Airbags are designed to provide a safety cushion, such that upon impact, a driver or passenger within a vehicle is protected from colliding into hard surfaces. As a safety mechanism, airbags are cloth-like, flexible bags that inflate when triggered, typically upon sudden deceleration. An airbag is designed to protect, and in many cases, they serve this goal. However, faulty or malfunctioning airbags can lead to serious injury and death. According to Florida law, individuals hurt in a vehicle collision involving an airbag malfunction may be entitled to recover compensation for their harm. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our Miami car accident lawyers have helped South Florida residents throughout Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties seek compensation from all responsible parties following an auto crash.Recovering Compensation After Injuries Caused by an Airbag Malfunction
There are different factors that can lead to airbag malfunctions, and unfortunately, South Florida drivers and passengers may be at risk due to the high humidity and temperatures which may trigger certain airbag issues. Some airbags fail to deploy due to faulty sensors and other issues. During a high-speed collision, an airbag that fails to deploy can cause injuries when the driver or passenger collides with the dashboard.
In some accidents, airbags may deploy too late. In order for airbags to offer protection to drivers and passengers, they must deploy quickly. When a vehicle occupant collides with an airbag that is only partially inflated, they can suffer serious injuries that they would not have incurred had the airbag been fully inflated.
Airbags that malfunction by deploying at low speed or without a crash also lead to harm. Airbags have been known to deploy when drivers hit a pothole, for example. In some situations, the airbag may have a defective crash sensor. Finally, airbags that improperly deploy or explode can lead to burns and facial injuries when pieces of the airbag fly through the vehicle cabin.Liability for Airbag Malfunctions in Florida
The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards seek to ensure that vehicles meet certain performance requirements. When defects, such as airbag malfunctions, cause injuries to drivers or their passengers, the car manufacturer may be held legally responsible. Automobile designers, manufacturers, and distributors can be held liable for product safety. All vehicles are required to undergo testing, which includes testing components such as airbags.
Airbag malfunctions may occur due to a manufacturing defect. The maker would be strictly liable for defects that stem from the manufacturing process. The victim of an airbag malfunction due this type of defect would have to show that the defect existed when the product left the maker’s control, and that the defect directly caused their harm. If an airbag explodes due to a malfunction, and the driver suffers shrapnel wounds and burning, then the manufacturer could be held legally responsible if the driver can demonstrate that the airbag was faulty when it was sold.
In some situations, auto manufacturers may be forced to recall vehicles after detecting defective airbags. Innocent consumers exposed to harm from defective or dangerous products can hold the manufacturer as well as potentially the designer and distributor accountable, depending on the circumstances.
As a form of product liability claim, a claim for an airbag malfunction injury can entitle the victim to damages. Monetary compensation that may be recovered is intended to place the victim in the place they would be in had the accident not occurred. For example, an individual who has suffered injury from an airbag malfunction may recover the value of vehicle repairs, hospital and medical costs associated with their injury, and wages from work missed due to their harm. Additionally, victims are entitled to recover for pain and suffering they have endured due to their injuries and changed circumstances.
Florida requires that victims file their legal claims for compensation within four years from the date of the accident. After this time period, the courts will not hear the lawsuit, and an injured individuals’ right to compensation may be barred. Due to the technical aspect sof product liability claims, it is wise to consult a knowledgeable attorney to assert your claim to compensation.Consult a Skilled Miami Attorney Regarding Your Car Accident Claim
Taking legal action after suffering injuries from an airbag malfunction can be important. By pursuing a claim against the responsible party, you are seeking justice for yourself as well as others who are at risk of harm from the same product. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we are dedicated to promoting your rights if you have suffered harm in an airbag malfunction or other type of accident. Our skilled car accident lawyers are here to help you understand your legal rights and take action. We have helped people throughout Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and West Palm Beach, and provide a free consultation. Call our office at 877.499.4878 or contact us online.