Airbag Defects Lawyer in California
Airbags are a tremendously helpful and necessary safety feature, but faulty ones may actually be worse than nothing.
If you’ve suffered from a car accident and suspect that a faulty airbag either contributed to or exasperated your injuries, then you may be entitled to compensation!
An experienced auto accident attorney that handles product liability cases can determine whether the airbag caused or increased your injuries. Depending on the outcome, you may be able to obtain compensation for your pain and suffering along with repayment for medical bills, lost wages, and more. To find out if you have a case, contact Johnson Attorneys Group for a free case review at 800-208-3538.
How Airbags Work in Accidents
It’s important to understand the basics of airbags and how they work during an accident. By knowing what they should do, you’ll know when something goes wrong. In a well-functioning vehicle, airbags will be automatically deployed during a collision.
Your car knows when to deploy airbags due to:
- Sensors: Modern vehicles are equipped with multiple sensors and backup sensors that detect when a car reaches unnatural deceleration. If any of the sensors are malfunctioning or the car has fewer than necessary, then airbags may not be
- Airbag Control Units: The Airbag Control Unit (ACU) receives all of the signals from the sensors in the car. During a crash, the sensors will send signals to the ACU which then activates the airbags. Some modern vehicles contain a Smart Airbag system that analyzes things such as passenger weight and seat positioning. Depending on these factors, the airbag may then be deployed more or less forcefully.
Once the ACU decides to activate the airbags, these following actions will occur:
- Inflation: Airbags are deployed at an incredible speed, and it happens due to an initial ignition. An electronic match will heat up within milliseconds, which then causes a solid propellant to expand and inflate the
- Deflation: Airbags are designed with special holes in the back so that they do not explode upon inflation or become too solid and dangerous themselves. After a collision, they will naturally and slowly
Common Airbag Defects
Airbags are designed to deploy at a specific time and with adequate force during an accident to protect the occupants. While most airbags are successful, there are many instances where they are either too forceful, not forceful enough, failed to deploy or deployed at the wrong moment. Here are some of the most common problems associated with airbags:
- Deployment Failure: Most cars feature front and side airbags that simultaneously deploy during a collision. If a failure should occur with any of the airbags, the occupant may suffer severe injuries by not being protected on all sides. This can include hitting the steering wheel, window, door, or whiplash by being pushed forcefully to one side by the airbag. This can happen due to a faulty sensor, factory defect, and several other
- Late Deployment: Should an airbag be deployed too late after a collision, the occupant may suffer severely by impacting the steering wheel, window, or other surfaces. If an occupant contacts the steering wheel or dashboard during a collision, this may be a sign that airbag deployed later than
- Overpowering Deployment: Sometimes an airbag may deploy too forcefully which can cause further injuries in a collision. This may be a manufacturing defect, or it may be due to the car’s age.
- Random Deployment: While rare, an airbag may be deployed for no reason at all. This can occur due to faulty sensors or other factors. Depending on the force and whether the occupant was driving or not, these acts of random deployment could lead to serious
When a manufacturer detects a problem with their vehicle’s airbags, they will often issue a recall if they suspect the problem is widespread. Here are some of the most recent major recalls:
- General Motors recalled over a million cars due to a problematic ignition switch. This defect lead to some airbags turning off which may have resulted in injuries and
- Takata issued a massive recall affecting more than 42 million vehicles equipped with these defective airbags and their igniters. They are known to explode and could potentially send sharp shrapnel towards the car’s occupants. This defect has led to at least 180 injuries and 11 fatalities in the United States.
It’s important to regularly check for updates on your vehicle to see if any recalls have been issued. The website safercar.gov provides current information about recalls and major factory defects. If your car has been recalled, it’s crucial that you find an immediate replacement and speak with an experienced attorney. An attorney may assist you in bringing the company to justice and by helping you recoup lost time and money due to the recall.
Contact a Trusted Personal Injury Attorney for Your Defective Airbag Lawsuit
If you or a loved one were affected by faulty airbags, you are urged to speak with a respected personal injury attorney in California who can fight on your behalf. We all expect safety equipment to save us, but when things go wrong, you deserve compensation for your time and troubles.
With our team of experienced product liability attorneys, we will work with you to determine whether faulty airbags played a role in your or your loved one’s injuries. We will discover the cause of the problem and whether it caused or exasperated your injuries. If the airbags were faulty, you may be entitled to compensation for your time, injuries, and monetary losses during this unpleasant ordeal. You deserve a chance to reclaim what was lost during the accident, and we will help you every step of the way. Contact Johnson Attorney Group at one of our many California law offices today to learn how we can help.