Car accidents happen every day all across the country. Some are fender benders with no injuries, while others can be catastrophic. If you’ve ever been in a car accident, you know that it’s no fun, and there can be all kinds of consequences from it.
Today we’re going to talk about airbag failure, which happens surprisingly often. Ideally, the airbag deploys when your car hits another vehicle or object. It keeps you safe or limits the damage you sustain.
When an airbag doesn’t deploy, you might decide that you want to try to sue the manufacturer. If you do that, there are a few things you should consider.
Airbags Work More than They Don’t
While your airbag might not have worked, that doesn’t by any means signal a trend. The NHTSA says that between 1987 and 2017, these devices saved over 50,000 lives. This means that:
- It’s better to have them installed than not to have them
- They’ve become standard in almost one hundred percent of vehicles
Just because your airbag didn’t work or it injured you, you’re not going to convince the auto industry to get rid of these devices. If you’re about to embark on a crusade to try and do away with them for good, you can forget about that idea.
There Are Multiple Reasons Why an Airbag Might Not Deploy
There is also no uniformity when looking at why an airbag doesn’t deploy. Some reasons might be:
- You didn’t put in a new one after a prior collision
- That airbag had a defective module
- Damaged electrical components or wiring
- The crash sensor didn’t work
The point is that you’ll need to figure out why the airbag didn’t deploy before you can decide whether to try and hold the manufacturer or car company responsible. If you didn’t replace the airbag after a previous crash, then that’s your negligence, and there’s not really anyone you can sue.
On the other hand, with a defective airbag, you have every reason to think that you can win a lawsuit against the manufacturer. However, you must prove that assertion, which might be challenging.
You’ll Need to Hire a Knowledgeable Lawyer
If you feel like moving forward with a lawsuit against the car company, airbag manufacturer, or both, you’ll almost certainly need to hire a good lawyer. Ideally, you want someone on your side who has been part of a lawsuit like this before.
The best lawyer for you will be one who you get along with and who seems sympathetic to your plight. If you are in a neck brace or a wheelchair because of the accident, you don’t want a lawyer who’s dismissive of what happened to you. You want someone competent, but also empathetic.
Look at online lawyer or law firm reviews before you reach out to any likely candidates. You want to check out what previous clients have to say.
Also, trust your first impression when you meet the lawyer. If their office is a mess and they’re in a bad part of town, then they might not be the right choice to trust with something this vital.
This Will Take Up a Lot of Your Time
Lawsuits can take up quite a bit of time and energy, so be ready for that as well. It’s not usually a simple matter of appearing in court for half an hour and then getting a settlement.
The airbag manufacturer is probably going to fight tooth and nail, so they don’t have to pay you. They can afford high-end defense lawyers who will give you a real battle. The only way they’ll relent is if they can see that you have an open-and-shut case.
If that happens, they might try to settle out of court to avoid any more bad press. They don’t want people to think that all their airbags are defective. They’ll probably want to enforce the notion that this is an isolated incident.
You Might Consider Being Part of a Class Action Lawsuit
If you do want to move forward with this type of suit, then one of the first things you and your lawyer should do is figure out whether there is a class action lawsuit going on against the airbag company. If so, then you might want to be a part of it.
In some ways, class action lawsuits simplify things. All the participant’s lawyers will get together and hash out a strategy that they’re going to use. It might be to your advantage having all of those legal minds on your side.
If you’re the only one that has had a problem with this airbag company, then you’ll be stuck taking them on yourself.
You Might Have to Bring Multiple Lawsuits
Earlier, we mentioned how you might blame the airbag company for what happened, or the car manufacturer that installed the airbag. Maybe you can blame one of these entities, but not both.
In fact, you might decide that you can’t blame either one. Perhaps you got the car used, and the used car lot lied when they said they inspected the vehicle and knew the airbag was in good working order. If so, then you can try to hold them responsible.
Maybe you recently got the car inspected, and it passed. The mechanic did a sloppy job, and that’s why they missed that there was something wrong with the airbag. You might have better luck suing them instead.
If you and your lawyer feel like there are multiple guilty parties, then you might go after all of them. That means more than one lawsuit. If you’re sure that it’s worth it, you can go this route, but it will be a major headache. If a defective airbag hurts you, then you should seek compensation. You’ll probably have medical bills to pay, and you might miss work while you recover, so you’re going to need the money that’s on the line.