In the past, most car drivers relied on seat belts to offer them some protection in case of an auto accident. But in the1970s, car manufactures began the development of airbag technology. In the 1980s, most car manufacturers offered airbags. And in 1984 the federal government made airbags mandatory for all cars built after April 1, 1989.
When airbags work they can save lives and help prevent serious injuries. Cars offer frontal airbags designed to protect drivers and passengers from hitting the dashboard, windshields and the seats in front of them. There are also side airbags that are meant to protect car occupants from hitting the side frames.
The Problems with Car Airbags
- Failure to deploy. But airbags that don’t work, don’t save lives and don’t prevent injuries. Airbags need to deploy properly. Defective airbags have occurred, even in some of the best designed cars. The deployment of an airbag depends on sensors, computer algorithms, physical factors such as car de-acceleration and chemical factors such as the temperature of the car. These factors are supposed to determine when the airbag deploys. If these factors use improper calculations, injuries and death can occur.
- Sometimes an airbag deploys when it’s not supposed to. This can cause injury and even death, especially when a child is hit by the airbag. The US NHTSA found there were 175 fatalities caused by airbags between 1990 and 2000. Over 100 fatalities involved children.
- Little protection in some accidents. Airbags also offer little protection in rear-end collisions and when the vehicle rolls over. They also offer little protection in sideswipes or head-to-side collisions.
Who’s Responsible for Airbag Injuries?
The primary target for airbag injuries (injuries because the airbag didn’t deploy or deployed improperly) is the manufacturer of the car. The manufacturer is in the best position to design the airbag, test the airbag, install the airbag and to respond to complaints about the airbag.
Other possible targets are the seller of the car and anyone who inspected or repaired the airbag. Sellers are responsible when they put a car into a consumer’s hands. They will usually put the blame on the manufacturer, but the seller is also a likely defendant. Inspectors should test the airbag. If their tests are faulty, they can be liable. Repair people already know the airbag has a problem. They need to be held accountable if their repairs are faulty.
How our law firm can help?
If anyone you know has been hurt in a car accident because the air bags didn’t work or for any other reason, our law firm can help you get the recovery you deserve. During this difficult time we will help you receive the maximum compensation allowed by law and we will assist you through every step of the case. Our team of lawyers works with medical professionals, valuation experts, technical experts and other lawyers. We bring wrongful death claims in Tampa and throughout Florida. If you or a loved one suffered an injury or a death please call us at 1-888-WE-MEAN-IT (1-888-936-3264) or email us at: [email protected].