Defective and Missing Airbags Cause Serious Injuries


May 11, 2011

The majority of the time airbags operate effectively and safely. Airbags have saved almost 25,000 lives since 1970, but according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) between 1990 and 2007 airbags that malfunctioned accounted for the deaths of 284 people.

Those 284 deaths include 180 children. Airbags may not only be defective but sometimes are not installed at all. If a person suffers serious injuries or wrongful death in an Atlanta car accident resulting from a missing or defective airbag, the Atlanta auto accident victim may be entitled to compensation for his or her injuries. This compensation may include medical expenses, lost wages, impaired earning ability, compensation for pain and suffering, and other types of damages. If someone is killed by a defective airbag or an airbag that is missing entirely, the family can often sue for wrongful death.

When faced with this situation it is best to contact an experienced personal injury attorney or a wrongful death attorney who can help evaluate your specific situation and determine your legal rights. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have been representing Atlanta residents injured or killed in serious Georgia car accidents for more than a quarter of a century. Our experienced auto accident law firm is committed to aggressively pursuing the best interests of our clients. Montlick and Associates is dedicated to providing exemplary legal services as part of our ongoing objective of being the top Georgia auto accident law firm.

A victim that has been injured in a car accident due to the failure to install an airbag or a defective airbag may seek damages from the manufacturers of the vehicle based on product liability. If the airbag is not installed or does not properly deploy because of a design or manufacturing defect, the automaker may be strictly liable for the defect.

Airbags can malfunction in a number of different ways. They can deploy too forcefully, too late or they may not deploy at all. The reasons these scenarios happen can sometimes be due to defects in sensors, software, or outdated technology. Another airbag-related problem is the failure to install airbags.

Another claim that a victim can make in a defective airbag case is a "failure to warn" claim. A manufacturer of a product has the legal responsibility to ensure that its products are safe for the public. If there are risks that cannot be removed before the product goes to the market, then the manufacturer must provide adequate warnings advising consumers of the risk and how to avoid the risk.

A recent case in Washington involved a woman in her 60's who was struck by an airbag in a slow speed collision and her spinal cord was severed. She is now paralyzed and is a quadriplegic. She sued Mitsubishi, the maker of her car and prevailed. The lawsuit included claims for defective manufacturing, defective design and failure to provide an adequate warning under the Washington Product Liability Act.

The court ruled in the accident victim’s favor finding that the airbag and not the collision caused her injuries, which was the basis of the defective manufacturing claim. The design defect claim was also established because the court found that her airbags deployed unnecessarily, too forcefully and too late. Any person who is injured in a car accident due to a defective airbag needs to promptly speak with an experienced Georgia auto accident attorney about one’s options and potential litigation or claim strategies. It is important to do so without delay, so that key evidence can be preserved.

Defective airbag issues affect hundreds of thousands of vehicles manufactured by many of the largest auto manufacturers. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, our auto accident attorneys in Georgia understand that you need a law firm that will stand behind you and work hard to protect your rights if you or someone you love is seriously injured by an airbag in an auto accident. We are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia including, but not limited to, Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller and rural towns in the state. Call us today for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333), or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.