Airbags and other safety mechanisms in a car are meant to protect you in the event of a collision. If you were in a car accident and your airbags didn’t deploy properly (or at all), you likely have a case. You might be able to seek legal action against the airbag manufacturer, the car manufacturer, or another party.
How Can I Identify and Prove Liability If My Airbags Didn’t Deploy During My Car Accident?
After the collision, you’ll need to determine which parties were at fault for both your accident and your injuries.
If another driver was negligent in your accident, they will be legally responsible for damages that result from the accident itself. You can likely seek damages as compensation for your accident-related injuries (Georgia Code § 51-12-4). However, if your airbags didn’t deploy and you suffered much more serious injuries—or additional injuries—because of that, the car or airbag manufacturer should be liable as well.
A car accident lawyer can look at your case and help identify which party or parties are liable for all of your damages. It often takes some research to figure out exactly how to file each claim. To get help with this right away, call John Foy & Associates for a FREE consultation at (404) 400-4000.
Proving Liability After Airbags Didn’t Deploy
To bring a case against a manufacturer for airbags that didn’t deploy correctly, you’ll need to prove the following:
- Your vehicle’s airbags should have deployed in the accident, but they didn’t.
- The airbags didn’t deploy because they were defective.
- As a result of the airbags not deploying, you suffered injuries.
- Your injuries from the airbags failing to deploy lead to damages.
A lawyer can help you examine each of these points and gather evidence to support them.
When Are Airbags Supposed to Deploy?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), frontal and side airbags are meant to deploy in moderate to severe crashes. They may sometimes deploy during minor crashes, but they are not designed to activate in all crashes.
Airbags are meant to work in combination with seat belts to protect you if a car accident happens. They are designed to reduce the chance of your head or upper body from colliding with the inside of your vehicle.
The deployment of an airbag during a collision depends on various factors like:
- How fast the vehicle was going before the crash
- The direction of impact
- Details of the other vehicles involved in the crash
- The location of crash sensors in the vehicle
- The design of your vehicle’s airbag systems
Since these details can vary so much from accident to accident, you and your lawyer will need to investigate. Airbags don’t deploy in any type of accident, so, as mentioned above, you’ll need to demonstrate that your airbags should have deployed in your crash but didn’t.
Common Reasons Airbags Don’t Deploy
Here are some common reasons for an airbag not deploying when it should.
Computer Activation Problems
When a vehicle is in a moderate to severe crash, it sends a signal from the airbag system’s electronic control unit that tells the airbag to inflate. An igniter in the system creates a harmless gas that fills up the airbag in less than 1/20th of a second.
Sometimes, electrical components can contain defects that prevent the airbag from getting the right signal and inflating.
Crash Sensors Are Defective
Defects in the sensors that detect a collision can also prevent the airbag from deploying. This might result from a design defect, poor calibration, or improper installation.
The Airbag Wasn’t Replaced After a Past Accident
Airbags should always be replaced after they have deployed during a crash. If that airbag was not replaced, it will obviously not activate during your current crash.
Other Failures in the Airbag Module
Any other defects or manufacturer issues may lead to problems with airbag deployment. If it’s not immediately clear why the airbag didn’t deploy, your lawyer will likely have a third party examine the vehicle for issues.
Airbags may also not deploy if:
- The vehicle has detected a child or small-stature person in the seat, which may cause the system to shut off
- The crash was moderate enough so the vehicle did not detect the need for an airbag in addition to a seatbelt
The car or airbag manufacturer may try to say conditions were not right for the airbag to deploy. You’ll need to show that they indeed should have deployed based on the details of your accident.
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How Can I Gather Evidence for My Car Accident Case?
To prove that the car or airbag manufacturer was negligent in your accident injuries, you will need to gather information to back up your claim. To show that an airbag should have deployed, your lawyer will likely turn to expert testimony from individuals like medical experts, engineers, or product designers.
Your lawyer might also go to the scene and all for a reconstruction of the accident to help show how severe it was and that the conditions should have produced an airbag deployment.
You can also help your case by:
- Taking pictures at the scene, inside of your car where the airbag should have gone off, and your injuries
- Getting the contact information of witnesses
- Keeping track of all expenses related to your injuries
- Making notes about everything you remember about the accident
Talk to a Georgia Car Accident Lawyer for Free Today
Calling a car accident lawyer is the best thing you can do after a car accident where your airbags didn’t deploy. At John Foy & Associates, we have been helping car accident victims with their cases for more than 20 years—and we can help you, too.
To discuss the details of your case for FREE and at no risk, call us today at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online. There is no risk to work with us because we don’t take a fee unless we win your case. To get started today, call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online now.