You Can Pursue Damages For Defective Safety Equipment In Texas
If you have been involved in a car accident, there is a good chance that your injuries were caused by a defective auto part in the car. This might mean that a defective part like a faulty brake system caused you to have an accident, or may have been involved in an accident and injured by a safety product designed for your protection if a car accident ever occurred.
We understand that this can sound slightly confusing if you are not very familiar with cars or their safety features. As such, we have provided this article so that you may gain a better understanding about what may have caused your injuries, and help you determine who may be held responsible for your resulting damages. We will specifically discuss the effect of defective airbags and seatbelts and what options you may have for recovery.
The difference between active and passive safety features
To begin, we must first establish the difference between active and passive safety features. Many people are actually unaware that there are varying types of safety features. While they all share the common goal of preventing passengers and drivers from being hurt, some features are meant to prevent auto accidents while others are meant to protect you when a car accident actually happens.
To put it simply, active safety features are features which are actively working to prevent a car accident. Active safety features include anti-lock brakes, all-wheel-drive, traction control, an electronic stability control system. In contrast, passive safety features are conditions which will not prevent a car accident, but should offer you protection and help prevent injury if you are involved in a car or truck accident. Airbags and seat belts are both considered passive safety features.
How can a defective airbag contribute to an injury or death?
Despite being a feature which is meant to protect you and your loved ones, airbags are actually one of the most dangerous features in a car. Many cars actually have multiple airbags situated throughout the vehicle to protect passengers no matter where the impact is located. While this increase in airbag use has saved thousands of lives, it has also increased the number of injuries and deaths caused by defective airbags.
Obviously the biggest concern is children who are sitting in a seat with an airbag safety feature. Airbags were not designed for children; they were designed to protect adults. Consequently, the substantial force of an airbag deploying can seriously injure or kill small children who sit in seats with airbags. Most newer cars have an automatic censor which is designed to asses the weight of the passenger, and if they are too small, to automatically turn off the airbag. When this censor works properly, it deactivates the airbag and it will not deploy at impact.
However, many airbag censors will malfunction causing the feature to not be deactivated. Then when an accident occurs, the airbag will deploy hitting the small child with such force that it can cause traumatic damage to their skulls, face, and neck, or it may even kill them.
It should be noted though that airbags are not only dangerous for children, they pose a significant threat to adults when the airbag is defective and malfunctions. The obvious harm occurs when the airbag is defective and does not initiate upon the impact of a crash. This can cause drivers to hit their heads on steering wheels causing severe head trauma, and passengers in the front and back seats can hit their heads on dashboards, the seat in front of them, the window, or the door frame.
There are numerous ways in which an airbag or its inherent censor may be defective and cause you harm. When this occurs you should immediately speak with one of our products liability Attorneys so that we can correctly assess your damages and determine your options for recovery.
Defective airbags is still a very relevant and serious threat.
Recently the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued recalls for defective air bag inflators made by Takata Corperation out of Japan. This recall was due to the fact that the bag inflators were projecting metal shrapnel upon deployment, thus, exacerbating the injuries suffered in an accident.
This recall is one of the largest is vehicle history, with 34 million vehicles from 14 manufacturers being impacted. This highlights how very real and dangerous defective equipment can be. That means that 28 million people, at the very least, are in danger of being seriously injured in an accident that would have otherwise resulted in minor injuries.
Who is liable if you are hurt by a faulty air bag and why do you need an experienced attorney?
If your airbag or seatbelt somehow malfunctioned causing you to be injured, you may have what is known as a products liability lawsuit. Products liability is the theory of law which states that manufacturers, and anyone who sells or distributes a product is responsible for the quality of and effects of that product. If a product is defective in some way and causes you harm, then anyone who participated in the design, manufacturing, creation, distribution, or sale of that item may be required to compensate you for your resulting injuries.
If you seatbelt or airbag was defective then the car manufacturer, or auto parts manufacturer who created the feature could be held liable for the harm it caused. Additionally, since these are both features which are incorporated into a larger system, the company which installed the product may be held liable if it was improperly integrated and their mistake directly caused you to be hurt.
If you or your loved one has been injured by a defective airbag or seatbelt, we can help you. Before filing any claim you should speak with an attorney and make sure that you are declaring the correct defendant. If you improperly accuse the other driver of causing your injuries, when in fact they were caused by the manufacturer of a defective airbag, your case could be severely harmed and you might receive nothing.
You need to make sure that we hold the responsible people accountable for their negligence and help you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible for your recovery. To schedule a meeting with one of our products liability or car accident attorneys, call Grossman Law Offices at (855) 326-0000.
Related Articles for Further Reading:
- Texas Products Liability Law: Negligent Design
- Texas Products Liability Law: Negligent Marketing
- Texas Products Liability Law: Texas Laws that Apply to Automotive Defects