Your airbags should deploy when you are involved in a serious car accident or any type of motor vehicle crash. Airbags are designed to help cushion the blow and are capable of preventing catastrophic injuries.
However, when an airbag deploys, that does not necessarily mean that the car will be totaled. Your vehicle status could have a significant impact on the outcome of your insurance and civil claims. Find out what’s next for your case and how your airbags could influence your settlement when you contact your car accident lawyer to discuss the specific details of your case.
- When Should Airbags Deploy?
- When Is a Car Considered Totaled?
- How Will the Airbags Impact My Right to Compensation?
- What If the Airbags Didn’t Deploy?
- Meet with a Car Accident Lawyer for Help Today
When Should Airbags Deploy?
The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) requires vehicle makers to provide both driver and front passenger airbags in all vehicles. In fact, many automakers these days will also include rear passenger airbags, side airbags, and other airbag systems to provide motorists and their passengers with additional protection.
Airbags are designed to deploy when their sensors detect impact rates at a minimum of 8 mph or higher depending on the type of airbag system in place. For example, front airbags will deploy at an obstacle of up to 16 mph, while side airbags could deploy at obstacles as high as 18 mph.
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When Is a Car Considered Totaled?
Airbags deploying alone will not necessarily render a car totaled. Generally, a vehicle could only be considered totaled if the cost of repairing the vehicle will exceed the value of the vehicle. However, legally, a vehicle will be considered totaled when the cost of the vehicle repairs is greater than 70% of the vehicle’s value.
This increases the chance of being awarded the compensation you will need if your vehicle is considered totaled. These repair costs should include not only the vehicle parts themselves but the labor needed to restore the car to its previous condition.
How Will the Airbags Impact My Right to Compensation?
Unfortunately, after airbags have been deployed, the entire airbag system will need to be replaced. In fact, it is against the law in most instances to refurbish or reuse previously deployed airbags. The cost of replacing your airbags will be factored into the total cost of your vehicle repairs when you get an estimate from your local auto body repair shop.
Airbag replacement costs will vary widely depending on where you go and the damage to your vehicle. Generally, one airbag system could cost approximately $750. The more airbags that have deployed, the greater the cost.
Even if all of the airbags in your vehicle go off, that could not be enough damage to total your car. If you are unsure whether your car will be totaled, be sure to discuss the vehicle damages with your attorney and auto repair shop to make the best decision in your case.
What If the Airbags Didn’t Deploy?
If your airbags didn’t deploy, that does not mean you do not have grounds for a case. If the airbags did not go off due to an airbag defect, you could have further grounds for a lawsuit. If the airbags had deployed as intended, you might not have suffered injuries or subsequent damages.
It is important to note that if you have reason to believe your vehicle airbags were defective and you have suffered serious or catastrophic injuries, you should get an attorney on your side as soon as possible. We need to intervene before the insurance company declares the vehicle totaled. If they take possession of the vehicle, as many insurers do when they total a vehicle, that evidence could be lost.
Find out what your next steps should be when you reach out to your car accident lawyer for help.
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Meet with a Car Accident Lawyer for Help Today
If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident that led to life-altering injury and your airbags failed to deploy, you could have the right to financial compensation. Whether your vehicle is considered totaled or you just need extensive repairs, you have the right to maximum restitution for your damages.
Start working on your car accident insurance and civil claims when you contact a car accident lawyer at Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. for help. Our firm proudly offers no-cost, risk-free consultations to injury victims across New York. Claim yours by calling our office or completing our quick contact form.