Yes, you can file a defective airbag lawsuit if you sustain injuries due to a defective airbag recall. Sometimes, airbag inflators can be defective and cause severe injuries to vehicle riders.
It may be due to a faulty design or a manufacturing defect of the airbag that can be the reason for filing an injury claim. You can file a case based on strict liability laws; airbag litigation under strict liability does not require any proof of negligence.
Furthermore, you need to know whether the airbag was defective or not, which airbag defect caused the accident, and which airbag defect is responsible for causing the injury. The severity of the injuries can also determine how to file a case under strict liability laws.
Some of the common damages included in your product liability claim will be present and future medical bills along with lost income.
Injuries Resulting From Defective Airbags
When the airbag explodes or deflates, the outcome can be fatal injuries; therefore, it is important to be aware of the potential for injuries due to faulty airbags.
Some of the following injuries can occur due to a defective airbag:
- Brain injuries
- Hearing loss
- Nerve damage
- Hand injuries
- Leg injuries
- Sprained fingers
- Eye injuries
- Burn Injuries
- Contusions on various areas of the body
- Injuries to body organs
- Internal bleeding
The combination of an airbag, along with a shoulder and lap belt, will reduce wrongful deaths due to frontal crashes.
How do Airbag Systems Work in Your Car?
When a deadly car collision occurs, the airbag electronic monitoring system sends a signal to the inflator of the bag. The airbag’s control unit stores the inflator, which contains an igniter. The igniter initiates a chemical reaction that sends a benign gas to the airbag and quickly fills it.
One-twentieth of a second is the time taken for an airbag to inflate. The airbag acts as a protective guard, helping both the driver and passenger in the front seat from hitting the steering wheel of the vehicle.
If the airbag is not present, the outcome could be catastrophic injuries such as traumatic brain injury, broken bones, facial lacerations, and even wrongful death in severe cases. All of these might require surgeries and rehabilitation therapies.
What Are the Reasons Airbags Fail to Deploy Correctly?
When airbags work correctly, they save lives; however, when they fail, they can cause fatal injuries to the driver and passengers. Some common reasons for airbag failure include:
- Puncturing of airbags can result in a lack of inflation.
- Electrical components that inform the airbag to inflate can fail to function.
- The wiring of the airbag can get damaged in an accident.
- Sensors of airbags can fail to respond in a timely manner.
- Airbag inflators may sometimes fail due to heat or humidity.
These are some of the defects that can cause debilitating injuries and hefty medical bills. There are others too, and it is important to discuss your case with an attorney so they can show you the legal options available.
How do Seat Belts And Airbags Work Together?
If you are wearing your seatbelt, it will act as a protective device that will stop you from hitting the airbag when it deploys. Moreover, the seatbelt will act as a restraint that permits the airbag to provide an appropriate cushion. Furthermore, it also protects you from hitting with full force.
Seat belts and airbags are two essential safety features that work together to protect you from potential injury. However, if seat belt laws are not adhered to, these security measures will be rendered ineffective.
Who’s to Blame When an Airbag Failure Causes Injuries?
The automaker has to bear the expenses associated with the accident in a strict liability case in which no negligence proof is required.
If the automobile manufacturer outsources the development, design, or assembling of the airbags, faulty airbag lawsuits can be filed against the individual or business that has been supplying the airbags. The airbag manufacturer or the vehicle manufacturer can be held liable for any injuries.
Airbag Injuries Statistics in the United States
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2017, more than 50,000 lives were saved by front airbags. The reduction in driver fatalities due to front airbags was 29%, and front seat passenger fatalities were reduced by 32%.
NHTSA also reported that by April 2021, 400 injuries and 19 deaths associated with malfunctioning Takata airbags had been reported in the United States. The specific models deemed to be at a high risk for manufacturing defects were BMW, Ford, Mazda, Acura, and Honda.
Takata Airbag Recall
In American history, Takata Corporation is liable for the largest auto recall. Since 2013, nearly 67 million Takata airbag recalls have occurred. Due to the defective airbags, there have been approximately 18 deaths and 180 injuries in the US.
The airbags inflate when nitrogen gas fills the airbag. Takata airbags used ammonium nitrate to inflate their airbags; however, the risk in using ammonium nitrate is that it can become unstable when it breaks down and comes into contact with moisture. Therefore, ammonium nitrate needs to be combined with a chemical drying agent in order to remain stable.
The Takata airbags lacked a chemical drying agent, which resulted in the instability of ammonium nitrate. This mistake caused explosions in many vehicles, as the airbags did not properly inflate, leading to injuries for people and an eventual airbag recall.
How Long Does an Airbag Recall Take?
In the driver’s case replacement, it will take approximately 1 to 2 hours. In other cases when the vehicles may require airbag inflator replacements for both the driver and the passengers, it will take nearly 3 hours.
Get in Touch With The Law Offices of Samuel Fishman Today
A product Liability Lawyer can help you determine the exact cause of the accident by conducting a thorough investigation of the vehicle. They will also guide you to reach an agreement for an airbag settlement with the other party.