An airbag can save lives. Therefore, this is why they are compulsory in modern vehicles in Las Vegas. But, they may still cause death or severe damages/injuries to the passengers when deployed improperly. The severe injuries resulting from defective airbags are, in any case, unavoidable. Therefore, when you suffer injuries or your loved one dies because of faulty airbags, you want to file a lawsuit and seek compensation. However, you want to work closely with a personal injury attorney.
At Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm, we have handled numerous cases and helped our clients receive their deserved compensation. We are well conversant with Las Vegas laws. So, when you suffer airbag-related injuries in Las Vegas, contact us right away. Do not wait until your period to file a lawsuit expires.
How Airbag Works
This is a light fabric. The devices come in various forms and are placed in different locations. For example, a driver's airbag is placed at the steering wheel while a passenger airbag is located behind the dashboard. The passenger's airbag comes in larger size compared to the driver's airbag. They are connected to a more likely sensor to deploy the airbag when a collision involves the vehicle. When the vehicle engages in a severe accident, it is expected the airbag will deploy. The deployment will release dust and different types of chemicals. Therefore, as a driver or passenger, you are more likely to obtain injuries from the deployed airbag.
The Various Types of Airbags
Since you now understand the work of airbags, it's good you also understand the several types of them. by learning about the airbags, you will be able to file a lawsuit correctly. The following are the several forms of airbags you want to know about:
One of the most familiar forms of airbags is frontal airbags. The airbags are inserted in your steering wheel or the passenger seats. The panel works by ensuring head injury when the vehicle collides with another. Also, they protect the passenger from side impacts when the collision causes motion to the car.
Although It might sound funny to have a knee airbag in your vehicle, they are critical in your car. They are essential like other airbags as they protect you from bruises and knee injuries. The airbags are located in the glove compartment and under your steering wheel in many cars.
They include torso bags and curtain bags. Their main work protects the vehicle's occupants from abdominal and pelvic injuries. The curtain bags are situated in the vehicle ceiling to protect the occupant from head injuries.
Another type of airbag is seatbelt airbags. However, they are only common in various models of vehicles. So, not every car came with them. Their main work is to reduce the potential risks of seat belt damages or injuries.
They include the rear center airbags and the rear window airbags. The main work of the airbags is to protect the passengers from each other when a rear-end collision occurs. So, it's essential you know all these types of airbags in your vehicle. Repair them when required and stay safe from any forms of injuries which might occur from defective airbags.
Statistics of Deaths and Injuries Related to Defective Airbags
As per NHTSA, more than fifteen deaths have been reported due to defective airbags. Also, more than 380 people have sustained severe injuries linked to faulty airbags. In the US, about 41.6 million vehicles have been recalled. The recall includes many car models between 2002 and 2015. Also, other older car models have been included in those recalls. These recalls affect more than nineteen models of vehicles. Again, only around sixty percent of the recalled vehicles have been repaired. The top placed vehicle models include Audi, Toyota, Mitsubishi, BMW, and Honda.
You must note that NHTSA gave crucial warnings to specific vehicle models. As per the warnings, certain honda models between 2001-2003, the Mazda series, and Ford ranger 2006 are considered at higher risk of Airbag explosion. So, if you own one of the above models, you want to ensure it is well repaired and fixed with the proper airbags.
The Factors which Help Prove Damages in a Defective Airbags Accident
You will have difficulty convincing the court before you obtain compensation for the damages you are claiming. You can use the following factors to prove your damages:
You can use X-ray and other test result records to make the injuries accurate to the presiding judge. You will more likely receive compensation when you have medical records, even when minor injuries. So, ensure your physician takes depth treatment for the injuries you suffered. Your attorney also will play a significant role in ensuring the doctor prepares the necessary documents.
Although you can testify to your accident, it is recommended that another person do so on your behalf. You can use your close workmates or relatives to testify how your life has changed due to the accident. Let your attorney guide you to prepare your testimonies to win your compensation.
Mental Health Professional Treatment
When you suffer physical injuries, you will require counseling. Therefore when you are seeking compensation for insomnia, depression, or anxiety, your medical health provider can explain before the court why your lawsuit is real and exceptional. Do not ignore counseling after any form of injuries as it will help you win your cases and obtain substantial compensation amounts.
Photographs and Videos
Another common method to prove damages is through videos and photographs. For instance, you must record all the sessions undergoing a rehabilitation program. By doing so, the judge will easily understand what you have been going through. Ensure all these videos are available to be used as evidence to prove your damages. When the videos are available, your injury attorney may use them to represent you at the court. Without the videos and photographs, they may find it challenging to answer several.
Parties are Held Liable in a Defective Airbag Accident
Like any other accident, several parties might be held responsible for an accident caused by defective airbags. The following are the common parties held accountable in an accident caused by faulty airbags in Nevada:
Manufacturing and Design defectives
In Nevada, a company that designs, sells, manufacturers, or even distributes defective products is responsible for sustained damages and injuries. It means your attorney will not require to prove the accused negligence to win your lawsuit. You will only have to prove the following elements:
- The alleged airbag was defective
- The company designed, manufactured, sold, or distributed the airbag in question
- The manufacturer's fault resulted in your damages and injuries
- The airbag was used in a reasonable way
If you have proof of similar accidents involving a similar airbag, you will boost your lawsuit. It won't draw back your case when the alleged manufacturer has issued a recall notice. You require an expert to prove manufacturers' defective products. Also, the experts will help you link your injuries with the accident.
Counterfeit or Recycled Airbags
Following deployment, an airbag shouldn't be recycled. But, a few shops:
- Sell deployed airbags
- Install cheaper bags, airbags, or undeployed counterfeits installed in wrecked vehicles.
You should note that the law in Nevada does not prohibit the use of recycled airbags despite them being at a high risk of posing a malfunction. So, it would help if you had the bags replaced and inspected regularly. Also, ensure you work with your skilled car manufacturers when replacing or fixing the airbag. The vehicle insurance provider may cover reused or counterfeit bag replacement expenses.
Missing or Inadequate Warning Labels
As per the federal laws, all vehicles operating in America should have warnings about the safety of the airbags. The warning may be in the form of a label. However, many drivers in the US do not like the warning and even remove them. Therefore, you buy a vehicle from the buyer without warning and suffer an accident. As a result, you need to take lawful actions against them.
Misusing the Airbag
Many manufacturers and part repairs will do everything to skip the responsibility. They will more likely argue you misused the airbag. In addition, they may argue you ignored or removed the warning. Under Nevada laws, the comparative negligence rule is used. Therefore the criminal court judge will inflict liability on all involved parties.
So, you will obtain compensation even when your actions caused the responsibility, provided your liability was not above the other party's fault. For instance, the criminal court determines your settlement as sixty thousand dollars. But, the judge also believed you were 5% accountable for the alleged accident. Under this situation, the court will reduce your compensation by 5%.
The airbag will not work correctly unless well installed. Note not every shop dealer is well trained to install the airbags correctly. Therefore, when a shop dealer installs the tool improperly, their company will be responsible for the accident. Ensure you are safe at all times. Buy your airbag from a well-recognized dealer.
Defective Airbag Recalls
A device or product recall involves a manufacturer's legal request to return the product after detecting a problem that might endanger consumers' lives. Takata recall is One popular recall for airbags in America. It was initiated in 2014. Takata is a Japanese motor vehicle part manufacturer established to provide services across four continents. Their recall is still active.
According to Takata Corporation, these airbags contain defective inflators, which might cause inflation or explode during deployment. One of The main problems with these airbags is faulty seals which allow moisture to penetrate the airbag and cause malfunction. So, this will more likely cause slow deployment and cause deaths or injuries to the driver and passengers.
Damages You Can Recover After in Defective Airbag Lawsuit
When you sustain any damages and injuries resulting from faulty airbags, you should receive compensation from the responsible party. The compensations are commonly known as damages. According to Nevada laws, you will receive two types of compensation as discussed below:
They include the damages you can recover from the liable party as a plaintiff or victim. Under the state's law, they are categorized into economic and non-economic. The type of damages with monetary value is referred to as economic damages. Therefore, you can calculate all the costs you have suffered from the accident. These damages include:
They involve the damages you suffer while receiving treatment for the sustained injuries. The damages include the medical costs in surgeries, medications, future treatments, prescriptions, and therapies. However, you must have proof linking the accident with your injuries. That's why you need to work closely with your attorney to help you determine the damages you deserve to obtain compensation. The attorney will also help you gather sufficient evidence.
When your airbag is deployed, it will become unusable until you repair it. Repair the airbags as this will count as property damages. As the liable party for the accident, you will also compensate all other victims sustaining damages and injuries due to the accident.
Severe injuries like paralysis will restrain you from daily activities, including your primary job. So, you will not earn for the rest of your future. Therefore, the law is strict regarding the compensation of this kind of victim. The responsible party will compensate all the victims for the lost earnings. So, when you suffer severe injuries due to defective airbags, you need to let your attorney know. You do not have to struggle for the rest of your life when the accident resulted in another person's negligence.
Alternatively, non-economic damages involve the kinds of losses without monetary value. Determining the type of compensation available for these injuries is challenging due to the case complexity. The following are the various types of non-economic damages in Nevada:
Loss of Consortium
Loss of consortium means the loss of a sexual or companionship spouse due to defective airbags. Therefore when you or your family member suffer this form of damage, you want to speak with your attorney. You have the right to receive compensation for the loss of consortium. The at-fault party will compensate for this type of non-economic damage.
Pain and Suffering
Another common type of non-economic damage in Nevada is pain and suffering. It involves the physical pain and discomfort sustained from the accident. Also, they may include psychological and emotional suffering like post-traumatic stress disorder. Speak with your injury and let this kind of injury be involved in your case.
Loss of Enjoyment
As a result of the accident, you might find your future life challenging. For instance, you became fully disabled after the accident. Will your enjoyment be the same as in the past? You will never develop low self-esteem and depression due to the inability to perform daily activities. The scars on your face will also scare you more. Therefore, it is your right to receive compensation for the loss of enjoyment.
What Are Punitive Damages in Nevada?
The punitive damages focus on punishing the responsible party for their reckless actions. However, before the court awards you these damages, your injury attorney must prove before the court that the airbag worked improperly because of the at-fault party's negligent behavior. The damages are high and range between three to five times the other damages. To skip these kinds of awards, you want to work closely with your injury attorney.
Injuries Suffered in a Defective Airbags Accident
Like in an accident, you will more likely suffer various injuries due to defective airbags. The injuries will vary based on several factors, including the location of the airbag and the type of accident you engage in. The following are the possible injuries you will likely suffer in the accident:
The injury involves damaging your skin, causing wounds, dermis, and epidermis. Abrasion involves bleeding. It occurs on several levels, like 1st-degree abrasion. It is good you note that first-degree abrasion will involve tearing of your epidermis. A 2nddegree abrasion will involve scarring and bleeding. Lastly, a 3rd-degree abrasion will include damages to your skin layers.
Abrasion will depend on the speed at which your airbag deploys. The force you propel in your body is high, causing great friction between your skin and the airbag, resulting in abrasion. Extreme conflict will result in the second abrasion.
Wrist Injuries and Sprained Fingers
If the alleged airbag deploys when least expected, it will more likely result in sprained fingers or wrist injuries, especially when placed at your vehicle steering wheel. You might find operating a vehicle or continuing with your recent job challenging with these kinds of injuries. So, inform your attorney about any form of sprained fingers or wrist injuries.
Burns are common when a defective airbag causes an accident. The burns occur due to the explosions. The gas in the airbags may warm more than expected. As the gas tries to escape the airbag, it will deflate and cause burns to your face, chest, and arms. Do not forget to include these forms of injuries in your lawsuits as you deserve compensation.
These are a series of injuries that affect your face due to airbag accidents. The damages may include lacerations, bruises, eye injuries, and facial bones. The leading cause of injuries in an airbag accident is cushioning your face with the airbag. Remember, both severe and mild facial injuries will result in scarring. Speak with your attorney about facial injuries to include in your lawsuit.
These types of injuries will occur when you have a sudden movement in your body. In airbag accidents, these injuries will occur because of a lack of cushioning. The injuries will differ based on the severity of deployment. Severe neck injuries will include damage to the spinal cord and vertebral fracture.
Broken Bones, Nose, and Fractures
Broken noses, bones, and fractures may be due to numerous factors. In an airbag accident, you will be more likely to suffer this kind of injury. Your arms, neck, and leg may break as a result. They will range from minor to severe depending on the nature of the accident. However, it is one of the compensable injuries in Nevada.
Ensure you work closely with your injury attorney to avoid leaving any form of injury in your settlement. Do not wait until the last moment to discuss the injuries with your attorney. The earlier you talk to your attorney, the higher your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve.
Defective Airbags Statute of Limitation in Las Vegas
This is the period allowed by the law to file a lawsuit after suffering injuries linked to defective airbags. According to the law, a lawful action to obtain compensation for injuries you suffer from another person's negligence should be filed within two years.
Therefore, you want to do so within two years when you sustain injuries and wish to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. Remember, the two-year period will start counting from the day you suffered the injuries or your loved one passed away. Alternatively, you should file a lawsuit within three years when your injuries occurred because of an airbag accident. To succeed throughout this process, you want to hire a personal injury attorney. The attorney will provide legal help and let you understand more about the lawsuit.
Contact a Las Vegas Car Injury Attorney Near Me
When you suffer injuries due to a defective airbag in Las Vegas, you want to seek legal help to obtain compensation. The process might be complex because of the complicated steps involved. Your injury attorney needs to work closely with an accident reconstruction expert and product design expert to help determine the deployment source.
At Las Vegas Car Accident Attorney Law Firm, we are ready to help you fight for your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve. We will work closely with other experts to determine the at-fault party, gather sufficient evidence to support your claim, and guide you on what to do next. Start by calling us at 702-576-0010, and we will work on your case as soon as possible.