How Important Are Airbags?
Airbags are among the most critically essential developments in motor vehicle safety in recent decades. Airbags were designed to deploy inflated cushioning to the face, neck, and skull of a car’s occupants during an accident. Side airbags are not as strictly mandated, but carmakers tend to include them as standard pieces of automobile equipment just the same.
Airbags save lives. They might be the butt of sitcom jokes, a point of annoyance for some, or even a threat to passengers under age 13, but the statistics don’t lie. Since including airbags in modern automobiles, driver and passenger safety numbers have improved significantly.
Recent studies show that front airbags have reduced the number of motor vehicle fatalities for passengers over age 13 by 32%. Side airbags, which help protect drivers and passengers from T-Bone collisions and sideswipe accidents, reduced fatalities by over 37%. In a 2010 study that examined fatal car crashes, they found that airbags did not deploy in approximately 18% of fatal traffic accidents. Other instances where airbags did not deploy resulted in severe injuries.
Since the invention of front airbags, car manufacturers have kept finding new ways to use old technology. One day we might see inflatable seatbelts and rear-window airbags as standard inclusions.
But despite these advancements in technology, there are still several issues. Sometimes an airbag doesn’t deploy at all.
Why Do Airbags Sometimes Fail to Deploy?
When an airbag fails to deploy in an auto accident, it is sometimes the fault of a manufacturing defect. However, that is not always the case. Not all airbags are designed to last for the vehicle’s entire life. Some airbags in older car models need to be replaced or inspected after a decade or more.
There are three primary types of defective airbags: design defects, manufacturer defects, and marketing defects. Design defects trace all the way back to the conceptual drawings and design of the motor vehicle. At some point in the design process, someone missed where an element in the design made the car unsafe and the airbags dysfunctional. Manufacturing defects come after the design phase and result from human error, equipment failure, poor shipping quality, and other factors. Marketing or information defects relate to problems that a car manufacturer knows about but tries to hide from the public, instead selling their product as safer than it really is. Any one of these three types of defects could be the grounds for bringing a product liability claim to court.
Common reasons for failed airbag deployments include:
- Airbags may not have been replaced after a previous collision.
- Defective airbag sensors and airbag modules.
- Defective electrical systems.
- In addition to failing to deploy, some airbags go off randomly.
- In especially extreme car collisions, the electrical wiring involved with airbag systems can get severed, deactivating the airbag system.
- Some airbags have been recalled for defects. It is possible that your car still has those defective airbags in place.
Do You Have a Solid Product Liability Claim?
It is nearly impossible to say how much your unique case is worth without examining the details. Different factors alter how much a claim may be worth, including the severity of the injuries, whether there was a wrongful death, the cause of the collision, and the extent of the airbag’s failure. The more severe your losses – economic, physical, or mental – the more your claim may be worth. For example, if you suffered several broken bones and permanent injuries and your side passenger lost their life, you would likely recover more compensation than someone who only broke their nose in the collision.
In addition to proving that fault rests on the shoulders of the other driver(s) in your crash, you would also have to gather evidence that supports your product liability claim. In order to prove that defective products were partially responsible for your injuries, you and your car accident attorney must establish that errors were made in the development and installation of the airbags. You may be able to sue the car designers, manufacturers, distributors, or mechanics if you have the evidence.
The sooner you speak with an attorney about your claim, the more time they will have to build a strong case and get you the compensation you deserve. Call our law firm today to schedule a free case evaluation.
What Sort of Compensation Could a Victim Hope to Recover?
Car wrecks without airbags often result in more severe injuries and a higher chance of fatalities. With strong evidence, you could sue car manufacturers for airbag defects. As your legal representation, we would help you pursue maximum compensation for both economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages may include:
- Lost wages and lost future income.
- Medical bills and expenses for future medical treatment.
- Physical therapy expenses.
- Property damage.
Non-economic damages may include:
- Emotional trauma.
- Loss of companionship.
- Lost quality of life.
- Pain and suffering.
- Permanent disability.
Contact Babcock Injury Lawyers for a Free Case Review
If you’ve been severely injured in a car accident and the airbag did not deploy, you may have additional parties from which you can seek to recover a settlement. At Babcock Injury Lawyers, we have experienced, compassionate legal representatives who would aggressively assist you in seeking fair financial recovery from any and all at-fault parties.
To discuss your case in more detail, please contact our law firm to schedule an appointment with our legal team. We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. You can call us at (225) 240-4053.