Gone are the days when motorists could drive around town with their seat belts off as they did in the 1960s. Today’s cars are rich in protective equipment, from automatic sensors and backup cameras to the tried-and-true seatbelt. Your airbag, in turn, protects you from the blunt force of a head-on collision – or, rather, it should.
Unfortunately, not every airbag deploys when it’s supposed to. In turn, you or your passengers may find yourself contending with injuries far worse than you would have had your airbags worked. Sometimes, an airbag’s failure to deploy can prove fatal.
You don’t have to resign yourself to those injuries or the unexpected loss of a loved one. If your car’s airbag didn’t deploy, you can hold the car’s manufacturer partially liable for your losses. Indiana’s car accident attorneys can investigate your case, compile a complaint on your behalf, and bring your request for support before a civil judge.
Addressing a Failed Airbag After an Accident
If you get into an accident that, in turn, gets exacerbated by a failed airbag, your injuries may be severe. You may not have the mobility to take action in the face of your losses for a considerable amount of time. Fortunately, you can bring in a representative to uphold your best interests while you focus on recovering from your injuries.
Personal injury attorneys throughout Indiana can help you file a relevant claim holding liable parties responsible for injuries related to your crash and airbag failure. Doing so allows you to demand compensation for your losses. That compensation, in turn, can cover your medical bills, the cost of restoring your damaged property, and other accident-related fees.
Should someone you love die due to an airbag’s failure, you can still work with a personal injury attorney to explore your right to a wrongful death claim. Depending on the evidence available at the scene, you may have the right to hold several parties responsible for your loved one’s untimely passing.
Comparative Fault and Multiple Defendants
Indiana operates on a modified understanding of comparative fault. So long as you are less than 51 percent liable for an accident, you can pursue damages for your losses in civil court. Moreover, you can assign fault for an accident to multiple parties.
In accidents involving an airbag failure, this means you can name another driver and your car’s manufacturer liable for the injuries you suffered. So long as you use evidence to defend your claim, both parties may have to help you fund a portion of your recovery. You can discuss this specific division of fault when an attorney initiates an investigation into your case.
How to Build a Personal Injury Claim After a Failed Airbag Accident
If you want to build a personal injury claim against one or more parties following your airbag failure, you need to:
- Submit a claim addressing the duty of care owed to you by the parties you think are liable for your losses.
- Back that claim up with evidence of negligence, be that poor automotive manufacturing, roadway misconduct, or a combination thereof.
- Calculate the total value of your accident, including your economic and non-economic losses.
- Present evidence defending your claim regarding your desired compensation.
Your personal injury claim needs to be as comprehensive as possible if you want your case to move forward in civil court. You can work with an attorney to return to the accident scene, gather evidence relevant to your case, and address the appropriate legal paperwork to the applicable parties.
Bringing Your Complaint Forward to Civil Court
In general, Indiana categorizes its car accidents as personal injury cases. If you want to take up a complaint against a negligent driver, truck driver, pedestrian, or bicyclist, you must abide by Indiana Code section 34-11-2-4. That statute of limitations gives you no more than two years to bring a claim against an offending party.
However, if your airbags fail to deploy, you may specifically have a product liability case on your hands. As such, your statute of limitations changes.
Indiana Code section 34-20-3-1 states that you still have a two-year statute of limitations but that you additionally have a 10-year statute of repose. This statute of repose specifically controls the amount of time in which you can act on losses stemming from a failed product.
In other words, you have either two years from the day your accident takes place or 10 years from the day a manufacturer sells you a car to take action against said manufacturer for an airbag failure. You can work with an attorney to go over these statutes in more detail.
Negotiating or Going to Trial for Damages: Which Is Better?
If you take up a complaint against an automotive manufacturer in the time allotted to you by the state, how should you proceed with your case? No two airbag failures are alike. If a manufacturer accepts the blame for your losses, you can often settle your case in private negotiations.
That said, if a manufacturer tries to put the blame for an airbag’s failure on you, you may have to take your case to court. Going to court for an airbag failure can prove lengthy, but doing so means that a judge can step in if the defendant attempts to intimidate you or inappropriately invalidate your case.
You can discuss which path forward suits your best interests with our Indiana car accident attorneys.
Vaughan & Vaughan Helps You File Airbag Failure Complaints
If your car’s airbag fails to deploy when you get into an accident, then you’ve been endangered by both a negligent driver and your car’s manufacturer. You, in turn, have the right to name both parties liable for any losses you and your passengers sustain in your accident.
Vaughan & Vaughan’s Indiana car accident lawyers can meet with you, discuss this division of fault, and draft a complaint accordingly. While you focus on getting your life back in order, we can bring your case before a civil judge and demand the financial compensation you deserve for your losses. You can contact us today to schedule your airbag failure case evaluation.