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Crosley Law Firm Represents Injured Victims of Defective Airbags Throughout Texas
Contact Crosley Law if You Have Been Injured by a Defective Airbag
When airbags fail to perform as intended, serious injuries or even death can result. If you have been injured or lost a loved one because of a defective airbag, please contact Crosley Law right away. Our product liability and personal injury lawyers can help you file a lawsuit against negligent drivers, manufacturers, and others who are responsible for your losses. To schedule a free consultation, complete our simple online form or call us at 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000.
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Below, you can learn more about defective airbags and the legal issues surrounding product liability cases.
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Airbags Can Save Lives, But They Also Carry Risks
The first car airbags were invented in the 1950s. Today, they’re still a work in progress when it comes to safety and reliability. When these devices work correctly, they can save lives and prevent serious injuries. In 2016 alone, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that airbags saved 2,756 lives.
But airbags are complex mechanisms that can fail. An airbag consists of a deflated airbag, multiple sensors, an electronic control unit, an initiator, chemical propellants, and other sensitive equipment. Sensors monitor your acceleration, deceleration, wheel speed, and other data to identify when you are in a serious collision. Then, a series of events triggers to inflate the airbag. A front airbag can deploy in less than 1/20th of a second. Side airbags can be even faster. But if something goes wrong with any component, the life-saving features of an airbag can become life-endangering risks.
Front airbags became standard on all U.S. passenger vehicles in the 1990s. Older airbags forcefully deployed in the same way for every passenger, regardless of their height and weight. This led to serious injuries for unbelted passengers, small-statured adults, and children. Newer airbags use sensors to analyze the driver and passenger’s stature and weight and take these factors into account before they deploy.
However, they can still cause serious injuries. The most common causes of airbag-related injuries include:
- Failed, late, or early deployment
- Forceful deployment
- Design and manufacturing defects
- Failure to wear a seatbelt
- Sitting too close to the steering wheel or dashboard
- Untethered airbags
- Incomplete or inadequate consumer warnings
- Lack of side airbags
- Failure to replace deployed airbags after a collision
Airbags can also pose a significant risk to children, especially when they inflate during a low-impact crash. Therefore, you should always seat children under the age of 13 in the back seat and follow Texas’ car seat and booster guidelines.
Common Injuries that Lead to Lawsuits for Defective Airbags
When an airbag fails to deploy or deploys incorrectly, people can suffer life-threatening and fatal injuries. However, due to the high cost of taking a defective airbag case to court, most of these cases are only pursued if the injuries are very serious. For example, the following types of injuries from defective airbags may qualify for a lawsuit:
- Eye injuries, including lens rupture, orbital fractures, and retinal detachment
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and concussions
- ￼Severe spine injuries resulting in paralysis
- Chest injuries, such as rib fractures, lung, and heart injuries that result in death
- Quadriplegia and paraplegia
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Ryan and Jamie's Story:
Ryan K., an actor living in New York City, had recently flown to San Antonio to visit his sister Jamie. The two had big plans, including an evening at the Botanical Gardens. In the early hours of the morning, those plans changed without warning.
Keep Your Family Safe From Defective Airbags With These Simple Tips
While the risk of airbag injuries is real, airbags also save many lives and can reduce the severity of a crash victim’s injuries. You should never deactivate an airbag system unless you have extenuating circumstances and help from a professional. However, you can protect yourself by following these recommendations:
- Always wear your seatbelt properly.
- Try to sit at least 10 inches from the front airbag cover, which is typically in your dashboard or steering wheel.
- Always secure infants and toddlers in the back seat in an age- and weight-appropriate car seat.
- Children under the age of 13 should always sit in the backseat and use an age- and weight-appropriate car seat or booster seat.
- Never allow children to ride while sitting on someone’s lap.
- Tilt your steering wheel toward your chest rather than toward your head or neck.
- Disable your passenger-side airbags if you must have a child or small-statured adult in the front passenger seat.
- Stay up to date on airbag recalls for your vehicle and follow the recall instructions.
If you or a loved one suffered an airbag injury, you also should consult an experienced product liability or injury lawyer as quickly as possible. In addition to your auto insurance claims, you might have claims against the manufacturers, retailers, and distributors of a defective or dangerous airbag.
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It’s also important that you keep the faulty airbag system. In a product liability claim, the defective airbag is vital evidence. Both legal teams’ expert witnesses will need to examine the system and analyze its condition. If you dispose of the airbag system, it will be incredibly difficult to win your claim or recover a fair settlement.
Takata Airbag Recall Information: Millions of Vehicles Contained Dangerous Airbags
The Takata airbag recall affects millions of vehicles in the United States. Experts determined that defective Takata airbags can shoot metal fragments throughout the vehicle when they deploy. These fragments can cause life-threatening and disfiguring injuries.
So far, experts estimate that defective Takata airbags are in as many as 34 million vehicles in the United States, plus at least another 7 million worldwide. The Takata airbag recall involved most major car manufacturers.
To see if your vehicle is involved, you can review the Takata airbag recall list on the NHTSA’s website or search your vehicle’s specific vehicle identification number (VIN). If you suffered injuries due to a recalled Takata airbag, contact Crosley Law immediately.
Crosley Law: We Fight for Airbag and Car Crash Victims Throughout Texas
If you or someone you know owns or operates a recalled vehicle or suffered injuries due to a defective airbag, please contact Crosley Law. Our product liability and injury lawyers aggressively pursue claims against negligent drivers, manufacturers, retailers, distributors, and other parties. To schedule a free consultation, either complete our simple online form or call us at 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (n.d.). Air bags. NHTSA. Retrieved from https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/air-bags
Wallis, L.A., Greaves, I. (2002, November 1). Injuries associated with airbag deployment. Emergency Medicine Journal. Retrieved from http://emj.bmj.com/content/19/6/490
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.