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Shelly Leeke Law Firm, LLC

Do I Have A Defective Airbag Case?


Several factors must be considered when determining whether a defective airbag lawsuit should be pursued.

Here are four considerations in evaluating a defective airbag case:


1.    Should the airbag have deployed in the crash?
2.    Why didn't the airbag deploy?
3.    Could the injuries have been lessened or avoided altogether if the airbag had worked?
4.    Are the injuries caused by the defective airbag serious enough or life threatening enough to be worth   the cost of pursuing a defective airbag lawsuit?


1.    Should the airbag have deployed in the crash?
Defective Airbag Accident
Before even considering filing a product liability lawsuit for a defective airbag, we must look at the facts and circumstances surrounding the crash and determine if there was an airbag malfunction. In other words, should the airbag have deployed in the car accident? Many times, an investigator may be used to gather the evidence to make this determination. One important factor is the speed the vehicle was traveling at the time of the impact. Airbags have a threshold speed, usually around 14 mph, and will not deploy unless the vehicle was traveling at or beyond the threshold speed. The type of impact is another important factor. Frontal airbags are designed to deploy in frontal impact crashes. If the impact was to the front of the vehicle, the airbag is designed to deploy if the vehicle was traveling at the threshold speed. But, if the crash was caused by a rear end impact, the airbag may not have deployed because the airbag was not designed to deploy in that type of accident. Many vehicles now come equipped with side airbags, so an analysis of where airbags are located in the vehicle and the type of crash that occurred (rear end collision, t-bone, head-on collision, etc.) may be necessary to determine whether or not properly functioning airbags would have deployed in the car accident.

2.    Why didn't the airbag deploy?

If the airbag should have deployed, but did not deploy, it is necessary to be able to prove a defect in the airbag prevented it from working properly. To prove the airbag was defective, experts must give expert engineering testimony to explain why the airbag was defective. Obtaining the best experts to give testimony in order to prove an airbag defect case is very expensive. This expense only makes sense if the person was severely injured because the airbag did not work.

3.    Could the injuries have been lessened or avoided altogether if the airbag had worked?

Could the injuries or death have been avoided if the airbag had worked properly? To prove that the person was injured because of the defective airbag, medical experts must be obtained to provide testimony that the person's injuries or death could have been avoided if the airbag had worked properly.

4.    Are the injuries caused by the defective airbag serious enough or life threatening enough to be worth   the cost of pursuing a defective airbag lawsuit?

As you can see, airbag cases are complex, and costly to pursue. That is why even if you have a valid defective airbag claim, it still may not be in your best interest to pursue a defective airbag lawsuit. By this I mean, unless the injuries and damages the person suffered because of the defective airbag are extensive and very serious in nature, the cost of litigating and proving the airbag case could be more than what you would recover from a settlement or jury verdict. It just does not make sense to file a defective airbag lawsuit unless there is a good chance of recovering more for the client than the costs of proving the case.  However, if the person's injuries are very serious or if the person was killed in the accident, a defective airbag case should be considered.  Broken bones, head trauma, brain injury, surgery, life-threatening injuries, and many other debilitating injuries are examples of injuries that are serious or catastrophic enough to result in a settlement or verdict that would warrant the cost of pursuing an airbag case.


 

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