Sometimes the things designed to save our lives can actually cause us the greatest harm. Case in point: airbags. They’ve saved thousands of lives and will continue to do so for a long time to come, but they’re also responsible for an alarming number of catastrophic mishaps.
The government has mandated installation of airbags in every new passenger car since 1998-1999, and that means that most vehicles on the road today are equipped with them. In all likelihood, the vehicle you use every day features airbags, prepared to expand in a split second should you ever find yourself in a collision.
But we’ve all heard horror stories about deployment gone wrong. Airbags may go off when they aren’t supposed to — or fail to expand in a time of crisis. In other cases, they might cause even greater injuries than they prevent. Forceful impacts, dangerous explosions and toxic chemical exposure are all real concerns.
So how do you know if they’re safe? And what do you do if you or someone you love suffers unexpected airbag injuries after a car accident in New York?
At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we care about the safety of New York’s passengers and drivers. We understand that airbags are invaluable lifesavers but that they also aren’t perfect. When innocent people suffer injury because of an airbag malfunction, they deserve compensation for the full brunt of their suffering.
Read on to learn more about these accidents and how we can help.
Takata Airbags – A Seemingly Endless Recall
While there are many examples of dangerous airbags, the most notorious and widespread is the recent saga regarding the airbags made by Takata. From 2014 to 2017, at least 65 million airbags have been recalled – around 42 million in the United States alone.
These airbags have caused at least 100 injuries and 11 deaths.
The problem with Takata airbags largely stemmed from the use of an ammonium nitrate-based propellant, which when combined with certain conditions could explode and send shrapnel into the occupant of the vehicle. Though the manufacturers deny knowingly releasing a product that carried this explosive danger, allegations and recalls continue to plague the now-bankrupt company.
The Most Common Airbag Injuries from Car Accidents in New York
Documented airbag injuries run the gamut, ranging from mild discomforts to catastrophic disabilities and fatalities. If you’ve suffered one of these injuries, it’s important that you work with New York vehicle accident attorneys who have experience in handling these kinds of cases. At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we’ve helped countless victims fight for justice as they recover from a wide range of injuries.
The most common airbag injuries in New York include:
- Airbag dermatitis (a unique condition affecting the skin of victims)
- Asthma attacks
- Internal bleeding
- Hearing loss
- Car crashes caused by the distraction of an errantly deployed airbag.
When an Airbag Causes Harm, Injured Persons Might Have Legal Options
Airbags exist to protect occupants. It’s ironic, tragic even, that these devices carry the potential to cause serious injuries. When an airbag hurts an occupant, or if an airbag is defective and fails to protect an occupant, it is defective, and the manufacturer might be held liable for the injuries its product causes.
Manufacturers are responsible for the safety of their products.
If they fail to ensure a product’s safety at any point in the design, manufacturing or distribution process, they can be held accountable for the damages suffered by consumers. A consumer can file a product liability claim to recover compensation stemming from the damages they’ve encountered. In some cases, consumers band together to file joint lawsuits against manufacturers, while in other circumstances a person might wish to file a separate claim. An experienced product liability attorney can help you determine your best path forward.
Our New York Vehicle Accident Attorneys Can Help
The New York vehicle accident attorneys in our firm have years of experience in representing airbag injury victims, and we’ll do everything we can to maximize your recovery under New York personal injury law. We help clients recover all the costs they face due to a defective product. This often includes not only the pain and suffering of an injury, but also the medical bills, lost income and diminished quality of life one might experience after suffering a serious injury.
If you or a loved one has suffered an airbag-related injury, our lawyers can help. Contact us today to schedule a completely free consultation. We will discuss your case and give you an evaluation based on what we learn during our conversation. Remember: We will not charge for our services unless we are able to recover compensation on your behalf. We’re here to help.