Recovering Compensation for Injuries Suffered by Airbags
Most vehicles come equipped with numerous safety features that are designed to minimize the seriousness of your injuries if you become involved in a car accident.
However, some of these safety features are not always effective or even functional, including the airbag.
It's not uncommon for a car manufacturer to issue a recall on some of their safety features after they discover the design is defective.
Airbags are a very common recalled safety feature and often the most dangerous features when not functioning properly.
Airbags are essential devices that help ensure safety for drivers and passengers in modern vehicles.
Known as a "passive restraint system," airbags work alongside seatbelts to cushion and restrain people in the event of excessive vehicular forces or collisions.
However, just because airbags protect does not mean they're safe in and of themselves.
Airbag accidents do occur, especially when drivers and passengers do not use them properly or the airbags are not installed well.
While the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reported that airbags have saved tens of thousands of lives, the administration has also revealed that airbags have caused many deaths.
Our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys are providing readers with more information below.
How do Airbags Cause Injuries and Deaths in California?
It may seem odd to point fingers at airbags for causing injuries when they're intended as protecting instruments.
Unfortunately, airbags are very complicated. The smallest change in the way they fold or deploy can result in catastrophic harm.
Studies have shown that the following actions or factors associated with airbags can cause harm to humans:
- airbags that don't deploy when they should;
- airbags that deploy with too much force;
- airbags that deploy on low-impact;
- airbags that don't deploy at crash;
- airbags that are ripped and release chemicals;
- airbag that properly deploys, but causes serious injuries;
- airbags featuring an improper installation technique;
- airbags that do not have the correct warning and usage labels;
- airbags that are fake or counterfeit.
Demonstrating that an Airbag is Defective in California
Since airbags are an integral part of a vehicle's safety and passive restraint system, airbag manufacturers tend to have stringent safety regulations and quality check processes in place.
If you seek to win a lawsuit concerning a defective airbag, you will need to show:
- that the airbag manufacturer designed and distributed the airbag or part of the airbag that caused your injury;
- the specific defects exhibited in the airbag;
- proof showing that the airbag was defective when it left the manufacturer's possession;
- that the victim used the airbag properly; and
- that the specific defect in the airbag was the cause of the victim's injuries
If you're mounting the case concerning the defective airbag, it will help to have evidence that the same product caused similar injuries for other people.
Our law firm will need to first examine all the specific details of the car accident and airbag defects to determine an appropriate strategy to recover financial compensation.
Common Defenses to Suggest Consumer Liability
In an airbag accident or injury case, the airbag manufacturer will likely attempt to defend themselves by suggesting that the victim had at least partial responsibility in the incident. You may hear arguments such as:
- the customer or another agent did not install the airbag properly;
- the customer acted in a way that contradicted the advice on the warning label;
- the customer removed the warning label;
- the airbag in question was a reused, recycled or refolded airbag;
- the airbag in question was a cheap counterfeit.
To argue your case successfully, you will need to work with a California personal injury attorney familiar with the nuances, precedents, and current events in the airbag quality assurance field.
Risk Factors that Affect Safe Deployment of Airbag Systems
As it turns out, many factors go into the safe (or unsafe) deployment of an airbag. These factors include:
- position of the seat;
- weight and position of the occupant;
- failure of the airbag sensor system;
- manufacturer design;
- airbag inflation volume;
- the way the airbag folds;
- the material inside the airbag;
- the angle the airbag deploys;
- the rate at which the airbag deploys;
- how the airbag vents post-deployment.
Common Types of Injuries Caused by Airbags
Although airbags are meant to prevent major injuries in the event of a car crash, they can cause injuries in the event of improper design or botched deployment.
The persons who tend to sustain the most severe injuries associated with airbags are young, elderly, or short. The most common injuries in airbag injury claims are:
- post-traumatic stress disorder;
- facial abrasions, impact burns, and lacerations;
- eye injuries including orbital fractures and retinal tears, chemical burns, retinal detachment, and lens rupture;
- facial bone fractures;
- bodily bone fractures;
- joint dislocations;
- traumatic brain injuries such as concussions;
- internal bleeding.
The medical costs associated with these conditions can be steep. Pursuing maximum compensation with the help of a qualified attorney is the best way to protect you and your loved ones in the days ahead.
Personal Injury Lawyer for California Airbag Injuries
We will examine all the evidence to determine what caused the injures. Economic damages could include medical expenses, reconstructive surgery, lost income, disability accommodations, and property damage.
Potential non-economic damages include pain and suffering, emotional trauma, loss of consortium, and scarring and disfigurement.
An airbag incident can be a devastating one. For a protective element of your vehicle, an airbag can cause catastrophic harm.
If you or a loved one has sustained injuries associated with an airbag, it's time to fight to protect your future.
Injury Justice Law Firm are personal injury lawyers serving victims throughout Southern California.
Our two office locations are in Los Angeles County and the San Fernando Valley.
Our law firm offers a free case evaluation to assess your situation and determine the best way to move forward. Call our office to review the details of your case at (818) 781-1570.