If you were injured in a car accident and your airbags didn’t deploy, you may have a case against the airbag manufacturer. However, airbags are not designed to deploy in every accident, and you will only have a case if the airbag was supposed to deploy and the failure caused you to have additional or more serious injuries.
Airbags protect drivers and passengers from the most serious effects of a frontal impact. When they don’t deploy properly, they can cause occupants to suffer more serious injuries than they would have if the airbags had functioned as they were intended. If you were in an accident and the airbags did not deploy, you should consult with a good car accident lawyer to find out if you might have a claim.
When are air bags supposed to deploy?
Air bags are supposed to deploy only in certain situations. In general, the collision must happen at or above a certain speed and from a certain direction. For front airbags, this usually means there must have been a frontal impact. A rear-end, side impact or rollover accident will usually not trigger the sensors that cause the airbags to deploy. However, if a car is struck from the rear and then collides with the car in front of it, the second impact might trigger the air bags.
What are the reasons that air bags don’t deploy properly?
There are four main reasons that an airbag may not deploy when it is supposed to:
- Defective airbag sensors. The sensors may not have detected the impact properly. This could happen for several reasons, including manufacturers not installing enough sensors or using improperly designed sensors. There could be a problem with software or the way the airbag firing threshold was calibrated.
- Defective electrical components. An airbag may fail to deploy because of a defect in the wiring or electrical components that tell the airbag that an impact has occurred. This may be the problem if some airbags deploy in a collision and others do not.
- Severed wiring. If the manufacturer has placed airbag wiring in a place where it is severed during a crash, the airbag will not receive the signal that an impact has occurred.
- Defects in the airbag module. If the airbag itself is defective, it may fail to deploy even though it has received the proper signals from the sensors.
Who is liable if my airbags don’t deploy in an accident?
Airbag deployment cases tend to be complex and involve multiple layers of liability. The first layer involves the accident itself and who caused it. Usually, car accidents happen because a driver was careless or did not obey the rules of the road. Legally, this is known as negligence, and the negligent driver’s insurance company is liable for the costs of the accident.
The second layer of liability involves the airbags. When airbags don’t deploy, accident victims may suffer more serious injuries than they would have had if the airbags had functioned properly. Depending on the facts of your case, the manufacturer of the car or the airbags—or airbag parts—may be held liable for the injuries caused by the defective air bag. This type of a claim is known as a products liability claim.
How can a lawyer help me with my case?
Products liability cases are much more complicated than ordinary car accident claims. Accident reconstruction experts and engineers almost always have to be called in to show how the impact happened, whether the airbags should have deployed, and what caused them to fail. Medical experts may be needed to show how the absence of airbags worsened your injuries. Without this kind of expert evidence, it is unlikely you will be able to recover anything for the failed airbags.
A lawyer who is experienced with car accidents and products liability cases can get the expert opinions needed to build a case and help you win money in an Atlanta, Georgia car accident law suit or in negotiations with insurance companies and manufacturers.
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