This post is based on a new client call I got this week. My client asked if we could file a defective airbag case because his airbag did not deploy when he was involved in a car accident in South Carolina. This is not the first time I have been asked this question, so I can bet there are others out there who are wondering the same thing. This is what I can tell you about airbag cases.
As an attorney, the question I ask is “Does the client or potential client have an airbag case that could result in a recovery that is more than the expense of pursuing and proving the case?” In other words, will the costs of proving the case be higher than the recovery? The answer is… it DEPENDS…
Here are four factors that are considered in 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 or life threatening?
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If we determine the airbag should have deployed, but did not because it was defective, the case is worth pursuing if the injuries are catastrophic in nature. The reason not every valid airbag claim should be pursued is because airbag litigation is very expensive. If there are only bumps, bruises, sore muscles, strains, an airbag case would cost far more money to prove than the client would recover from a settlement or verdict in the airbag case.
Serious consideration should be given to filing a defective airbag case if the airbag defect resulted in serious injuries, permanent disability or life threatening injuries. Otherwise, a South Carolina defective airbag case probably will not result in a large enough recovery for the client to cover the cost of proving the case.