafe to drive.

Car accidents often occur due to such defects - and drivers and passengers alike can be seriously hurt. But holding negligent corporations accountable for their actions can be a challenge. That's because many companies hire entire teams of attorneys to defend their best interests and also try to hide the evidence well before the car or part is released into the market.

You shouldn't have to suffer because a business made a defective product or vehicle. Contact our law firm and schedule an appointment with Attorney Plotnick. Our legal team has decades of experience handling car accident cases involving defective parts or designs. We know what evidence to look for, what questions to ask and how to win tough, legal cases.

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