Drivers should be able to operate their vehicles and trust that their airbags will deploy as intended. They should also be able to trust that while driving, the airbag will not suddenly deploy, causing catastrophic injuries.
Sadly, airbag failures are far more common than many realize. Tens of millions of vehicles were recalled due to the Takata airbag scandal of 2018, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). If you suffered severe injuries due to an airbag defect or malfunction, you might have the right to financial compensation. A Gainesville airbag failure lawyer at Bogin, Munns & Munns can assist you in filing an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Common Injuries After a Gainesville Airbag Failure
Coming into contact with an airbag can cause minor, severe, or even fatal injuries. In many cases, when airbags fail, people can suffer bruises and burns due to the speed at which the airbag inflates. This can cause friction between the airbag and the driver or passenger’s skin, creating heat that can cause scarring and burns.
The location of the airbag makes passengers and drivers more prone to bone breaks and fractures in the arms, wrists, and hands. Airbag malfunctions often cause severe head and neck trauma. These might include:
- Skull fractures
- Broken necks
- Intracranial hematoma
- Traumatic brain injuries
Additionally, an airbag failure can cause rib fractures, spinal cord damage, breaks of the upper and lower extremities, dislocation of these bones, and facial injuries such as broken jaws, abrasions, and eye injuries.
The airbag systems use a chemical fuel to ignite the airbag’s inflation. As the propeller leaves the bag after deployment, the gas can escape through airbag vent holes sprayed on the driver and passenger’s neck, arms, and face. This can result in severe chemical burns and exposure to toxic substances, including talc, damaging a victim’s respiratory system.
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Common Types of Airbag Failures
Airbag failures can occur in a variety of ways. The type of malfunction can impact the severity of the victim’s injuries. Some of the more common types of airbag failures include:
- Erratic inflation
- Faulty internal tethers
- Random deployment without provocation
- Dangerous inflators
- Poor airbag design
- Defective crash sensors
- Failure to deploy at all
Your airbag failure lawyer in Gainesville will need to thoroughly investigate the details of your case to determine what type of airbag failure caused your injuries and the party or parties which should be held accountable.
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Liability for Airbag Failure in Gainesville
Your attorney will need to establish liability to be awarded maximum compensation after an airbag failure accident in Gainesville. For many airbag failure cases, major auto manufacturers have been found liable. This was seen in 2018 when Takata Corp. airbag systems failed, resulting in the recall of millions of vehicles in the United States.
In addition to airbag and auto manufacturers, several other parties could share liability for airbag failures, including:
- Component manufacturers
- Auto parts designers
- Auto parts installers
- Auto technicians
- Government agencies
- Safety inspectors
- Other third parties
There may be multiple parties who share liability for the damages you suffered as a result of the airbag failure in your case. Your Gainesville product liability lawyer will ensure that all culpable parties are held accountable so you can recover compensation for your damages.
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Statute of Limitations for Gainesville Airbag Failure Claims
Bringing your case to court may be one of the furthest things from your mind. Keep in mind the Florida statute of limitations has already begun in your case. Once the statute of limitation expires, if your civil lawsuit is not filed, you will no longer have the right to pursue compensation through the Gainesville civil court system.
Generally, the statute of limitations for airbag failure claims and other personal injury lawsuits is four years under Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a). However, the exact date the statute of limitations expires for your case could vary based on the date you were diagnosed with an injury relating to the accident and other factors.
If you pursue a lawsuit after an airbag failure for a loved one who suffered fatal injuries, the wrongful death statute of limitations of just two years under Florida Statutes § 95.11(4)(d) will apply.
Florida Statutes § 95.051 outlines exceptions to the statute of limitations as well. If you have questions or concerns surrounding how long you have to pursue your airbag failure injury claim, your Gainesville car accident lawyer can help.
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What Is Your Airbag Failure Claim Worth in Gainesville?
When another party’s negligence causes your injuries after an airbag failure, you have the right to recover your losses under Florida Statutes § 768.81. You could be eligible for economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include tangible losses, whereas non-economic damages account for your physical and emotional losses. Some of the more common damages awarded in Gainesville airbag failure claims include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Lost quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of household services
- Property damages
- Medical expenses and equipment
You could also be entitled to punitive damages. These are awarded when the liable party’s actions are grossly negligent or reprehensible. Although they are rarely awarded, in cases of airbag failures, gross negligence has, previously, been common. Therefore, if the court feels it necessary and appropriate to punish the liable party for your airbag failure injuries, they could impose punitive damages beyond your compensatory economic and non-economic damages.
Contact an Airbag Failure Lawyer in Gainesville Today
When you have reason to believe that a malfunctioning or defective airbag caused your car accident injuries, you need a knowledgeable Gainesville airbag failure lawyer to take on your case.
Reach out to our team at Bogin, Munns & Munns to determine what your claim could be worth. Our firm proudly offers no-cost, risk-free consultations to car accident victims across Gainesville and nearby cities. Claim yours when you give our office a call today. The sooner you get started, the sooner we can begin protecting your rights.