Airbags are a crucial component of vehicle safety, designed to protect drivers and passengers in the event of a collision. They rapidly inflate upon impact, providing a cushion to reduce the risk of severe injuries or fatalities during accidents.
Unfortunately, airbags don’t always work as they should. Airbag malfunctions can pose severe risks to vehicle occupants. These malfunctions may include late deployment, overinflation, or failure to deploy altogether. Such issues can lead to injuries ranging from minor cuts and bruises to more severe injuries like head trauma, broken bones, or internal injuries.
If you or a loved one have suffered injuries due to a faulty airbag, you may have the right to seek legal action. This legal recourse can help you pursue compensation for the damages you've experienced because of the defective airbag.
Filing defective product cases, such as those related to airbag malfunctions, can be complex. Engaging the services of a knowledgeable attorney is a wise step to navigate the legal intricacies and protect your rights.
If you're a victim in Kansas City, Bertram & Graf, L.L.C. is here to help. Call us at (888) 398-2277 to discuss your case or schedule an appointment. Alternatively, you can conveniently fill out an online contact form to get in touch with our experienced team and explore your legal options.
Understanding Airbag Malfunctions: Types, Causes, and Consequences
Airbags are pivotal in mitigating the impact of accidents and protecting lives. However, the efficacy of these safety devices can be compromised when airbag malfunctions occur.
In this section, we will delve into the intricacies of airbag malfunctions, exploring the various types, their underlying causes, and the common injuries that can result. Understanding these aspects is vital for anyone who has experienced the unexpected failure of an airbag, as it provides valuable insights into the legal recourse available and the potential consequences of such malfunctions.
Types of Airbag Malfunctions and Their Causes
Airbag defects are not limited to a single issue; they can manifest in several ways, each with its own set of causes.
Here, we will examine some of these malfunction types and uncover their underlying causes:
- Late deployment: In some instances, airbags may deploy later than they should or not fully inflate. This fault can be attributed to issues with the sensors that trigger airbag deployment or problems with the inflation system. Common culprits are manufacturing defects, sensor failures, or airbag deployment mechanism damage.
- Overinflation: Overinflated airbags can pose risks of their own, potentially causing injuries instead of preventing them. This problem can occur due to a malfunction in the inflation system, often linked to sensor errors or manufacturing defects.
- Non-deployment: One of the most concerning malfunctions is when airbags fail to deploy during a collision. This defect can result from sensor failures, electrical problems, or software glitches in the vehicle's safety system. In such cases, occupants are left without the expected protection, increasing the risk of severe injury.
Common Injuries Due to Defective Airbags
Airbag malfunctions can have significant consequences for vehicle occupants. Understanding these common injuries is crucial for individuals who have experienced airbag failures.
Here, we shed light on the potential injuries associated with airbag malfunctions:
- Lacerations: When airbags deploy late or improperly, sharp components, such as plastic covers or fragments, can cause lacerations to the face, arms, or hands of the driver or passengers.
- Contusions: The force of a deploying airbag can lead to contusions or bruises on the body, particularly on the chest, face, or upper body, where the airbag makes contact.
- Head injuries: In cases of overinflation or improper deployment, airbags can cause head injuries, such as concussions or traumatic brain injuries. These injuries may occur when the airbag forcefully strikes the head.
- Broken bones: The sudden and forceful inflation of airbags can result in broken bones, particularly in the hands, arms, or wrists, as occupants instinctively shield themselves during deployment.
- Internal injuries: Airbag malfunctions can also lead to more severe internal injuries, such as rib fractures, lung injuries, or abdominal trauma. These injuries may not be immediately apparent but can have lasting consequences.
Legal Implications of Faulty Airbags
Individuals who have suffered severe or catastrophic injuries due to airbag malfunctions may be entitled to seek compensation. This compensation can cover various expenses and losses related to the accident, including medical bills, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Product liability laws are a crucial element in airbag malfunction cases. These laws hold manufacturers, suppliers, and even vehicle owners accountable for defects in products like airbags.
Determining liability is a complex process. It involves evaluating the responsibilities of both manufacturers and suppliers in ensuring the safety of vehicle occupants.
Below, we'll provide insight into how this liability is established:
- Manufacturers’ responsibility: Manufacturers play a fundamental role in the production of airbags. They are responsible for ensuring that these safety devices meet the required standards and function as intended. With airbag malfunctions, identifying manufacturing defects, design flaws, or substandard materials is a component of establishing liability.
- Suppliers’ role: Suppliers who provide components or materials for airbag production also bear a share of the responsibility. If the malfunction can be traced back to subpar materials or components supplied to the manufacturer, suppliers can be held liable for their contribution to the defective product.
Legal professionals work diligently to investigate the entire chain of responsibility, from the initial design and manufacturing stages to the final product installation. This comprehensive approach helps identify and hold accountable parties who contributed to the malfunction.
Hiring an Attorney for Your Case
Personal injury attorneys are essential allies for those who have suffered due to airbag malfunctions. They are critical in navigating the legal complexities of such cases.
Attorneys thoroughly investigate the incident, collect evidence, and identify responsible parties, including manufacturers and suppliers. They provide legal counsel to help victims understand their rights and options for pursuing compensation. Lawyers are skilled negotiators who can engage with responsible parties to secure fair settlements. In cases where a settlement is not reached, an attorney can take the case to court to seek justice.
If you seek legal representation in Kansas City, please schedule a consultation with Bertram & Graf, L.L.C. by contacting us at (888) 398-2277.