If You Were Injured By a Defective Airbag in a Car Accident, Make Sure You Choose a Lawyer Who Has Airbag Defect Experience
Many times, I receive calls from clients and attorneys who are involved in the litigation of airbag non-deployment and over-aggressive airbag cases. Many attorneys without substantial airbag defect experience incorrectly assume that just because the airbag did not deploy or deployed over-aggressively, there is an excellent product liability case. However, many non-deployment airbag cases are unable to be proven for several reasons. In order to be successful in handling a defective airbag case, the injuries must be serious enough to justify the considerable costs for independent experts and investigators necessary to successfully prosecute a successful claim against an automaker and supplier.
Most airbag defect cases are fiercely litigated and rarely settle. They require extensive expertise from the lawyers and experts interpreting, exploring, and investigating the case, and there may also be excellent reasons for non-deployment of an airbag.
If you have been involved in a car accident involving a defective airbag, you must preserve the evidence carefully and make sure that the vehicle is not repaired prior to getting any data from the airbag CPU. Normally CPU’s loop data recording and data is overwritten. When the airbag deploys, the event is written permanently. There may be good reasons that the airbag did not deploy except when necessary. All potential responsible defendants and their respective insurance carriers must be sent a non-spoliation of evidence letter.
Airbag deployment can cause serious injuries or death if the airbag deploys when the occupant is in the proper zone of inflation. Cases worth considering for defective airbags with over-aggressive or non-deployment of the airbag involve a belted occupant who has an injury severe enough to warrant significant expenditures to successfully prosecute the claim. Some of the injuries that should be considered by the client and practitioners prior to prosecution of an airbag defect claim are severe head injuries, brain injuries, cervical fractures, paralysis, death, and loss of vision; injuries that a proper deployment is designed to prevent. Many times, we are called upon to evaluate airbag defect cases where the injuries are minor and only involve burns or minimal scarring and we must respectfully decline to prosecute these airbag defect claims.
The burden of proof in an airbag defect case requires being able to causally connect the injuries to the defect, which can be quite time consuming and expensive for the practicing attorney, thereby necessitating injuries serious enough to warrant proper pursuit of the legal cause of action. Airbag cases require careful reconstruction and a trace back from the airbag sensors to see what went wrong and identify the specific airbag defect. Without evidence to analyze, successful prosecution of the case will be very difficult, if not impossible.
The Pennsylvania airbag defect lawyers of Reiff and Bily understand airbag defects and always offer a free, no obligation consultation to those involved in an accident involving a catastrophic non-deployment and over-aggressive deployment of an airbag. Contact us toll free at 1-800-421-9595 or online at www.reiffandbily.com.