If your airbags did not deploy during your car accident, you may have a case against the manufacturer. You may also have grounds for an insurance claim or lawsuit against the driver who caused your collision. An attorney with our firm can investigate your crash and help you pursue compensation for your losses.
We Can Help You Prove Faulty Airbags Caused Your Injuries
In a collision, we rely on our vehicle’s safety features to provide us with a measure of protection. But, what happens when those features fail? Passengers inside the vehicle can suffer severe and fatal injuries that may have been prevented, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken hands, feet, and limbs
- Broken ribs
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Cuts and bruising
- Back, neck, and shoulder injuries
- Sprain and strains
If you sustained injuries because of an undeployed airbag, you may have a product liability case. We can help you prove that:
- Your airbag should have deployed during your accident
- Your airbag failed to deploy because of a defect
- Airbag failure caused your injuries
- Your injuries resulted in financial losses
Determining Why Your Airbag Did Not Deploy During Your Car Accident
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), front airbags usually deploy during frontal collisions at speeds of 10 to 16 mph, depending on whether or not the vehicle has seat belt sensors and the occupant is wearing their safety belt. Side airbags typically deploy during crashes occurring at 8 to 18 mph.
Airbags work using a sensor that measures impact severity. When a collision is severe enough, the sensor signals an inflator that fills the airbag within seconds. Newer vehicles also contain seat belt sensors that prevent the airbag from deploying during low speeds. Unfortunately, these sensors can have defects, which may cause:
- Failure to deploy
- Late deployment
- Deployment of one airbag and not another
Airbags can fail and cause injuries in other ways, as well. Other airbag issues may include:
- Failure to fully inflate
- Overinflation, leading to airbag explosions
- Chemical burns and lung and airway irritation from chemicals released during deployment
- Head, neck, and facial injuries caused during deployment
What Should You Do If You Believe Your Injuries Are Due to a Faulty Airbag?
If you think your airbag failed to deploy, make sure to preserve the evidence. Do not allow anyone to replace or throw away the airbag or sensors or wipe your vehicle’s computer clean. Also, do not junk your car or transfer it to the insurance company.
Our team will work with experts to examine your vehicle and determine why your airbag failed. Additionally, we will enlist crash reconstructionists to prove your airbag should have deployed during your accident. We can:
- Determine who or what caused your crash
- Determine the speed and angle of your collision
- Show that a mechanical or manufacturing error prevented your airbag from deploying
- Demonstrate how the lack of airbag protection caused or worsened your injuries
- Obtain your medical bills and records
- Consult with medical experts
- Locate and interview eyewitnesses
- Collect available surveillance, cell phone, or dashcam video of your accident
- Obtain official accident reports from the police or sheriff’s department
Can You Take Action Against the Driver Who Caused Your Accident?
You may also have a personal injury case against the party who caused the accident during which your airbags failed to deploy. This may include:
- Another driver – A car, truck, or motorcycle driver may be liable for your crash if they were driving distracted, driving drunk, speeding, tailgating, making an improper turn, driving in the wrong lane, or engaged in another negligent or reckless driving behavior.
- A manufacturer – As mentioned, if your airbag did not deploy, you can seek compensation from the manufacturer via a product liability case. However, you may also have a case against another vehicle or auto parts maker if a blown tire, engine trouble, or another vehicle problem was the source of your accident.
- A roadway owner – A government entity or private road owner may be liable if your accident was due to faulty road design, broken or cracked road surfaces, potholes, negligent snow and ice removal, or another issue with the roadway.
What Damages Can You Pursue?
We can help you seek compensation for your accident-related damages from the maker of your defective airbags, as well as the party liable for your collision. Awards may include:
- Past and future medical expenses – Including hospitalizations, medical procedures, rehabilitation, medications, and medical equipment
- Lost wages, earnings, and benefits – Including loss of your earning capacity if you suffered a permanently disabling injury
- Personal property damages – Including vehicle repair or replacement costs and the value of damaged cell phones, electronics, and jewelry
- Pain and suffering damages – Including awards for physical pain, mental anguish, emotional suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life
- Miscellaneous expenses – Including the cost of household services, transportation, and medical travel expenses
Class Action Lawsuits
Sometimes, when a product (like a defective airbag) harms multiple people in the same way, those injured can join together to seek compensation through a class-action lawsuit. An attorney with our firm can tell you more about the airbag involved in your accident and whether or not you may qualify as a plaintiff in a class action.
How Long Do You Have To Take Legal Action in Indiana?
If we cannot settle your product liability or personal injury claim with an insurance settlement, we can take your case to court. According to IC § 34-20-3-1, in general, you have two years from the time your injury occurred or was discovered to file a product liability case. However, circumstances could shorten or extend this window. We can tell you how they may affect you.
If you take action against a driver or other liable party (excluding a manufacturer), you have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit, according to IC § 34-11-2-4. If your loved one suffered a fatal injury, IC § 34-23-2-1 allows two years to sue for wrongful death.
Call Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. Today
The team at Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. has one goal—helping personal injury victims seek justice. To learn more about how we can help with your airbag deployment failure car accident case, call our offices at (317) 636-7777 for a free consultation.