Every vehicle manufactured in the United States now comes equipped with airbags to protect motorists in the event of a collision. When the car detects a collision, the airbag deploys almost instantly and the large balloon hopefully protects the vehicle occupants from hitting their heads on the dashboard, steering wheel, or windshield. Additionally, in the event of a rollover accident, side-impact airbags can keep an occupant from being ejected from the car. Airbags have, in short, become an important safety feature that is believed to have prevented numerous injuries in car accidents.
Despite the increased safety of having properly functioning airbags, many motorists suffer serious injuries as a result of defective airbags. Like any other type of manufacturer, the makers of airbags have the legal duty to design, assemble, and install airbags in a manner that is safe for motorists. If an airbag has a defect, it can malfunction and result in serious or even catastrophic injuries from motorists. In such cases, you can bring a legal claim against the negligent manufacturer under products liability law.1
Common airbag defects that lead to accidents
The following are some of the ways that airbags can commonly cause injuries:
- Fail to deploy in the event of a collision, which may result in serious head trauma, brain injuries, and other serious injuries.
- Deployment with too much force that may cause facial fractures, broken hands, wrists, and arms, and burns.
- The balloon bursts upon deployment, causing shards of metal and other internal pieces to fly out toward motorists, causing severe lacerations, eye damage, brain injury, puncture wounds, and more.
- The airbag deploys suddenly when no collision has occurred, causing the driver to lose sight of the road and often ending in a serious collision.
Has your airbag been recalled?
When an airbag manufacturer realizes that accidents, injuries, and deaths are happening as a result of malfunctioning airbags, the manufacturer has the legal duty to issue a product recall through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).2 Through such a recall, consumers who own potentially affected vehicles can take their cars in and have the airbag repaired or replaced to avoid the malfunction in the future. Unfortunately, many consumers may not realize that their airbags have been recalled because they are not familiar with the process. NHTSA has a search tool3 that allows you to enter your vehicle identification number (VIN) to see if your vehicle is the subject of any type of recall, airbags included.
Lawsuits involving defective airbags
If you have sustained injuries in a collision that you believe happened due to a defective airbag, you have the legal right to hold the manufacturer liable for your losses including medical bills, lost wages and benefits, suffering and pain, permanent disability, and more. In order to do that you must prove that the manufacturer did one of the following:
Products liability lawsuits can be complex, especially since you are usually facing off against a large corporation. For this reason, it is important to have a car accident attorney on your side who knows how handle the complicated issues that may arise in this type of case.
Discuss your injuries with a qualified St. Petersburg products liability attorney
Defective airbags can malfunction when you least expect it and can cause severe crashes and injuries, especially if you are traveling at high speeds or on a busy road when the malfunction occurs. Any manufacturer that has produced and sold defective airbags should be held fully responsible for its negligence and injured victims should receive the full amount of compensation to which they are entitled under the law. The experienced auto accident lawyers at the Dolman Law Group have represented the best interests and legal rights of numerous car accident victims. If you have been in an accident in or around St. Petersburg, please call our office today at 727-222-6922 for a free consultation.
Dolman Law Group
1663 1St Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712