Our Boynton Beach personal injury lawyer was alarmed to hear about a devastating injury suffered by an 82-year-old area woman this week. Gilda Grocco Bartlett, of Boynton Beach, drove her car out to her mailbox on the morning of March 9 to pick up her mail. According to an article in the Palm Beach Post, Ms. Bartlett stopped, put her vehicle in park and climbed out to walk to the mailbox. After she exited the car, the gears apparently slipped back into reverse, and the vehicle began to move backwards. Unable to get out of its path, Ms. Bartlett was struck by the open driver’s side door of her own vehicle. She was then dragged for approximately 30 feet before she was able to get free of the car. Even after striking and dragging the victim, the car continued to move backwards in circles at about 10 or 15 miles per hour. A rescue firefighter who arrived on the scene, Jody Marlow, tried to jump into the vehicle in an effort o stop it, but was unable to do so. Marlow was injured in the attempt, though the injuries were not serious. Police were finally able to bring the runaway car to a stop by placing a patrol car in its path. Gilda Bartlett was taken to Delray Medical Center, where she is reportedly in serious but stable condition.
This news report raises some interesting questions for our Palm Beach County product liability lawyer. The first and most obvious issue here is determining what actually went wrong with the car. If Ms. Bartlett just failed to properly put the vehicle in park before she got out, that is one thing; but if the vehicle failed to engage correctly when put into park, that is another story entirely. When dealing with any kind of mass-marketed product, there is always a good chance that where there is a defect in one, there may be a defect in many. This is true because these kinds of goods, including cars, are manufactured in an assembly line. If there is a problem with the manufacturing of the vehicle, it is usually in one specific area of the assembly process, and it can occur over and over again.
Therefore, when dealing with a situation like this one that involves a product like a car, it is best to investigate it fully to determine whether the incident was isolated or whether it might be the result of a defect that could affect many other vehicles. Our Boynton Beach injury attorney knows how important it is to follow up on possible manufacturing defects in order to ensure that any widespread issues can be resolved before anyone else gets hurt. Sometimes, victims simply get overwhelmed by their injuries and don’t know where to start, so it is good to turn to a lawyer with experience in these types of situations to help get the ball rolling, as well as to make sure that the victims’ rights are fully protected.
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