Q: If I’m injured by a defective vehicle airbag, can I sue for compensation?
Yes, you have the right to pursue compensation when you’re injured by defective consumer products, including airbags.
Airbags are designed to protect vehicle occupants by inflating a device that cushions them from the impact of a collision. Unfortunately, the process of airbag inflation can itself lead to injury.
The failure of an airbag to deploy during a collision can also cause devastating injuries.
Vehicle passengers are sometimes injured when an airbag deploys accidentally, releases with excessive force, or fails to deploy during a collision. Some of the most common airbag defects include:
- Overpowered airbags. The rate at which an airbag deploys can determine whether or not a vehicle occupant is injured. Manufacturers sometimes equip airbags with an excessive amount of propellant. These overpowered airbags can deploy at a speed in excess of 200 mph, intruding far enough into the passenger compartment to cause serious injuries.
- Oversized airbags. If airbags are too large for the passenger compartment of the vehicle, they can deploy further into the occupant space than they should, causing injuries.
- Untethered airbags. Airbags typically have cloth strips, or tethers, sewn into them to prevent over-inflation. If these tethers are missing, the airbags may extend too far into the passenger cabin, injuring occupants.
- Unnecessary deployment. Airbags aren’t needed in a low-speed fender bender. If their deployment threshold is set too low, they may inflate unnecessarily, injuring passengers.
- Sensor malfunctions. Airbags use sensors to detect a collision. Defective sensors can cause airbags to inflate when they shouldn’t, or fail to inflate when they should. If the sensors don’t operate properly, the resulting injuries can be severe.
Product liability laws protect consumers injured by defective products. If you’ve been hurt due to a defective airbag, a skilled personal injury attorney can help you recover fair compensation. To learn more, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by clicking the Live Chat button on this page.