Yes, you can sue if your airbags did not deploy during an accident. However, there might be multiple parties you can sue in such a situation, which is why you should consult an attorney to learn more about your legal options.
While airbags should deploy when accidents occur, there are times when they might not. If your airbags did not deploy and you were hurt in a motor vehicle accident, you may have grounds to sue. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the vehicle’s or airbag’s manufacturer and other liable parties. Our law firm can help you, by working to build the strongest case possible on your behalf.
In This Article
- Our Law Firm Can Investigate Why Your Airbags Did Not Deploy Properly
- Who You Bought Your Vehicle From May Affect Who May Be Held Liable
- Common Reasons Airbags don’t Deploy
- Checking for Potential Defects Inside the Vehicle
- We May Ask You To Provide Information Related to the Accident and Your Injuries
- We Can Help You Seek Compensation for Your Injuries Due to Airbag Failure
- Proving Liability in a Failed Airbag Case
- Talk to a Car Accident Attorney About Who You Can Sue If Your Airbags didn’t Deploy
Our Law Firm Can Investigate Why Your Airbags Did Not Deploy Properly
When an accident occurs between one or more vehicles, those who are driving have the right to expect their airbags to deploy right upon impact. The airbags can save lives while protecting people from hitting the windshield with their heads and flying through the windshield, which can tragically result in catastrophic injuries and even death.
The personal injury lawyers at Friedman & Simon, L.L.P., have over 30 years of experience fighting for the injured victims of car accidents. Many of our injured clients’ cases have involved airbags that failed to deploy on impact. We have compassion for our injured clients while we are relentless in our dealings with the at-fault parties, the insurers, and defense lawyers.
If you decide to work with us, we can help you build your case by:
- Keeping you updated on the progress of your case
- Investigating what caused the airbags to fail to deploy upon impact
- Identifying which party or parties may be held liable for this failure and resulting damages
- Collecting evidence that supports your claims that the liable party’s negligence led to the accident and your injuries
- Negotiating a potential settlement with the opposing party and handling communications with them
- Filling out the paperwork required of your case
- Representing you in court if necessary
In cases involving manufacturers or vehicle companies, it might be overwhelming to you to consider standing up against a major corporation. However, one of our personal injury lawyers can advocate for you and lead your arguments against the liable parties. Our team can manage your case for you and fight on your behalf. You can focus on your recovery while we handle the rest.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-932-0400
Who You Bought Your Vehicle From May Affect Who May Be Held Liable
When buying a used vehicle from someone else without much knowledge of what the vehicle has been through over the years, filing a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the company can be challenging. You are essentially buying the vehicle at your own risk from someone who may have made changes to it or used the airbags at some point in the past because they were already in an accident.
However, if you bought the vehicle directly from a dealership and something went wrong to the point that your airbags failed to deploy, you are more likely to have a case with merit to support a lawsuit because the vehicle history should be readily discoverable. No matter what the history of the car may be, we know what to look for and how to find it.
Common Reasons Airbags don’t Deploy
A faulty airbag is a hazard for drivers and passengers. Despite their purpose, which is to keep riders safe, airbags don’t always work when they are supposed to. When the circumstances of your case indicate that you may have a viable airbag failure claim, the following will be investigated to learn exactly what caused your airbag to fail:
- A hole, tear, or rip in the airbag
- A failed sensor that doesn’t signal the bag to release upon impact
- Flawed airbag design or manufacturing of the airbag
- An aged or missing airbag that hasn’t been replaced
- Electrical problems
- Wiring problems
The Impact of a Crash Can Affect Airbags
Your airbag may also have failed to deploy because the impact upon your vehicle was too low. Certain airbags will not release if the crash impact doesn’t happen at a specific rate of speed. According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), a vehicle must be traveling at least 10 mph to 12 mph (miles per hour) for a front airbag to deploy for passengers wearing a seat belt.
For those not wearing a seat belt, vehicles will need to travel about 16 mph before the airbag deploys. Keep in mind that these rates are for newer airbags that rely on a safety belt sensor and an algorithm to determine when to release an airbag to protect front-seat passengers.
Your car may also have a designated area that must be struck before an airbag will release. If the collision hit an area outside of the back or side of the vehicle, that may be a reason it didn’t work. The automatic shut-off sensors can also be inspected to determine whether they were working properly or not. If they did not detect that a person was sitting in the seat, it could explain why your airbag malfunctioned.
Checking for Potential Defects Inside the Vehicle
If you suffered injuries in an “airbag failure to deploy” accident, your lawyers need to have the vehicle examined for potential defects. Expert investigators and engineers can look at different components of the vehicle to determine why the airbags never deployed when your vehicle was hit by another driver or when you crashed into another vehicle.
The investigators and engineers will most likely complete a vehicle examination as they check for all different types of potential defects. We can also consult with other specialists, such as an accident reconstruction specialist or airbag designer, to get insight into what happened with your airbag.
When we handle your case, we will consider:
- Who the at-fault party or parties are (These parties may include the vehicle’s manufacturer, the airbag’s manufacturer or its designer, the distribution company, or the company or individuals responsible for installing or testing the airbag.)
- Whether we may be able to negotiate your claim with the at-fault party’s insurance carrier
- If the at-fault party is self-insured
- Whether it will be necessary to litigate the case and potentially press it all the way to a trial before a judge and jury
- What made the airbag(s) defective (e.g., poor design, punctures in the bags, poor assembly, etc.)
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We May Ask You To Provide Information Related to the Accident and Your Injuries
While having an investigation performed to determine what went wrong and who you can sue if your airbags did not deploy, your car accident attorney may ask you for important information related to the accident and the different injuries you have endured.
Some of the information you may be able to provide includes:
- Photos from the scene of the collision
- Photos of the airbag, which may show how it was defective
- Video footage from a dashcam or that you were able to take after the accident
- Photos of injuries that you may have taken at some point
- An account of how your injuries have limited or even eliminated specific activities of daily living
- Medical records and reports regarding your medical treatment, condition, and prognosis
- Reports from experts, such as accident reconstruction experts, life care planners, and economists
This information can be obtained by your Friedman & Simon, L.L.P., car accident lawyer as we work to build the very strongest case possible on your behalf. Every item of information we obtain is considered in service of our paramount goal: to win the best possible outcome for you. As we gather the relevant evidence, we review it with our interim goal in mind.
We want to figure out how much compensation to demand from the defendant(s) in this situation. The manufacturer of the vehicle you were driving when the accident occurred may be named the defendant, but other parties may be named as liable parties as well. The evidence we collect may also show the level of damage that the airbag defects might cause future victims who are unaware of the defects in their vehicles.
We Can Help You Seek Compensation for Your Injuries Due to Airbag Failure
Many factors are considered when determining the value of your defective airbag case. These factors include, but are not limited to:
- The seriousness of your injuries
- The negative impact your injuries will have on you over the years
- The cost of your medical expenses
- The cost of medical treatment you might need to receive in the future to attempt to get back to normal after your injuries
Once we consider multiple factors of your case, we may help you pursue compensation for your damages, which may include:
- Medical treatment expenses, past, and future
- Income loss, past, and future
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Permanent disability
- Physical disfigurement
- Diminished quality of life
Damages Related to a Loved One’s Death
If you lost a loved one due to an airbag deployment failure in a car accident, you may be able to pursue damages related to their death, such as funeral expenses and emotional losses you and your family are suffering.
We want to extend our condolences to you and assure you that we can help you get through the litigation process, making sure to keep you updated as your case moves forward.
Deadlines That Might Apply to Your Case
If you decide to pursue damages through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, then you must abide by your case’s filing deadline. These deadlines can be found in:
- New York Civil Practice Laws & Rules §214 for personal injury lawsuits
- Estates, Powers, & Trusts (EPT) § 5-4.1 for wrongful death lawsuits
Our team can monitor these deadlines so that you file on time and do not jeopardize your ability to pursue compensation; however, the sooner you act, the more time you allow yourself to build your case.
Proving Liability in a Failed Airbag Case
Once you become our client and we work on building your case, we must prove, based on your evidence, that your airbag didn’t deploy through no fault of your own. If your airbag failed to deploy because of a design, manufacturing, or distribution error, we must prove four elements to establish your case. Under strict liability, we do not have to prove the defendant was negligent. We only must prove the defendant’s product caused your injuries. We must show:
- Your airbag should have opened to keep you safe from harm, but it failed.
- The airbag did not release because of a defect or an error in its manufacturing, design, or distribution (or another cause, if applicable).
- As a result, you suffered injuries when the airbag did not deploy as you used it as intended.
- You suffered compensatory damages because of your injuries.
If we determine your airbag wasn’t installed properly or that something happened to its condition during a repair, then we can set out to prove that party’s negligence. We must establish negligence, showing how the defendant owed you a duty of care but breached it when the airbag became compromised. We must show how the airbag’s condition is the reason it did not deploy when it was supposed to and how you suffered injuries and damages when it didn’t.
Talk to a Car Accident Attorney About Who You Can Sue If Your Airbags didn’t Deploy
The purpose of having airbags is to ease the impact that you would experience from a collision. However, if they did not deploy and failed to do what they were supposed to do, your injuries from the accident might have been more severe. If the airbags did not deploy due to a defect, you may have a right to sue the manufacturer of the vehicle as well as other potentially responsible parties.
Let Friedman & Simon, L.L.P., alleviate your stress and anxiety by providing legal representation to you. We will focus on all the paperwork, case deadlines, evidence gathering, and communication with all associated parties, and we will press your case forward while you focus on your medical treatment, healing, and rebuilding your life. Call our office for a free consultation.