Although airbags have saved more lives than they’ve taken, airbags are responsible for a number of preventable deaths. Just recently, Kia recalled half a million cars due to defective airbags. These airbags exploded in driver’s faces in humid climates. The company that manufactured the airbags, Takata, knew about the defect and rather than making it public, and reaching out to auto companies, they kept the information hidden. As a result, there were numerous unnecessary injuries and deaths. Takata was not only held liable for those deaths, they were also held liable for gross negligence and forced to pay punitive damages.
We Can Help You With a Defective Airbag Lawsuit
If you’ve sustained airbag injuries from a malfunctioning airbag, you are entitled to recover damages for your injury. Call the personal injury lawyers at Russell & Lazarus, APC.
Understanding Airbag Injuries, Defective Airbags, and Strict Liability
Under the law, certain kinds of personal injury lawsuits do not require the plaintiff to prove negligence. This is called strict liability. Most product liability lawsuits fall under the law of strict liability. This includes airbag lawsuits. Under strict liability, all a plaintiff needs to prove is that the airbag caused their injuries. They do not need to prove that the defendant was negligent.
This reduces the number of valid defenses for companies in these sorts of lawsuits. The defendant is forced to prove that their product was not responsible for the injuries or that their product was only partially responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries.
For plaintiffs, these cases are much easier to win than injury liability suits that force the plaintiff to prove negligence.
Types of Airbag Injuries
The Takata lawsuits made headlines because of Takata’s criminal negligence. They failed to warn customers and auto manufacturers about the dangers of their product. Many died and others were paralyzed as Takata airbags exploded in the faces of victims.
Most lawsuits do not involve this kind of criminal negligence. In fact, otherwise safe airbags can, in fact, malfunction causing injuries to victims. Various types of airbag injuries occur when an airbag:
- inflates too forcefully causing injuries to the face, next, and spine;
- fails to inflate sending your head into the steering column or dashboard;
- inflates randomly causing a car accident.
Who Is to Blame for My Airbag Injuries?
A plaintiff can name multiple parties in an airbag product liability injury lawsuit. This can include the manufacturer of the airbag, the automaker of your vehicle, or even another driver who caused the accident.
In addition, even if you are partially or entirely responsible for a car accident, you have right to collect damages if the airbag fails to deploy properly.
Obtaining Compensation for Airbag Injuries
In a product liability lawsuit such as an airbag injury case, you be able to receive the following damages:
- Past and future medical expenses related to the injury;
- Lost wages during your recovery;
- Future lost wages and lack of employability;
- Vocational training if you are forced to find a new line of work;
- Pain and suffering;
- Reduced quality of life;
- Loss of enjoyment;
- Loss of society;
- And loss of consortium.
In addition, family members can take action against any parties in the event that a loved one is killed as a result of a defective airbag.
What to Do After an Airbag-Related Injury
Airbag injuries are often the result of cheap or defective design. In other cases, airbags simply malfunction. Either way, the company that manufactured the airbag is to blame when it causes injuries.
In order to make your case in court, you will need to prove that the defective airbag was more likely than not the cause of your injuries. For that reason, you want to preserve the vehicle to the extent possible. This will be your primary source of evidence. Do not allow the car to be repaired until investigators have had a chance to look at the vehicle.
Talk to a Personal Injury Attorney Familiar With Airbag Injuries
If a defective airbag caused your injuries, then you may be able to receive compensation. At Russell & Lazarus, APC we have the experience you need to negotiate a settlement or take the case to trial if necessary. Give us a call and we can begin preparing your case right away.