Defective airbags have been linked to thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths over the last few years. Fears over airbag malfunctions have led many automakers to issue recalls. Unfortunately, many vehicle owners never receive the notices. Consequently, the number of product liability lawsuits concerning defective airbags is on the rise.
Causes of Airbag Failure
Airbags may malfunction by deploying too forcefully in a low-speed collision. Most airbag recalls mentioned in the news lately involve this type of failure. Front airbags from one particular auto parts manufacturer have been alleged to contain defects that may cause the airbags to rupture, deploying explosively and causing extensive injuries.
Airbags from any manufacturer can fail in other ways, due to design flaws, inaccurate or outdated software, overpowered inflators or faulty crash sensors. Defective airbags may deploy too late in a high-speed collision or they may fail to deploy at all. Some airbags may even deploy unexpectedly when no accident has occurred. Improper deployment of any type can result in traumatic brain injuries, severe burns, broken bones, internal injuries and, in some cases, death.
Defective Airbag Claims
Lawsuits against the parties responsible for airbag failure are usually product liability cases concerning a design or manufacturing defect. Some lawsuits may also involve mistakes made during manufacturing or installation. Typically filed against auto parts manufacturers and others responsible for airbag malfunction, these claims allege that the responsible parties failed to ensure that the product was safe. Strict liability law applies in these cases, and the involved companies can be held accountable for the harm the airbags caused. In some cases, the automaker may also be held liable.
Compensation for Defective Airbags
Victims may be entitled to damages for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering. They may also be awarded punitive damages, which is additional monetary compensation given to the victims with the intention of punishing the parties responsible for the injuries. To obtain these damages, victims typically seek the assistance of an experienced product liability attorney.
Airbag lawsuits can be complicated, as proving a case often requires expert testimony from accident reconstruction specialists, pathologists, automotive engineers and other witnesses. Also, a qualified specialist must complete an in-depth analysis of the vehicle’s on-board computer system. An experienced attorney can provide legal advice, find appropriate expert witnesses and facilitate claims for compensation.
Recalls of defective airbags have affected millions of vehicles worldwide. When these airbags malfunction and cause injury or death, the victims deserve compensation from the responsible parties. If you or a loved one has suffered from an airbag-related injury, contact the experienced attorneys at Montgomery Dowdle Law to schedule a free consultation. Their professional product liability attorneys can assist you with your claim involving defective airbags.