Defective Airbag Attorneys
An airbag is a safety device activated by crash sensors to inflate instantly and cushion a driver and passengers in a collision. But some airbags fail to function properly and cause injuries, and they could be the target of defective-airbag lawsuits. The defective airbag attorneys at the Pisanchyn Law Firm can help after you or a loved one has suffered the devastating results of a defective airbag.
The History of the Airbag
American automakers started putting them in vehicles in the 1970s, and soon, airbag defects became apparent. In fact, before long, a bad airbag caused the death of at least one person. In the 1980s, airbags became routine in vehicles. In fact, the U.S. government mandated that every vehicle manufactured beyond April 1, 1989, have either automatic seat belts (a device now abandoned) or driver’s-side airbags. The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) ruled that every vehicle must have dual front airbags in 1998. Since that time, federal statistics show that airbags have saved the lives of thousands in traffic accidents.
Where Airbags Are Placed
- An airbag can be placed in many different parts of a vehicle. These include:
- rear knee airbags
- curtain shield airbags
- center airbags
- side curtain airbags
- head side-impact airbags to shield the head in a side impact
- seat-mounted curtain airbags to protect passengers in front and rear seats
Any airbag should lend additional safety to a passenger or driver in a traffic crash by reducing the danger of their body striking the vehicle’s interior. Sensors in vehicles cause airbags to be deployed when the vehicle decelerates suddenly.
What Happens When a Defective Airbag is Installed?
For all the good they can do, airbags can and do fail to perform properly. They can fail to activate fully when there’s a crash, or they may deploy or activate by mistake when there isn’t one. When an airbag doesn’t deploy in a traffic accident, those in the vehicle may be seriously injured or even killed. Indeed, the NHTSA found that from 1990 to 2007, the deaths of 284 Americans, including 180 children, were due to defective airbags. Thousands of non-fatal airbag injuries also occurred.
Young children can be particularly vulnerable to faulty airbags or even may be hurt when an airbag deploys properly. A child sitting in a vehicle’s front seat is more likely to be injured by a deploying airbag, especially when the seat is pushed too far forward.
One problem with flawed airbags is that their defects may be difficult to discern until an accident occurs. A car owner might have no inkling that their car’s airbags are faulty until it’s too late.
The result can be serious injuries or even death. The device can be among the most serious dangers in a vehicle, as indicated by the increasing number of injuries and deaths due to flawed airbags.
Such injuries can include:
- damage to the spine or brain, which can lead to paralysis or death
- broken arms, broken legs, or other broken bones
- asthma attack
- vision loss
- hearing loss
- airbag burns
The latter injury can happen due to the chemicals that inflate airbags or the gases vented when the airbag inflates. Also, an airbag burn injury can be due to abrasions suffered as an occupant hits the airbag’s fabric suddenly.
An airbag recall is a routine occurrence, with many airbags recalled for a variety of reasons over the years. But in recent years, there’s been a recall affecting millions of vehicles in the United States: the Takata airbag recall. Almost every major manufacturer has been impacted, including Ford, BMW, GM, Honda, Chrysler, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, and Toyota. In these cases, the airbag has been known to explode. Though there have been many other recalls of the ever-changing and difficult-to-manufacture airbag, lawsuits regarding the Takata recall have impacted more vehicles, and therefore drivers, than any other recall in recent history.
Consumers don’t have to suffer silently after being injured by a defective airbag. Attorney Michael Pisanchyn and the Pisanchyn Law Firm’s defective airbag attorneys can help. If you or a loved one have been hurt by this device, which is meant to keep you safe, it might be time to consider filing a defective airbag claim in order to receive financial help for injury expenses that may have resulted from the failure.
Punitive damages also can be sought in an airbag lawsuit. Punitive damages come in addition to a lawsuit’s compensatory damages and are intended to punish defendants for extreme negligence. Such damages can be quite high and thus also may serve as an incentive to avoid future accidents.
Our Pennsylvania Defective Airbag Attorneys Can Help
Contact our experienced Pennsylvania defective airbag attorneys after you or a loved one have suffered an injury as a result of a defective airbag. We will gather the evidence and use our expertise to help you get compensation from whomever is responsible for the defect in the airbag.
Please, call our local PA defective airbag attorneys toll free at 1-800-444-5309 for a free consultation. We have offices in Scranton, Pittsburgh and Harrisburg and will travel to you.