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 or lawsuit:
- The severity of your injuries
- The nature of the crash
- The cause of the accident
- The extent of the airbag failure
For instance, if you suffered injuries that required six months of intensive rehabilitation or caused permanent harm, such as paralysis, your settlement may be greater than that of someone who suffers only a broken wrist in a crash. As such, the average settlement amount matters less than the injuries you suffered and the proof you can collect to support your suit.
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 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.
For a free legal consultation, call (337) 777-7777
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 developing and producing 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 RS Art. 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 Art. 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 include:
- Medical expenses to treat your injuries
- Repair expenses to fix your car
- Lost income from being unable to work
- Pain and suffering due to your injuries
- Emotional trauma resulting from the accident
- Physical disability or brain damage
Possible damages may also include items specific to your injuries, such as home healthcare, 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 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.
Getting a Settlement Takes Patience and Hard Work
How can you determine what a fair settlement looks like in your case and recover that amount from the liable party or parties? A personal injury lawyer may be able to assist you. They can:
- Gather evidence: Your lawyer can seek proof of all aspects of your story, including who the liable parties are and how your injuries have impacted your life.
- Calculate your settlement: With your lawyer’s help, you can be sure that you are asking for a fair amount. You may also be better prepared to evaluate the insurance company’s settlement offers.
- Communicate with other involved parties: This includes the liable party or parties, their legal representatives, and the representatives from their insurance company. Your lawyer can notify them of your lawsuit, answer calls and emails from them, and meet to negotiate your settlement.
- Fight for a proper settlement: If the other party is hesitant to pay what you need, your lawyer can push until they agree to offer a fair amount. If necessary, your attorney can also represent you in the courtroom and seek a jury award.
- Help you through the process: Many people find the law confusing or intimidating. A lawyer can serve as your guide from start to finish.
Recovering from a car accident is more than enough to occupy your time and energy. Instead of adding a lawsuit to the list of things you must deal with, you can put your case in the hands of an attorney who will do everything possible to protect your interests.
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Can I Join a Class Action Lawsuit After Airbags Failed to Deploy?
If you were injured by a faulty or ineffective airbag, other people may have also suffered injuries from that same type and brand of airbag. When the same product injures multiple people, they may be able to join together to fight the designer, manufacturer, or distributor in what is called a class action lawsuit.
There are both advantages and disadvantages of joining a class action case. Advantages include:
- Lower legal expenses (since these costs would be spread out amongst all of the plaintiffs)
- Greater resources (since all of the lawyers involved could share what they know)
- A greater, united force to take on a large corporation that has plenty of money
If there are ongoing lawsuits against the party you are suing, your lawyer can determine if joining a class action is an option and, if so, if it would be beneficial to your case. Alternately, if you are the first to file suit against the party, other plaintiffs could end up joining you later.
Get Started Immediately Before Time Runs Out to File Your Claim
Although the average settlement for airbags not deploying can vary 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.
When you call our law office, we can offer a free and immediate evaluation of your case. We can also tell you which legal time limits you are up against and how we can help you settle your case as quickly as possible.
Contact Us for Help with Your Case Today
Call the office 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. You can reach us at (337) 777-7777.