You can get compensation for an airbag injury, but the liable party and the type of claim necessary to recover damages depend on the circumstances of what happened. If your injuries occurred in a crash caused by another driver, you can hold them responsible for all your damages in an insurance claim or car accident lawsuit.
If you were hurt by a defective or dangerous airbag that malfunctioned, you may need to build a case against the vehicle or parts manufacturer. An attorney from a personal injury law firm can help you understand what happened, identify the liable party, and manage your claim for compensation.
Airbag Injuries May Occur in a Traffic Accident
In many cases, airbag injuries occur in conjunction with other injuries in a traffic collision. While airbags are meant to protect you in a crash, they must inflate in a fraction of a second and with incredible force. Because of this, they can hurt drivers and passengers even when they function properly.
Some common airbag injuries include:
- Finger, hand, and wrist injuries, including sprains and fractures
- Eye injuries
- Abrasions, lacerations, and minor burns on the face, chest, arms, and neck
- Chest injuries
When injuries occur in this way, the driver or another party who caused the crash is liable. Victims can demand compensation for their damages, including medical treatment and pain and suffering losses, through an insurance claim or lawsuit against the driver.
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What If My Airbag Malfunctioned?
It is not unheard of for airbags to malfunction. The way the system of sensors, triggers, and other parts work together to deploy in an accident is complex and must work perfectly to protect vehicle occupants. When a faulty airbag causes or worsens injuries, the manufacturer of the vehicle or airbag may be responsible. The victim has the right to file a product liability claim to show the device was defective.
Airbags can malfunction in many ways. They can go off at the wrong time, with the wrong force, or fail in another way during deployment. This can cause serious injuries in minor crashes and more severe harm in other collisions. In some cases, airbags can deploy even when there is no impact.
In some cases, an airbag can misfire and cause burns and even scarring. This is especially devastating because the burns most often occur on the face, neck, hands, and other often-exposed areas where permanent scarring is difficult to hide.
Failure to Deploy
In some cases, an airbag fails to deploy in a collision. This is an issue because airbags play a crucial role in preventing injuries in a crash. Your injuries may be much more severe than they would have been if the airbag worked properly.
To hold the airbag manufacturer or another party liable in a failure to deploy claim, you will need to prove:
- The airbag has a defect
- You suffered injuries that were caused by—or worsened by—the airbag failure
- You incurred physical, financial, and emotional harm because of this incident
The Takata Airbag Recall
For many people, the Takata airbag recall is where they first heard about defective or malfunctioning airbags. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), defective airbags manufactured by Takata killed at least 19 people in the United States and caused 300+ injuries.
An issue in the airbags that caused the inflators to explode and shatter into metal shrapnel led to one of the largest recalls in U.S. history.
How Can an Attorney Help Me Better Understand My Legal Options?
If you believe your injuries occurred because of an airbag, you may want to discuss your case with a car accident lawyer. Most offer free consultations and work based on a contingency fee if they determine you have a case, and they can help you file your claim.
A personal injury law firm can investigate your injuries, possibly with the help of accident reconstructionists or industry experts. They may be able to develop a case to prove what happened and hold the at-fault parties legally responsible.
To recover compensation, you must act before the deadline to sue arrives. This varies by state:
- Ala. Code § 6-2-38: Two years in Alabama
- Ark. Code Ann. § 16-56-105: Three years in Arkansas
- La. Civ. Code Art. 3492: One year in Louisiana
- Miss. Code Ann. § 15-1-49: Three years in Mississippi
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Connect With an Attorney from Morris Bart, LLC
The Morris Bart law firm will examine your case with you and help you assess your options for pursuing a financial recovery based on your injuries. We may be able to file your claim or sue on your behalf. The areas we serve include Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi.
You can reach a lawyer from our team by calling or contacting us online today.
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