The average settlement for airbags not deploying in a car accident differs according to various circumstances. The following are major factors in determining the amount of damages you could claim in a settlement:
- The severity of your injuries
- The nature of the crash
- The causes of the accident
- The extent of the airbag failure all
For instance, if you suffer injuries that require six months of intensive rehabilitation or cause permanent harm, such as paralysis, your settlement may be greater than that of someone who suffers only a broken wrist in a crash.
You May Have a Product Liability Claim for a Faulty Airbag
In a typical car accident in which the other driver is at fault and you suffered injuries, you have a right to file a claim with their insurance company for your damages. If you cannot reach an acceptable settlement amount, you have the right to sue that driver for negligence in causing your injuries.
However, if faulty airbags contributed to the severity of your injuries, you may also have a claim against the designer, manufacturer, or distributor of the airbags. These are product liability claims, which are a type of personal injury case, though different state laws govern them.
Likewise, if the sole cause of your injuries was due to the airbag malfunction, you may have a product liability claim. For example, if you run off the road and hit a tree with your car, you can reasonably expect the airbag to deploy. If the airbag fails, your resulting injuries may be much more severe.
Faulty Airbags Can Lead to More Serious Injuries in a Car Accident
Airbags can fail in various ways. For example, they might deploy too late or too soon. They may even fail to deploy altogether in a car accident. Airbags that deploy at the wrong time and those that fail to deploy at all can lead to more severe injuries than you otherwise would have suffered in a car accident.
When this happens, you may be able to take legal action against more than just an at-fault driver who caused your collision. Our team can review the evidence and build a case to prove the malfunction occurred.
Proving Product Liability Claims in Airbag Malfunction Cases
If a vehicle’s airbags failed though they were used as intended, they likely qualify as an unreasonably dangerous product. In this case, you may have a product liability claim against various parties involved in the development and production of the airbags. The parties that are liable for a failed airbag deployment will differ according to the type of defect that led to the malfunction.
For instance, under Louisiana Revised Statutes (RS) §9:2800.55, a product is unreasonably dangerous in construction if its production deviates from the manufacturer’s standards. However, a product could also be unreasonably dangerous in its design under RS §9:2800.56.
Damages You May Recover in a Car Accident Involving an Airbag Malfunction
If another driver was responsible for the crash, you may be able to secure some damages from them. Meanwhile, compensation for an airbag malfunction will require a separate case. Damages that you may be able to recover through a settlement or jury award can include:
- Medical expenses to treat your injuries
- Lost income from being off work
- Pain and suffering due to your injuries
- Emotional trauma resulting from the accident
Possible damages may also include items that are specific to your injuries, such as home health care, medical assistive devices, and modifications to vehicles and residences to accommodate permanent impairments.
Again, the ultimate settlement amount depends on the severity and extent of the injuries that you suffer from the accident. A car crash that leads to your catastrophic injuries will likely result in a larger settlement than one that causes you only minor and temporary injuries.
Get Started Immediately Before Time Runs Out to File Your Claim
Although the average settlement for airbags not deploying can differ substantially, you should take quick action to get information about your legal rights when you are in this type of situation. You have a limited time to get legal help and file a lawsuit to recover compensation for your injuries. Failure to meet the deadline in your case can result in you losing out on a settlement award altogether.
Contact Our Attorneys for Help with Your Case Today
Call the offices of Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers for a free consultation about your case. You may be entitled to damages when an airbag malfunction causes or worsens your injuries in a car accident. We can handle your claims for you, whether against a negligent driver, manufacturer, or both.