begin with a free consultation (949) 870-3800
begin with a free consultation
begin with a free consultation (949) 870-3800
begin with a free consultation
begin with a free consultation Start Here
start a free consultation here
Every story is unique, start telling yours here
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

All Fields Required

How Do I File a Defective Airbag Lawsuit?

How Do I File a Defective Airbag Lawsuit?

If your airbag malfunctioned and caused you serious injuries and losses, you are likely wondering how to begin the legal process. The good news is that you don’t have to figure this out. Instead, you can hire a Orange County product liability attorney to lead your lawsuit and handle every step of the process.

The right attorney will have the necessary knowledge, training, and experience to address every aspect of your case. You can rest and recover from your injuries because a trusted attorney is managing your lawsuit.

You may also need to file insurance claims and other lawsuits related to an auto accident. Your attorney can help with these as well. Do not wait to find and hire a capable attorney, as they will face a deadline for filing your case.

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation

How to Know If an Airbag Is Defective

Car with deployed airbags after an accident, showing damage and safety features activated.

If you know or suspect an airbag operated in a manner other than it should have, a defect can be to blame. Some events that may indicate a defective airbag include:

  • An airbag spontaneously deploying
  • An airbag deploying later than it should have
  • An airbag failing to deploy during an auto accident
  • An airbag propelling debris or other hazardous material during deployment
  • An airbag deploying with excessive force causing injury
  • Airbag-related explosion
  • An airbag deploying with too little force, rendering it ineffective

Though these are common consequences of defective airbags, you may have experienced another defect not listed here. An attorney will seek fair compensation if any type of defect caused you or a loved one harm.

Types of Defects You Can File a Defective Airbag Lawsuit For

Airbag defects fall into three primary categories, which are:

Design Defects

Though airbag technology has evolved significantly over the years, some manufacturers continue to design airbags in a way that will cause foreseeable harm. For example, in the case of defective Takata airbags, the manufacturer failed to foresee that high temperatures would cause the metal within the airbags to deploy in a dangerous manner.

Airbag manufacturers must employ qualified engineers and take all necessary measures to test the product before bringing it to market.

Manufacturing Defects

An airbag may be dangerous if:

  • The manufacturer uses shoddy materials to construct the airbag or other airbag-related components
  • The airbag is assembled or installed in a dangerous manner
  • The airbag manufacturer fails to stress test its product before marketing the product

The manufacturer is typically liable when defects cause harm to motorists or passengers.

Insufficient Instruction or Warnings

Airbags can be dangerous. If the product manufacturer or seller fails to provide clear instructions or warnings about the airbag(s), they endanger the public.

Why Should I Hire an Attorney to Lead My Defective Airbag Case?

Defective airbag cases are often complicated. Identifying the source of a defect and proving the manufacturer’s liability is a high bar to reach. You may hire an attorney to lead your case because:

  • Your lawyer may be familiar with the airbag that caused you harm: If one airbag is defective, there is a reasonable likelihood that other airbags of the same brand or model are also defective. Your lawyer may know the defects in the specific airbag that caused you harm.
  • Your attorney will understand the responsibilities of airbag manufacturers: A defective product lawyer fully understands the duties of product manufacturers to protect the public. Your lawyer can also recognize if a manufacturer (or any other liable party) violated their duty to you.
  • Your law firm will provide ample funding for your case: A defective product attorney will cover the entire cost of your lawsuit. Law firms use contingency fee arrangements to ensure the client pays no out-of-pocket fees or costs. Your attorney may hire one or more experts to strengthen your case, and you might not otherwise be able to afford such expert services.
  • You may be physically or psychologically unable to handle your case: If you suffered injuries, you may also have suffered psychological trauma because of the defective airbag (or the accident related to the defective airbag). Facing the stress of a lawsuit can negatively affect your health.
  • Your attorney can take your case to trial if needed: Attorneys secure compensation through settlements or at trial. The average person may be unable to handle a trial. If you hire a lawyer, you can obtain the compensation you deserve, including going to court.
  • Your attorney will protect you and your case: Lawyers provide advice and protection that prevents the violation of your rights. Your legal team will deal with all parties involved in your lawsuit, protecting you in the process.

Defective airbag lawyers know how to prove negligence and build a case against a liable product manufacturer. Allow a lawyer to use their legal training and experience in your favor.

How Airbag and Motor Vehicle Manufacturers May Have Failed You

Someone failed you if you suffered injuries or lost a loved one because of a defective airbag. Your lawyer will research your specific circumstances and the details of the defective airbag. They will identify every instance of negligence that contributed to a harmful outcome.

Some common failures by airbag manufacturers, installers, and sellers include:

  • Designing an airbag in a dangerous manner
  • Using subpar materials to construct the airbag
  • Installing the airbag in a dangerous manner
  • Failing to test the airbag in an effort to uncover defects
  • Failing to provide instructions about the airbag (including who should not be in seats affected by the airbag)
  • Knowingly selling a defective airbag
  • Committing any other negligence that leads to you or a loved one suffering injuries

Part of your lawyer’s job will be to identify and explain every failure by liable parties that caused you to suffer injuries or lose a loved one.

How an Attorney May Prove Liable Parties’ Negligence

As your lawyer researches your case and identifies negligence, they may:

  • Hire experts who have insight into specific airbag defects
  • Conduct independent research into prior lawsuits involving a specific airbag
  • Examine the defective airbag that caused you harm (along with their investigators and experts)
  • Take any other measures necessary to understand and document the airbag defect

Law firms have many investigative resources that they can use during your case. Experts in the automotive industry may be especially helpful when building your lawsuit, and your lawyer will rely on such experts as necessary.

Injuries You Can Seek Compensation For

Defective airbags may cause or fail to prevent a wide range of serious injuries, including:

Each auto accident is unique, as is each injury caused by a defective airbag. Your lawyer will collaborate with your doctors and their medical experts to document your injuries and assess related damages.

Recoverable Damages in Your Defective Airbag Lawsuit

An injured motorist sitting in a car after a crash with the airbag deployed.

Damages are the focal point of every defective airbag lawsuit (or any other lawsuit). Your attorney and their support team will document each of your damages, which may include:

Pain and Suffering

Anyone who suffers injuries endures pain and suffering, which can include:

  • Injury-related pain
  • Emotional anguish
  • Psychological distress
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Lost quality of life

Pain and suffering looks different among every victim of a defective airbag. Your lawyer may bring a mental health expert to speak with you and evaluate these damages.

Medical Expenses

After you suffer an injury from a defective airbag, you may need emergency care and a host of other medical services. Your attorney will determine the total cost of these services and include that cost in their settlement demands.

Professional Damages

Professional harm related to your accident or encounter with a defective airbag may include:

  • Diminished earning power
  • Lost income
  • Inability to earn performance incentives and promotions
  • Loss of professional status
  • Lost benefits

If any of your injuries are disabling, such damages may affect you through retirement age. Your attorney will work with experienced economists and your employer to evaluate your professional damages.

Mental Health Services

Should you need counseling or other mental health treatment because of your pain and suffering, your lawyer will include treatment costs in their settlement calculation.

Property Costs

If your vehicle, clothing, cell phone, or other property were damaged in circumstances caused by someone’s negligence, you should receive compensation to repair or replace those items.

How Your Product Liability Attorney Will Seek Compensation for Your Damages

medical health coverage and compensation, related to accident litigation.

Attorneys ensure that clients can focus on rest and recovery. Your legal team will manage every detail of your case, including:

Detailing the Defect(s) in the Airbag

Your lawyer will evaluate the nature of the defect that caused your injuries. They may collect:

  • Details of prior cases involving defective airbag
  • Any photographs that show defects or the effects of defects
  • Expert testimony about failures by the airbag manufacturer or other liable parties
  • Records from the manufacturer that indicate the presence of defects
  • Any other relevant evidence

Attorneys understand the most effective types of evidence for product liability cases. Allow a lawyer to build your case with the most compelling evidence available.

Determining Liability for Your Damages

Your attorney will identify those who are financially responsible for your damages. Whether it is the airbag manufacturer, vehicle manufacturer, or another party, your attorney will hold all liable parties accountable for the harm they have caused you.

Detailing Your Damages

Proof of your damages will be necessary during settlement negotiations. Important documentation may include:

  • Medical bills
  • Images of injuries caused by the defective airbag
  • An employer’s testimony that you are unable to perform your duties
  • Past income statements to prove your lost income
  • Invoices related to property damage
  • A mental health professional’s testimony about your pain and suffering

Your attorney will identify your damages and seek extensive documentation of each.

Calculating Your Case’s Value

When your attorney knows how a defective airbag has affected you, they can assign a financial value to your damages. The total financial value of those damages will determine how much money your lawyer demands from liable parties.

Drafting and Filing Your Lawsuit

Your lawsuit must:

  • Name all defendants who are financially responsible for your damages
  • Include the rationale for suing liable parties
  • Include other relevant details of your case
  • Be accurate and complete
  • Be filed with the proper legal authorities

Attorneys file lawsuits regularly. They will ensure the prompt drafting and filing of your case, as there may be a statute of deadlines they must abide by.

Negotiating a Settlement

Liable parties may be willing to compensate you for your damages. The question then becomes whether they are willing to offer fair compensation. Your lawyer will negotiate with defendants either before filing your lawsuit, after filing your lawsuit, or both.

Completing a Trial

If the airbag manufacturer or other liable parties do not offer the compensation you deserve, your lawyer may advise you to proceed with a trial. Your legal team will handle every step leading to a trial, and they will also handle the entirety of the trial process.

You May Also Be Pursuing an Auto Accident Claim or Lawsuit

The effects of a defective airbag may have happened during an auto accident. While you may pursue compensation from a manufacturer for the effects of the airbag, you may also need to seek compensation from those who caused your accident.

A personal injury lawyer may handle your auto accident claim and defective airbag lawsuit. Handling multiple cases can be complex and requires excellent time management and attention to detail. Your lawyer will have a team of paralegals and other professionals overseeing every insurance claim and lawsuit you pursue.

When Should I Hire My Defective Airbag Lawyer?

Greg Bentley, Personal injury lawyer

Greg Bentley, Orange County Product Liability Attorney

You should hire your Orange County personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. In addition to sensitive filing deadlines, your legal team will need to gather evidence and obtain witness accounts immediately.

Find a law firm with case results, client testimonials, and accolades that impress you. Complete your free consultation with that firm and hire your legal team as soon as possible.

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation