Although many studies have established the value of airbags in saving lives during a car crash, an airbag is only as safe as it is effective. When an airbag has manufacturing defects, it can cause more injuries that it prevents. Lawsuits based on defective airbags, as well as manufacturer recalls of airbags, are far more commonplace than they should be. Here’s what you need to know about this specific area of products liability law.
The importance of properly installed, properly functioning airbags
According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), airbags save thousands of lives each year. As such, they have become an essential factor in the crashworthiness of cars. One of the problems with airbags, however, is the fact that they are generally designed for the average man (whomever that may be). As a result, not so average men, women, and children can be at serious risk for injury, even if the airbag deploys as it should. For instance, drivers who are taller or shorter than average have been found at a 5% greater risk of serious injury caused by a deployed airbag.
Common causes of airbag injuries
There are three basic theories of liability in airbag injury cases: the airbag fails to deploy, the airbag deploys when it should not, or the air bag was not actually installed in the vehicle. The most common of these three is when the airbag deploys in a low-impact crash, resulting in death or serious injury.
Common injuries caused by airbags
Some of the most common types of injuries caused by airbags include injuries to the eyes, neck, head, brain and spine. In many cases, either the airbag was not installed properly, the airbag was defective, or appropriate safety instructions were not included in the vehicle. When an airbag is defective, either in its design or its manufacturing, the victim can make a legal claim under strict liability laws, without the requirement of proving actual negligence. Nevertheless, defective airbag cases, as well as most product liability cases, can be complicated to investigate and to litigate in court.
If you have questions regarding defective airbags, or any other product liability issues, please contact the experienced attorneys at Means Gillis Law, PC, either online or by calling toll free at 1-844-870-1777.