While many auto accidents are due to the careless or reckless behavior of another motorist, some injuries happen because of defective or malfunctioning parts of a vehicle. Many of these components are designed specifically to keep a driver safe in the event of a crash—therefore, when they are faulty, serious or even fatal injuries may result.
If you or a loved one was injured after a car part malfunctioned during a crash, consider reaching out to a skilled lawyer for help with seatbelt and airbag injuries. A compassionate and dedicated attorney could help to assess the circumstances of a crash, gather evidence of a product’s malfunction, and work tirelessly to build a claim on your behalf.
Defective Seatbelt Injuries
Buckling up is one of the most basic and essential things a person can do to decrease the risk of injury in a car crash. However, seatbelts do not always provide the degree of safety that they should. Even though seatbelts have been standard safety features in cars for years, they sometimes, unfortunately, fail to work properly and instead inflict additional injuries on a driver or passenger.
A properly-designed belt should distribute the force of its restraint across a person’s entire body during a crash, rather than concentrating it at one point where the impact would be most severe. This is why most modern seatbelts feature a combination of a lap belt and a shoulder strap—this design is supposed to distribute the force of the restraints on the hard bones of the pelvis and shoulder, which are often best able to absorb force without injury.
Sometimes, however, seatbelts have ineffective latching mechanisms, which could result in the belt becoming unfastened during a crash—when this happens, a person might not stay safely seated in their harness and seat. Furthermore, seatbelts can also cause injuries when they remained fastened during an accident, but fail to properly distribute force. When a seatbelt has a defective latch or when the design of the belt is otherwise defective, the manufacturer of the belt or the car might be held legally responsible for any injuries that result from this issue.
Airbag Malfunction Injuries
Another major cause of accidents is due to airbags not functioning the way they are supposed to. Often, this has to do with how the airbag was designed. Airbags are designed to deploy during a collision to prevent the driver and passengers from forcefully hitting the steering wheel or other parts of the car, as well as to prevent the occurrence of whiplash.
Unfortunately, airbags do not always work as they should. If an airbag is defective, serious and additional injury can occur during a crash. A defective airbag may fail to deploy in an accident or it may deploy at random, separate from a crash. If an airbag suddenly deploys, it may actually cause an accident by striking or distracting the driver or obstructing their view of the road. Furthermore, this might lead to a variety of injuries, including:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Facial fractures
- Eye injuries
- Burn injuries
When an airbag is defective or has been improperly designed, the manufacturers of both the car and the airbag may be held responsible for the injuries the airbag causes. The type of lawsuit that is filed is called a products liability action. In recent years, these actions have become very difficult to win because of changes in Michigan law. Therefore, it may be essential to hire a seasoned attorney for help with a claim.
What to Do After Being Injured by a Defective Airbag
When someone is injured in a crash where an airbag failed to deploy or was otherwise defective, it is important that they know what to do next. First, it is essential that the car is stored in the same condition as it was at the time of the accident—this means that the vehicle should be stored in a secure facility and that no repairs should be made to the vehicle. Furthermore, this also means that no parts should be removed or replaced. This is necessary to preserve the vehicle so that an automotive engineer and crash analysis expert can inspect it an determine if it was, in fact, defective.
Additionally, it is also important to take photographs and video of the car, so that its condition after the crash can be best understood. This process might provide valuable evidence to automotive experts and accident reconstruction experts. Similarly, photographs of a defective automobile might also be compelling to show to a jury at trial.
Finally, it is essential that anyone who suffers an airbag injury to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible after the accident. A hardworking attorney could begin to investigate a case and work to determine the validity of a claim. Furthermore, if it is determined that a potentially defective airbag contributed to a person’s injuries, a legal professional could try to preserve the vehicle in its current state, as well as hire an automotive engineering expert to inspect it for defects that might be used during a claim for compensation.
How a Lawyer Might Help File a Claim For Seatbelt And Airbag Injuries
Everyone hopes that the safety features in their vehicle will help them during a crash. Unfortunately, airbags and car seats often malfunction and result in serious injuries.
If you or a loved one suffered a seatbelt or airbag injury after a car part malfunctioned during an auto accident in Michigan, a well-versed lawyer at Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. could help. To begin working on a claim, call an attorney today.
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