Part One of a Two-Part Series

When faced with a “crashworthiness case,” manufacturers in the automotive, trucking, or aircraft industries enjoy a distinct legal advantage over the plaintiff. Indeed, in the many jurisdictions where the crashworthiness doctrine is recognized, the plaintiff’s burden of proof in such cases is dramatically higher than in the standard product liability action. In the automotive context, these cases are sometimes referred to as “second collision” cases because the manufacturer’s liability is based not upon the “first collision” between the vehicles involved in the accident, but the “second collision” comprised of the physical contact made between the plaintiff’s body and the vehicle’s interior.

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