California Airbag Failure Lawyers
If you live in California and have suffered an injury from airbag failure you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the Calfornia Airbag Failure Attorneys of Bisnar Chase for a comprehensive evaluation. Call 800-561-4887 to learn more with a free evaluation.
In the event of an accident, airbags in vehicles can play a significant role in reducing the severity of the traumatic injuries suffered by occupants. However, defective airbags can result in more harm than good. For example, when an airbag fails to deploy, the vehicle's occupants may suffer catastrophic injuries or even fatalities.
In another scenario, when an airbag deploys suddenly or inadvertently, a serious injury collision could occur. Anyone who has been injured as a result of a defective airbag would be well advised to understand his or her legal rights and options and contact an Auto Defect Lawyer as soon as possible.
Statistics Relating to Airbags
Airbags are supplemental restraints designed to work with safety belts. Since model year 1998, all new cars sold in the United States have been required to have an airbag each on the driver and passenger side.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), front air bags have saved the lives of 25,782 people between 1987 and 2008. Statistical analyses by NHTSA show that the combination of seatbelt use and airbags is highly effective, reducing fatality risk by 61 percent compared to an unbelted occupant of a vehicle that is not equipped with airbags.
How Airbags Work
Airbags play a vital role in preventing head injuries. The concept of airbags is simple - striking your head against an air-filled pillow is far safer than striking the interior of a vehicle. When there is a collision at about 15 mph, the sensor tells the bag to inflate.
The bag, made of nylon fabric, inflates with nitrogen gas before the front seat occupant can make contact with the steering wheel or dashboard. Airbags can inflate within 1/20th of a second.
However, it is important to realize that the explosive force with which airbags deploy can also cause injuries. Airbags are not necessarily soft pillows that comfortably cushion you during a crash. Rapid inflation is necessary for the deployment of airbags, but it can also result in serious injuries.
What Makes an Airbag Defective?
Even a properly working airbag can cause serious or even fatal injuries if the occupant is a child or a small adult who is sitting too close to the airbag at the time of deployment. Some airbags, however, can cause devastating injuries even when the occupant is a safe distance from the steering wheel or dashboard. Defective airbags may cause:
- Airbag deployment failure: Airbags are an important part of a vehicle's restraint system. When an airbag fails to deploy, the occupant could suffer preventable traumatic injuries.
- Unnecessary deployment: Airbags are not meant to deploy during minor collisions. If they suddenly deploy when they are not needed, they can actually cause harm instead of preventing injuries.
- Oversized airbags: When an airbag inflates too much, it can violently strike an occupant, causing blunt force head trauma.
- Untethered airbags: The position and movement of the airbag will alter its effectiveness.
- Under-inflated airbags: When an airbag is improperly designed or assembled, it may not inflate correctly. An underinflated airbag could fail to prevent the occupant from striking the interior of the car.
- Incorrect positioning: Airbags deflate at an extremely fast rate. When an airbag inflates toward an occupant instead of upward, it can cause severe trauma.
If you or a loved one has experienced an injury or property damage due to a defective airbag, contact an Airbag Failure Attorney at Bisnar Chase and see if your case qualifies for maximum compensation.
The Largest and Most Complex Safety Recall in U.S. History
When an airbag is defective, the auto manufacturer may issue a recall to fix the serious safety issue.
Vehicles made by 19 different automakers have been recalled to replace frontal airbags on the driver’s side or passenger’s side, or both in what NHTSA has called "the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history." The airbags, made by major parts supplier Takata, were mostly installed in cars from model year 2002 through 2015. Some of those airbags could deploy explosively, injuring or even killing car occupants. (Look for details below on waits for replacement airbags.)
At the heart of the problem is the airbag’s inflator, a metal cartridge loaded with propellant wafers, which in some cases has ignited with explosive force. If the inflator housing ruptures in a crash, metal shards from the airbag can be sprayed throughout the passenger cabin—a potentially disastrous outcome from a supposedly life-saving device.
NHTSA has determined the root cause of the problem: airbags that use ammonium nitrate-based propellent without a chemical drying agent. As postulated early on, environmental moisture, high temperatures, and age as associated with the defect that can improperly inflate the airbags and even send shrapnel into the occupant. To date, there have been 11 deaths and approximately 180 injuries due to this problem in the U.S.
Through various announcements, the recall has tripled in size over the past year. It is expected that the inflator recall will impact more than 42 million vehicles in the U.S., with the total number of airbags being between 65 and 70 million.
Protecting Your Rights
If you have suffered an injury as the result of a faulty airbag, you may be able to seek compensation by filing a airbag failure liability claim against the automaker and/or the manufacturer of the defective airbag. Make sure you preserve the vehicle and the airbag. Do not make any repairs without having a qualified expert conduct a thorough inspection. It is also highly advisable to seek medical attention right away. This will not only help create a medical record and documentation of your injuries, but will also maximize your chances for a complete recovery.
A successful claim against an auto manufacturer could result in financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, the cost of rehabilitation services and other related damages. Our skilled Airbag Failure Lawyers understand what it takes to win your case.
Keeping Children Safe
Airbags exist to help save lives. Hitting an airbag in the event of a car accident is usually better than hitting the dashboard, windshield or other hard and potentially dangerous surface.
In the event of a car accident, an airbag inflates within 1/20th of a second to try and make sure you reach the airbag before you experience impact with another hard surface. In order to do so, an airbag packs quite a strong punch, which can actually leave some individuals injured or dead.
Newborns, infants, toddlers and young children should never sit in the front seat because of the extreme risk of airbag injuring them severely or catastrophically. Make sure to face the car seat looking towards the rear of the vehicle, in the rear seat.
Making the Right Choice for Auto Defect Legal Representation
The experienced California Airbag Failure Lawyers at Bisnar Chase have obtained successful verdicts and settlements in similar cases on behalf of injured victims and their families. We know what it takes to fight against large automakers whose negligence causes these types of catastrophic product failures. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a defective auto, please contact us at 800-561-4887 for a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.