People who have suffered injuries or lost loved ones in accidents due to airbag system failures turn to the legal system to obtain justice. Proving negligence in these GM airbag lawsuits is a job for an experienced GM Airbag Lawyer who understands the history of the many airbag issues that have caused a variety of performance failures resulting in injury or death.
GM Airbag Legal Issues
Being injured due to negligence is the primary claim in most personal injury lawsuits. The issue of contention in this series of lawsuits is that negligent behavior by producers of airbags led to faulty performance of those airbags which caused the subsequent injuries and some deaths to consumers. GM and other manufacturers of trucks, cars and other vehicles that are equipped with airbags also bear responsibility for the safety of their total product, including parts used on those vehicles.
GM and other vehicle manufacturers have recently been served with multiple lawsuits representing people with claims of defective airbag performance. There have been many lawsuits filed by individuals against GM and other manufacturers, as well as several class action lawsuits across the United States. There are several legal issues involved in these lawsuits, but the primary point is to hold manufacturers responsible when accidents are due to negligence in design, production or installation of airbags. By enforcing responsibility for safety in this manner, it helps prevent future lapses in production quality and safety of products. Other claims in these airbag car lawsuits are based on violations of contract and liability laws.
Major recall actions began because many GM model vehicles were equipped with Takata airbags that contained defective inflators or software defects, and people were harmed or killed because of those defects. Takata is a major producer of airbag systems, and one issue that was disclosed during lawsuits against that company was that they knew about the problems long before making any changes or informing the public. Once the risks were known, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the government determined that mandatory recalls were necessary. Knowing about the problem and hiding it was considered negligent behavior by Takata. GM and other manufacturers of vehicles equipped with Takata airbags were then forced to supply replacement parts and do repairs at no charge. Extensive awards to plaintiffs were also levied against Takata and vehicle manufacturers.
Airbag Defects & Failures
GM and other manufacturers worldwide have been dealing with the issue of Takata airbag defects for about fifteen years, and millions of vehicles have been included in recall lists. In addition to those inflator related defects, other problems of airbag design are related to airbag deployment failure. Recently, recalls were issued by GM for over 4.3 million cars to replace defective software in the sensing and diagnostic module that would cause interference with airbag deployment.
The recent recalls for software problems address several issues that interfere with proper functioning of the airbag protection system. In some rare cases, the activation module went into a “test mode” and the airbag was not activated upon sufficient impact. This meant the vehicle occupants had no protection from airbags when needed during a collision with another vehicle or during another high-impact incident. Another type of operational failure occurs when an airbag inflates during a low-impact crash and that causes injury or death.
The largest recalls for airbag defects were for vehicles equipped with Takata airbags. These airbags may contain defective inflator devices. The inflators contain chemicals that mix when activated to produce and explosion and expansion of the airbag at speeds up to 212mph. The problem here is that the inflators and their metal wiring harness are subject to fractures of their metal parts. Upon explosion, small metal shards are projected at high speed through the airbag material where they can impact passengers or the driver, causing injuries including cuts, burns, amputation and in a few cases, death.
Airbag failures cause many types of injuries, including hidden ones in the chest and head areas. People have suffered damage to the heart, brain, blood vessels and spine and cervical areas when airbags malfunctioned or failed to function. If the airbag vents do not allow the bag to immediately deflate slightly, it remains hard and can cause damage when someone hits it as it expands. That is similar to hitting hard parts of the vehicle, which is what the airbag is supposed to alleviate.
Claimants that have been injured due to airbag failures, and survivors of those who died because their airbag malfunctioned, have filed individual and class action lawsuits across the United States. Some of these actions have already resulted in multi-million dollar awards to victims. An attorney who is experienced with Personal Injury Lawsuits and Airbag Lawsuits is the best resource to consult with if you or a loved one were harmed due to airbag failure issues.
A major advantage to participation in a class action lawsuit is that the process is time-saving and cost-efficient. The principles in a class action do receive higher awards, but many people are eligible to join in the action and share a good portion of the total award granted in the court system. An experienced attorney who has already represented people in airbag lawsuits will have current information available to use for your case and that is a head start. They know how to present a winning case for you, and they also can advise you about your eligibility to join an existing class action.
If you or a loved one are ever in an accident and believe harm has been caused due to airbag failure, it is important to preserve any evidence from the accident scene, such as airbag parts. These items can be helpful in building your case and may help prove the exact cause of the injuries or death. The next step is to find an experienced attorney and to ask questions you may have about this legal process. Most Personal Injury Attorneys accept cases on a contingency basis. You pay no fees in advance and only are billed after you receive monetary compensation. If your case is not won, there are no fees, other than some small office fees.
GM Airbag Lawyer
When you work with an experienced GM Airbag Lawyer, you benefit from that prior experience and knowledge gained about this particular legal matter. Under the law, GM is held liable even if they were unaware of airbag problems. They are supposed to test all products before selling them to avoid future harm to consumers. Not properly doing this research is counted as carelessness, or negligence. They can be held responsible for damages due to product failure.
Typical claims in GM airbag failure lawsuits include:
- Medical Treatment – claims for emergency, hospital, surgery, doctor bills and other medical care costs, including rehabilitation and after-care.
- Lost Income – temporary or permanent disability that causes lost wages or loss of your job because your injuries leave you unable to work.
- Other Claims – loss of companionship, guardianship, future inheritance and other claims by survivors.
If you or a loved one has been injured by airbag failures, seeking fair compensation is justice and will help you get past the immediate and future financial burdens caused by your accident injuries. Don’t hesitate to contact an experienced GM Airbag Lawyer to help you obtain justice.