You may have a claim if your airbags didn’t deploy in your car accident. You could sue the manufacturer of the vehicle or airbag or another party liable for accident-related damages. You may also pursue compensation from a motorist who caused your accident.
Determining how to seek compensation for an accident involving defective airbags can be a complex matter. A personal injury lawyer from our team can handle any insurance claim or lawsuit you choose to pursue. Airbags can be confusing, and you can contact our firm with any questions you have.
What Is an Airbag’s Purpose?
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) notes that airbags cushion motor vehicle accident victims. Front and side airbags may:
- Prevent a driver’s head from striking the steering wheel, dashboard, windshield, window, and other dangerous vehicle components
- Prevent a passenger seat occupant’s head from striking the dashboard, window, or other vehicle components
- Reduce the likelihood that vehicle occupants will collide as a vehicle jostles or rolls
- Be the difference between an accident suffering injuries or not
- Save an accident victim’s life
An airbag could also serve as a barrier between glass and other debris during a collision, although its primary purpose is to stabilize accident victims.
Airbags are not a luxury during motor vehicle accidents. These safety devices are essential safety features that manufacturers and sellers have a duty to test and install properly.
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When Should an Airbag Deploy During a Car Accident?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) explains that airbags are potentially life-saving devices that deploy in “moderate-to-severe” motor vehicle accidents. It defines these accidents as “equivalent to hitting a solid, fixed barrier at 8 mph to 14 mph or higher.”
An airbag can become dangerous if it:
- Deploys prematurely or in circumstances where it should not
- Deploys too late during an accident
- Does not deploy at all
These scenarios pose the risk that a motor vehicle occupant will be caught off guard by a prematurely deploying airbag or injured because the airbag didn’t deploy promptly.
Why Don’t Airbags Deploy When They Should?
NHTSA explains that airbags are complex mechanisms and suggests that several possible defects could prevent an airbag from deploying when it should. These same defects might cause an airbag to deploy prematurely.
An airbag may function improperly if:
- The vehicle’s crash sensor locations are calibrated improperly
- The airbag design is flawed
- The mechanisms that trigger the airbag to deploy are defective
- The vehicle improperly overrides the airbag, perhaps because of a false reading of the passenger’s weight—airbags generally disable when the passenger seat occupant is under a certain weight limit
- The vehicle seller did not replace the airbags after an accident
These are only some of the many defects and human errors that may cause an airbag malfunction. Experts in crash dynamics, vehicle design, and airbag mechanics can review your accident and identify the most likely cause of an airbag-related failure.
What Kinds of Negligence Can Cause Airbag Defects?
Negligence occurs when someone has a responsibility to act responsibly on behalf of others. Motor vehicle manufacturers, for example, have a duty to protect those they produce vehicles for. Examples of negligence that may produce defective airbags include:
- Defective airbag design
- Defective vehicle design
- Inadequate testing of airbags and overall crashworthiness of vehicles
- Failure by a secondhand vehicle seller to ensure functioning airbags
- Failure by manufacturers to warn of a potential airbag defect in existing vehicles
The typical auto accident victim will have difficulty identifying the cause of an airbag defect. Our firm, along with our experts, will determine who failed you.
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I Suffered Injuries Because of a Defective Airbag. What Should I Do?
There are two primary outcomes when an airbag fails to deploy as it should:
- An accident victim suffers non-fatal injuries.
- An accident victim dies.
In some cases, victims suffer injuries because an airbag deploys in a non-accident circumstance. In each of these cases, those harmed by a defective airbag deserve justice. If you’ve suffered injuries or lost a loved one due to airbag defects, you should:
- Seek a thorough medical examination: It is critical that you protect yourself and document accident-related injuries. This is not possible without a complete medical examination from a doctor.
- Retain legal help as soon as possible: You can speak with our firm on your way to the doctor’s office if need be. There is no need to wait to hire a lawyer. Our team will immediately protect your rights and start your case for compensation.
Airbag-related lawsuits are time-sensitive matters. If you should also consider a claim or lawsuit against those responsible for the accident, we will advise you of your options.
How an Attorney From Our Firm Will Assist You
Our car accident lawyers have helped many victims of serious accidents get financial justice. You may need to pursue a product liability claim, in which case our team will:
- Secure and review all relevant evidence
- Hire experts to diagnose the cause of the defective airbag
- Identify which party or parties are liable for the airbag defects
- Identify and calculate your damages
- Seek a fair settlement from liable parties
- Take your case to court, if necessary
Our team will also handle all responsibilities related to any car accident claim or lawsuit you choose to pursue. Such actions may occur separately from your product liability case.
What Are Recoverable Damages in a Car Accident Case Involving Defective Airbags?
Recoverable damages in an airbag-related lawsuit may include:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income
- Diminished earning power
- Mental health treatment
- Rehabilitation-specific expenses
- Wrongful death damages
You also could receive money for property damage from your car accident.
Call Loncar Lyon Jenkins Today for a Free Consultation About Your Car Accident Case
Call our team as soon as possible. We may have a limited time to file your claim(s), and the post-accident legal process can be complicated.
Call Loncar Lyon Jenkins today for your free consultation.