Los Angeles Defective Airbag Injury Lawyer
Defective Airbag Injuries
Although frequently airbags save people’s lives at the time of the accident, there are many documented instances where people have been, unfortunately, injured as a result of defective airbags.
There are many causes in which an innocent person may become the victim of an airbag injury, such as an airbag being defective, an airbag failing to inflate during an accident, and an airbag deflating when an accident does not take place. People of all ages are at risk for airbag injuries. However, smaller adults, younger children, or pregnant women are more likely to suffer very severe injuries because airbags were designed for average size adults weighing approximately one hundred eighty pounds and measuring about five foot eight.
Potential Reasons for Airbag Deployment Causing Injury
There are several reasons for airbag deployment that may result in an injury to occupants, including:
- Oversensitive airbags can deploy for little or no reason, causing a loud bang and blocking the driver’s vision, which can quickly cause an avoidable car accident.
- Burst Airbags – Fragments from exploding airbags fly through the passenger compartment like shrapnel, wounding occupants and placing them at risk of bleeding to death before help arrives.
- Failure to Deploy – Defective airbags may not inflate at all, depriving vehicle occupants of the protection they thought they could count on.
- Replacement, recycled or rebuilt airbags may not be installed properly or work with your vehicle, which can lead to defects or oversensitivity.
- Defective airbag canisters, such as those manufactured by Takata, have been known to rupture causing metal shards to injured, and even kill, vehicle occupants.
Potential Injuries Associated with Airbag Deployment
There are many serious injuries that can be sustained by the occupants, including:
- Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) injuries
- Eye injuries, including orbital fractures, lens damage, and retinal detachment
- Cervical spine injuries
- Burn injuries caused by the chemicals used to inflate airbags
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Rib fractures
- Abdominal injuries
- Dislocated and fractured shoulders
- Head and facial injuries
- Premature rupture of membranes in pregnant women
- Hidden thoracic and cardiac injuries, sometimes resulting in death. When airbags rupture blood vessels or cause other internal injuries, the vehicle occupant may not notice any immediate symptoms. Particularly in low speed crashes that do not produce significant external injuries, both the vehicle occupant and a physician who examines the occupant may not become aware of internal injuries until it is too late to treat them.
This is why if you or your loved one were involved in an accident, where an airbag was deployed, it is very important to be examined by a qualified doctor and have necessary physical tests conducted, even if initially there is no apparent injury. It is even more vital to be examined by a qualified physician, when you begin to feel pain and/or any type of discomfort. A qualified doctor may direct you to a specialist if further care is needed or if your injury is a serious one.
Punitive award in damages is possible, where an experienced attorney can prove that a responsible party acted with conscious disregard for safety of others, while being aware of the probable dangerous consequences of his/her conduct, but willfully failed to avoid those consequences all the same. (Taylor v. Superior Court – 1978). Therefore, an award in punitive damages is more likely in a defective airbag/product liability type of a case than in a pure negligence action, since it might be possible to prove that even though designer/manufacturer knew or should have known about the dangerous condition of the airbag, he/she still produced the defective airbag for popular use.
However, not all airbag defect cases are “created equal,” meaning not all injuries associated with airbags are the result of product defects. Since airbags are designed to work together with a shoulder harness, passengers and occupants increase their risk of injury when they drive without buckling up. When defects in the design or manufacture of airbags contribute to injury, responsible parties should be still held responsible.
Importance of an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
It takes time and the assistance of experts in accident reconstruction, forensics, or bio mechanical analysis to identify if a defective airbag contributed to the accident. The most important evidence in an auto or an airbag defect case is the vehicle involved in the accident, containing a defective part. Without it, an automotive defect case is difficult if not impossible to establish. Therefore, an experienced attorney who has a number of such experts at her disposal will help you build a winning case from its inception.
As the victim of a defective airbag injury, you have the right to take legal action against the negligent company and hold them liable for your injuries. At Injury Justice LLP, attorneys Inna Demin and Dmitry Gorin will use their legal knowledge and experience in order to present your best possible case and recover monetary compensation that you deserve, including but not limited to reimbursement for medical bills, lost wages, and future injury related expenses, as well as possibility of punitive damages award. Call our law firm at (818) 642-5229 for a free – no obligation case consultation.
Criminal Justice Law Firm, Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyers