Insurance companies are filing suits against Toyota Motor Corporation, demanding compensation for damages and injuries caused by defective accelerator pedals. Allstate Insurance Company and State Farm Insurance have both filed claims against Toyota, with the Allstate case going to court. Both companies assert that Toyota must reimburse insurance companies for their expenses, not just injured victims and their families.
Other defects, in conjunction with the accelerators, caused significant injuries and damage to vehicles. According to data from Safety Research and Strategies, Inc., 725 accidents, 304 injuries and 18 deaths were the result of the sticky accelerators.
Allstate Corporation is seeking compensation of more than $3 million on behalf of individuals who were received payments under their policies. If Allstate succeeds, the policyholders may receive their collision or comprehensive coverage deductibles back.
State Farm’s Claims
State Farm allegedly contacted the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as far back as 2004, complaining of a significant trend in uncontrolled acceleration claims stemming from Toyota manufactured vehicles.
While State Farm has requested reimbursement and compensation for the money they paid, they have not yet filed a suit against Toyota.
Both Allstate and State Farm maintain that Toyota knew about the defective accelerators for some time but chose not to recall the vehicles until the danger became public.
In September 2007, State Farm contacted Toyota and requested payment for an insurance claim involving a defective accelerator in a 2005 Camry. The insurance company alleged that Toyota had already received several complaints about this car and did not warn the public or initiate a recall. That claim was denied and State Farm lost the case.
Toyota is defending its accelerators. The company says that the insurance companies cannot prove that the accidents were caused by accelerator problems. Because the law puts the burden of proof on the party making the claim, the insurance companies must prove that there was a specific defect before they will have a chance to win any claims.
Toyota argues that the claims made to date show the accelerators are a possible cause, not a probable one. Toyota intends to establish reasonable doubt for each of the cases by showing other factors that caused the accidents.
As of October 4, 2010, of the 2.3 million vehicles Toyota recalled, about 80 percent of the defects and accelerators have been fixed. These facts may help the insurance companies argue a stronger case against Toyota, turning a “possible cause” into a “probably cause.”
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident due to a defective accelerator in a Toyota vehicle, contact our attorneys. Our caring and experienced attorneys will do everything we can to be sure you are compensated fairly and justly for damages and medical bills. You may also be eligible to receive compensation for any lost wages if you are no longer able to work, as well as any pain and suffering you are experiencing.