No matter whether you were the victim or the cause of an automobile crash, you expect your vehicle’s safety features, such as your seatbelts and airbags to keep your family safe. Unfortunately, airbags do not always work properly. If yours failed to deploy in a car accident, you could have suffered more catastrophic injuries, such as skull fractures, spinal injuries, internal organ damage, or death. You could have a claim against the manufacturer of the airbag as well as the negligent driver who caused your wreck.
Are Airbags Always Supposed to Deploy?
Frontal airbags have been standard on all passenger vehicles since the model year 1998 and on SUVs, pickup trucks, and vans since 1999. Vehicles can also be equipped with side airbags. Airbags are designed to deploy in moderate to severe crashes to reduce the risk that occupants will hit hard objects like the dashboard in a crash. However, they are not supposed to deploy in these situations:
- Minor frontal accidents
- T-bone, rollover, and rear-end collisions where there is not much front to back deceleration
- Accidents involving animals
- Crashes where a curb, parking block, or sign is hit
- Where the impact is with gravel, bumps, or potholes on roads
What Claims Could You Have If Your Airbag Failed to Deploy?
If your airbag failed to deploy in a moderate to severe crash, it may be due to a manufacturer defect. In addition, if your airbag deploys when it should not, such as in the Takata airbag recall situation, this could also be a manufacturer defect. These types of claim usually fall into one of the following product liability categories:
- Design defects. In some cases, a product such as an airbag has a defective design that causes it to malfunction. This has been the problem with the Takata airbags that are deploying when they should not with fatal consequences for the victims.
- Manufacturing defect. In other cases, the design of the product is safe, but it is not manufactured according to the design specifications. This can be an easier case to prove because you can show that the manufacturer did not follow the design requirements.
- Marketing defects. If the airbag or any other product was not labeled properly or you were not provided with the proper warning labels or instructions, you could have a marketing defect claim.
Product liability cases are very complex, and you will need the assistance of an experienced attorney and expert witnesses to prove your claim. If your airbag failed to deploy and you suffered injuries, call our office today to schedule a consultation to learn about your legal options.