You can sue for airbags not deploying in a crash under some circumstances. For example, you may be able to take legal action against the car manufacturer, airbag company, or another party involved in designing, making, or distributing these defective parts.
These cases may be difficult to prove. Specific evidence will be required to show that the airbag failed and caused or contributed to your injuries. You may want to work with an attorney knowledgeable about these cases. Personal injury law firms usually offer free consultations so you can learn more about your legal rights.
What Causes Airbags to Fail and Not Deploy?
Airbag mishaps, injuries, and fatalities are not unheard of. In fact, dangerous airbags were at the center of one of the most notorious and widespread defective product cases in the United States, leading to the Takata airbag recall.
In 2019, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) expressed concern about 12.3 million airbags made by auto component company ZF-TRW. These defective airbags were used in vehicles of multiple makes and models, such as:
- Fiat Chrysler
There are several ways that airbags can fail and cause injuries. This includes:
- Failure to deploy in an accident
- Deploying prematurely or when untriggered
- Deploying with too much force
Many factors could cause an airbag to misfire or fail to work correctly. They require complex sensors and electrical signals to tell them when a collision occurs and when to deploy. The factors that affect airbag deployment could include:
- Collision speed
- The direction of impact and location of sensors
- The location of the airbag
- The height, size, and shape of the other vehicle
- The overall design and function of the system
When there is a defect with an airbag, it could occur at any point in the system. Defects could include:
- Broken or unresponsive sensors
- Problems with computer controls
- Issues with an electrical component
- A defective airbag module or firing mechanism
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 537-8185
Can I Hold the Vehicle or Airbag Manufacturer Responsible for My Damages?
If you believe a defective airbag is responsible for your damages, you may want to work with a car accident attorney familiar with this type of dangerous product case. Your attorney will know what you need to prove to show that the designer, manufacturer, or distributor was negligent.
When an airbag fails to deploy, you will usually need to have evidence to show:
- The airbag should have deployed based on the facts of the crash
- It did not deploy because of a defect
- You suffered injuries because the airbag didn’t deploy, or your injuries were worse because of the failure
- Your injuries left you facing physical and emotional harm and financial damages
Proving these cases often relies on experts who can testify about how the airbags should work, what happened, and why they did not work. These experts could include:
- Doctors and other medical experts
- Mechanical engineers
- Industry experts
- Accident reconstruction experts
- Airbag designers
You will also need other evidence to support your claim. This will include:
- The accident report filed by police
- Eyewitness statements
- The airbag itself
- Your medical records
What Types of Injuries Can Result When Airbags Fail?
When an airbag deploys, it protects the vehicle occupant from impacting the vehicle interior and other hard surfaces. Without it, injuries could include:
- Broken ribs, punctured lungs, and other chest injuries
- Neck and back injuries that include whiplash, disc injuries, spinal cord damage, and more
- Fractures or soft tissue injuries in the arms and legs
- Internal injuries and bleeding
- Facial injuries, including abrasions, fractures, and other permanent scarring
- Eye injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries, concussions, and other head injuries
Based on these injuries, you and your car accident lawyer may be able to seek and recover losses and costs that include:
- Medical treatment and expenses, current and future
- Ongoing care costs
- Lost wages and reduced earning ability
- Additional out-of-pocket costs
- Pain and suffering
- Other intangible losses
Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help With This Type of Case?
A car accident lawyer can help you better understand your case and navigate the process for you. Most offer free consultations and represent clients based on contingency.
In general, you may have up to one year to begin the legal process in these cases. This deadline comes from the statute of limitations, which is La. Civ. Code Art. 3492 for injury accidents and La. Civ. Code Art. 2315.2 in wrongful death claims. Circumstances could alter this deadline, as well.
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The Morris Bart law firm will review your car accident case facts and assess your legal options for free today. We represent victims of defective airbags and other automotive components. We have 15 locations in four states: Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
Call (800) 537-8185 to speak with a lawyer about your claim.
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