Representing Victims of Defective Airbags
According to statistics compiled by the federal government, airbags have saved more than 24,000 lives since 1990. Unfortunately, defective airbags, or airbags that fail to inflate or function according to spec, can cause serious harm and potentially even fatal injuries. One survey found that, between 1990 and 2007, defective airbags led to the deaths of nearly 300 people. 180 people killed were children.
Airbags consist of multiple parts that must function effectively and seamlessly during accidents. The electronic control unit (ECU), crash sensors, inflators, and bags must be free of defects and ready to operate in literally fractions of a second.
Types of airbag defects include:
- Design flaws
- Errors in assembly, installation, or manufacture
- “Failure to warn” or lack of adequate directions for safe and proper use
If you have sustained an injury due to a defective airbag, call our firm for a complimentary case evaluation.
Typical injuries caused by defective airbags include above the waist contusions and bruising, traumatic brain injury, “burns” from the airbags, loss of vision or hearing, lung problem / asthma, and death / decapitation in worst cases.
Legal Rights and Terms
In typical personal injury cases, claimants must show that carelessness or negligence set the conditions that caused a crash or harm. In California product liability cases, however, a concept called “strict liability” applies. Essentially, this means that you don’t have to show that the manufacturer, installer, or distributor of an airbag acted negligently. You merely need to tie the substantial defect to the harm done.
Preparing an effective airbag defect case takes careful analysis. Your auto product liability attorney may need to launch a thorough investigation and call upon experts in biochemistry, metallurgy, crash dynamics, crash reconstruction, and other subjects. In some cases, defendants may argue that the driver or passengers improperly used the vehicle.
For instance, if you put a small child in the front seat of your car (instead of the rear seat, where you are supposed to) and an airbag goes off and injures the child, the airbag manufacturer will claim you failed to adhere to proper practices. Thus, your claim may be denied, even if the airbag inflation did cause injuries.
Building a Claim for Damages
In the wake of an accident, you may quickly jump to conclusions about what “caused” the crash or the damages. Be mindful that only an objective analysis of the crash’s causes and consequences counts. An experienced car accident lawyer can delve into the details of the crash to determine whether the defective airbag caused or contributed to the injuries.
If you are a family member of someone who died in an auto collision, Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP can help you bring a wrongful death action on behalf of that person. Bear in mind that a “statute of limitations” applies to airbag defect actions, so don’t wait to seek legal help.
To build your case effectively, call Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP at (800) 900-0863. Our attorneys have been helping clients like you for more than 85 collective years, and we can provide a free and confidential case evaluation today.