Modern safety equipment like airbags can save passengers from serious and deadly injuries in auto accidents. They are not intended to deploy in every auto accident, though. In some cases, it is actually preferable for the airbags not to deploy at all.
However, it can mean the difference between safety and a severe injury that can fundamentally change your everyday life if an airbag doesn’t deploy when it should. You may be able to sue the responsible parties if your car’s airbag does not deploy during an accident.
Airbag Deployment Can Depend on Speed and Proper Manufacturing
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) states that for passengers wearing seat belts, a front airbag will typically deploy while the vehicle is moving at least 10 to 12 mph. It’s possible that the impact on your car was too little for your airbag to deploy. If the accident contact doesn’t occur at a specified rate of speed, some airbags won’t release.
People usually assume that the most modern airbags in your automobile will keep you and your loved ones safe. However, when airbags malfunction as a result of flawed manufacturing, materials, or design, car occupants may sustain grave or fatal injuries.
If you sustained serious injuries because of defective airbags or airbags that did not deploy, you may benefit from the help of a personal injury attorney. You might have a claim against the maker of your car, the maker of your airbag, or any other responsible parties.
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Average Settlement in a Faulty Airbag Claim
There is no real way to determine an average settlement because the factors that determine your financial recovery will be unique. Depending on the specifics of the case, there are many variations in the typical payout for airbags that don’t deploy in auto accidents.
Major considerations for calculating the amount of damages you could seek in a settlement or lawsuit include the following:
- The extent of your injuries
- What caused the crash
- The accident’s root cause
- The extent of the impact of the airbag failure
For instance, the payout for someone who sustains a broken wrist is likely to be lower than more severe injuries, such as an amputation or paralysis. However, every accident and injury has its own circumstances and settlements can vary widely.
Recoverable Damages When an Airbag Didn’t Deploy in a Crash
Car accidents often come with many unexpected costs. Some of the most common personal injury claim damages following undeployed airbag car accidents can include:
The expense of medical care for an accident injury is always included in a personal injury case. This covers payment for medical care that you have already paid for and received. In addition, damages judgments will cover the expense of any future therapies or medical attention that are anticipated to be required as a result of the accident.
Property Damage Costs
You can ask for compensation for the repairs or necessary replacement costs of any damaged personal property, including your automobile, clothing, phone, or other goods.
Income and Wages
Your income will suffer if you take time off of work, which is a real burden for most families. You could be eligible to recoup the money you lost as a result of your injuries when the airbags failed in an accident.
If relevant, you may also be entitled to compensation for lost future wages or reduced earning ability in addition to the money you lost while unable to work. If you are unable to return to your prior duties, vocational rehabilitation may be taken into account among other damages.
Mental and Emotional Stress
The psychological effects of serious accidents can be very severe and take a lot of work to treat. Loss of sleep, anxiety attacks, experiencing intense terror, and other emotional distress may be considered when determining the amount of damages.
Pain and Suffering
This is a proportionate amount that is directly tied to the injuries you sustained. In the majority of cases, the more serious the injury, the bigger the compensation. The amount of time it takes for injuries to heal and the ongoing pain and suffering brought on by the accident are also taken into account.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
Loss of enjoyment is taken into account when determining the appropriate amount of damages in a personal injury case if your injuries prevent you from engaging in former hobbies, leisure pursuits, workout routines, or other activities.
Loss of Consortium
A jury may take the loss of consortium into account when determining the award if you are having relationship issues or if the injury has had a negative influence on your marriage.
Your injury case may take into account depression, PTSD, and additional expenses not covered here. You can get assistance from a car accident lawyer in estimating your case’s worth.
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What Is Needed to Succeed in a Product Liability Lawsuit for a Defective Airbag That Didn’t Deploy?
The first step is to provide evidence that the airbag is faulty. Then, there must be sufficient proof that the product’s flaw caused your damage. You may succeed in the product liability claim if you can demonstrate that an airbag was dangerous or malfunctioned. When warnings, labeling, or instructions are not included, the product may be deemed defective.
When it can be proven that the airbag is indeed malfunctioning, it must be demonstrated that it was the primary factor in your injuries. Here are three fundamental methods for searching for product flaws.
Faulty or Flawed Design
When the product doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to, or it causes other hazards when it is functioning. For example, refer to the Honda airbag settlement. An airbag that simply fails to deploy or a faulty airbag that ruptures and sends shrapnel flying through the passenger compartment.
Manufacturing Process Defects
A manufacturing defect occurs any time a mistake or issue during production causes the airbag
to malfunction and deviate from its intended design. Defects in automotive airbags can be brought on by the use of subpar chemicals or faulty materials, problems with the manufacturing process, and poor quality control.
Marketing Is Defective
To be deemed acceptable, warning labels, directions, marketing materials, and advertising must all be accurate and in place. When a product that cannot be utilized for its intended purpose without being inherently risky the manufacturer needs to have warnings properly displayed.
If the product is missing sufficient warnings of those dangers or instructions for using the product correctly, the failure to warn can be considered a defect. When constructing your case, your product liability attorney will look at each of these issues.
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Establishing Liability in a Case of a Failed Airbag
We must demonstrate that your airbag didn’t deploy through no fault of your own. In order to prove negligence, there are four elements that need to be in place. We are not required to demonstrate the defendant’s negligence under strict liability.
We only need to show that the defendant’s product is what hurt you. We must exhibit:
- Your airbag ought to have opened to protect you, but it didn’t.
- Due to a flaw or mistake in the product’s production, design, or distribution, the airbag didn’t deploy as intended
- Your sustained injuries because the airbag failed to deploy
- Your injuries resulted in financial losses or expenses
We can begin to establish that party’s negligence if we find that your airbag wasn’t placed correctly or that something happened to its condition during a repair. The goal of airbags is to lessen the force of an impact that might result from a collision.
Your injuries from the collision would have been worse if they had deployed and performed as they were designed to. You could be entitled to file a lawsuit against the car’s manufacturer and other possible defendants if the airbags failed to deploy as a result of a defect.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Sue for Airbags Not Deploying?
There are many advantages to hiring a lawyer, but some tasks that lawyers frequently perform may not be as apparent as others. Lawyers work to defend your rights and help you to pursue legal action to secure compensatory damages, but that isn’t the entirety of what they do.
The following are some of the primary advantages of choosing a personal injury lawyer for your case:
Defending You Against Insurance Company Adjusters
The adjusters may try to make small talk and earn your trust by asking seemingly innocent questions, but in actuality, they can manipulate your responses and use whatever statements you make against you.
It’s important to know that your claim may be jeopardized if you make recorded statements or sign anything before consulting a lawyer.
Legal Experience and Knowledge
Lawyers have the legal expertise to establish negligence in court. Carefully gathering and presenting the appropriate evidence within the boundaries of the law are requirements for proving negligence. Proving that an airbag didn’t deploy when it should have can be complex, and a lawyer will have the knowledge and resources to know the best way to do it.
Keeping Track of Your Legal Calendar and Documents
A lawyer will be responsible for completing documentation and submitting it before the legal deadline. This can protect your right to claim and help you to avoid delays in proceedings. Attorneys can also spare you from completing countless unnecessary documents from the other party’s insurance company that serve no purpose.
Communicate on Your Behalf With All Parties Involved
Injury victims can be limited by physical exhaustion or discomfort, making it difficult for them to find the time and resources needed to manage all the communications required to pursue a successful case. A lawyer can deal with the multiple calls and emails required and conduct negotiations with opposing lawyers and insurance companies.
Finding All Responsible Parties
In a defective product claim it’s possible for there to be more than one defendant, and knowing all the liable parties can help you to recover the entire amount of damages. It is considerably easier to access resources and evidence with help from a lawyer.
What Causes Airbag Deployment Failure?
The airbags themselves or faults with the car can prevent them from deploying during a collision. A lawyer can work with engineers and other experts to help determine the exact cause of an airbag failure in an accident.
Insufficient Crash Sensors
The sensors that detect a collision may have defects that prevent the airbag from inflating. This could happen as a result of a design flaw, subpar calibration, or faulty installation.
Airbag Module Malfunctions
Any other flaws or difficulties with the manufacturing process could cause complications with airbag deployment. Your attorney may have a third party inspect the car for problems if it is not immediately obvious why the airbag didn’t deploy.
Problems With Computer Activation
The airbag system’s electronic control unit sends a signal instructing the device to inflate when a vehicle is involved in a mild to severe collision. A system igniter produces a harmless gas that results in instant inflation. In some instances, though, there can be defective electrical parts that stop the airbag from receiving the right signal and inflating.
The Airbag Had Previously Been Deployed
After every deployment, airbags should be changed. After an airbag has been deployed during a collision, it should always be replaced. If the airbag wasn’t changed, it won’t deploy during the subsequent collision.
Injuries Can Be Severe When Airbags Do Not Deploy
In the event that airbags do not deploy during a collision, passengers may sustain serious and even fatal injuries. Injuries may include:
- Chest injuries: Without an airbag to shield you, you could sustain soft tissue injuries and fractured bones in your chest
- Neck and back injuries: If you are propelled forward during a collision, you could sustain whiplash, herniated discs, sprains, or spinal cord damage
- Bone fractures: Your ligaments may be subjected to extreme force in a collision. This can result in fractures or shattered bones in your arms and legs
- Internal systems: Internal bleeding or organ damage might result from a collision’s force
- Face and head: Hitting your head against surfaces in your car can cause permanent scarring, traumatic brain injuries, eyesight loss, concussions, and other serious health problems
An airbag malfunction can result in fatalities that may have been prevented. You can file a claim with a wrongful death attorney if you lost a loved one as a result of an airbag that failed to deploy after a car accident.
Learn More About Suing for Airbags Not Deploying in a Car Accident
Numerous damages from auto accidents may have an effect on your life and the lives of your family members. The financial, mental, and physical strain shouldn’t be all on you. If the manufacturer of your car or airbag could have prevented your injuries, they can be held accountable.
Our attorneys at Zanes Law can assist if you or a loved one has been hurt in a motor vehicle accident as a result of an airbag’s failure to deploy. Contact us today to learn more and schedule a free case evaluation to see what we can do to help you.