When you are in an accident, you expect to be protected by the safety features in your car. Airbags and seatbelts were created to ensure driver safety and help lessen the strain on the human body, preventing more serious injuries such as traumatic brain injuries. However, if your airbags fail to deploy, the injuries you sustained from your accident can be far worse, leaving you to foot the medical bill. Can you sue for a faulty airbag? In this article, we will take a deeper look into the mechanics behind an airbag and whether or not a lawsuit could help you.
How An Airbag Works
Airbags were created to reduce the chances of serious head injuries by acting as a cushion for your head and neck during the forward movement of the impact. This keeps your head from making contact with the steering wheel or the dashboard.
Airbags work using small explosive charges and sensors. When you are in an accident, the accelerometer in the airbag will detect changes in speed. If the change in your speed is over your normal braking speed, then the airbag circuit will trigger. The circuit passes an electrical current through the airbags heating element, which ignites a chemical explosive. The explosion creates a harmless gas that rushes into the nylon bag. The bag inflates rapidly, catching and cushioning the forward movement of the driver or passenger’s head and neck. As soon as the head of the individual hits the airbag, the airbag begins to deflate; the gas escapes through small holes around the edges of the bag. As the vehicle comes to a complete stop, the bag will be completely deflated.
What If My Airbag Didn’t Deploy
It is important to remember that your airbag will not deploy for every accident. For example, if you were sitting at a stoplight and your car was struck from behind, it’s likely that the airbag will not deploy because there were no drastic changes in your car’s speed. While this may seem dangerous, in reality, it’s made like that to protect you. In minor accidents, an airbag can cause more damage than good.
However, if you suffered serious injuries in a high-speed accident or a forward motion collision, such as a head-on collision or sideswipe collision, because your airbags didn’t deploy, you may have a product liability claim.
Who Would Be Responsible for My Injuries and Damages?
In product liability cases, there are a few different parties that could be financially responsible for your injuries.
- The manufacturer of the airbag or the auto manufacturer may be responsible for damages if the defect was caused during the manufacturing process or if another faulty part of the vehicle resulted in the airbags not deploying properly.
- The airbag designers may be responsible if there was a design flaw that would cause the airbag to malfunction.
- Installers and testers may be responsible if the product was not installed properly or if proper testing wasn’t performed before the airbags were released for public use.
- Product distributors may be responsible if there was evidence of careless transport or storage of the car or parts that resulted in the airbag becoming defective.
Evidence in Faulty Airbag Product Liability Case
A few factors must be proven to have a successful lawsuit for an airbag product liability case:
- The airbags were defective. This may require expert testing regarding the defects. This could be used to show faulty sensors or electrical components of the airbag.
- The airbag should have deployed. Again, not all accidents will result in airbag deployment. Expert testimony and details of your accident must show that they should have deployed but didn’t.
- There was no alteration to the airbag. It must be proven that you or another individual in your household did not tamper with the airbags and that the airbag is still within its usable lifespan.
- Because the airbags didn’t deploy, you suffered serious injuries. A medical expert must show that your injuries could have been lessened or non-existent had the airbag deployed as designed.
Personal Injury Attorneys
Branch & Dhillon, P.C. is dedicated to ensuring that individuals who were injured in an accident due to another individual’s negligence are able to claim the compensation they deserve. This includes cases of product liability. Our team of dedicated attorneys can help you show that your injuries could have been avoided had the product been properly tested, installed, or manufactured. Our team is a no-fee, no-win law firm, meaning that if we do not win your case, you do not owe us a dime. Contact Branch & Dhillon, P.C. today to see why we are the most trusted law firm in South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia.