Can you sue for airbags not deploying?
In short, the answer always depends on the individual facts of the case. Generally, an airbag deployment failure is conditioned on a collision. The airbag has nothing to do with the collision; the airbag in your vehicle doesn’t run a stop light or drive the wrong way on a one-way street or get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol. The airbag’s purpose is to offer an additional level of protection to the vehicle’s occupants in the event a collision occurs. When evaluating a client’s injuries, a lawyer, like a car accident lawyer Delray Beach FL trusts, will have his team go step by step through each event in the collision and will conduct a detailed review of the medical treatment records, obtaining opinions as necessary, as to the client’s injuries and will form an opinion and argument as to role the airbag played – or in this case failed to play.
We know today that certain airbags produced by a certain manufacturer did not have the capacity to meet the intended and advertised purpose and that particular manufacturer is today bankrupt and the vehicles equipped with those airbags have been recalled. People who have suffered damages from that company insofar as they have been inconvenienced, have reduced vehicle value, etc., are treated differently and are in a different class from those who have suffered injuries or the family members of those in fatality incidents. Unfortunately, once a company is bankrupt, the pool of money for any person to dip from becomes more and more shallow.
But, a positive impact for injury victims is that this well-known bankruptcy has effectively put the auto manufacturers and dealerships on notice and may increase the level of responsibility that a jury is willing to assign to each of them. Factors related to these parties include whether the manufacturers took steps to ensure each vehicle has been serviced. Another consideration is whether the recall work had already been performed prior to the collision. If the work had been done, and there is still a failure to deploy, an attorney may look to the dealership that did the work. Simply complying with providing the recall work is unlikely to be an effective defense if the dealership’s work was done in a shoddy manner. Of if the replacement parts provided in the recall aren’t any better than the ones being replaced. Another factor to look at is whether the vehicle was purchased from a used car lot and if so, whether that company complied with the recall prior to resale of the vehicle.
So, yes, you can file a lawsuit if your airbags do not deploy and injuries or death are suffered as a result. But, it is important to look beyond the manufacturer of the airbags and to remember that there are a number of factors, companies and individuals involved in each personal injury or wrongful death suit and because each matter is unique, the proper parties to file suit against have to be determined on a case by case basis.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Eric A. Luckman, P.A. for their insight into car accident cases.