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Who Is Liable if Airbags Do Not Deploy in an Illinois Car Accident?

Posted on in Car Accidents

IL accident lawyerToday’s vehicles feature the latest advancements in safety, including blind spot detection, emergency braking, seat belt restraints, and airbags. All of these devices are made in an effort to avoid a car accident or reduce the severity of injuries in the event that one does occur. Considered a supplemental restraint system, airbags are designed to work alongside seat belts and should be used together. Studies show that when airbags are used correctly, they can reduce head-on collision fatalities by nearly 24 percent.

In many cases, a negligent driver may be at fault for causing an automobile crash. Another motorist may be intoxicated or drowsy, causing him or her to collide with another vehicle or pedestrian. However, in some collisions, a seat belt or airbag may not function properly, resulting in minor to serious injuries. An experienced personal injury attorney can help car accident victims determine who is liable if an airbag does not deploy in a crash.

How Do Airbags Work?

Airbags work using several sensors and a mini explosion. The airbag includes an accelerometer that detects changes in speed. If deceleration occurs above a preset speed, more than normal braking speeds, the airbag circuit is triggered and the bags are deployed. The circuit passes an electrical current through a heating element, which then ignites a chemical explosive. A significant amount of innocuous gas rushes into a nylon bag that is usually placed behind the steering wheel or within the passenger side dash, and it causes the bag to inflate. When the driver or passenger’s head hits the bag, it starts to deflate while the gas escapes through holes at the edges of the bag. When the vehicle has come to a full stop, the bag should be completely deflated. If it did not inflate, your head would simply bounce off of it due to the sudden and forceful backward movement of the head and neck.

Defective Products and Liability

Car manufacturers have a responsibility to ship new vehicles with functioning equipment, including the airbag restraint systems. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) can be held liable if your vehicle contains faulty parts or if they were not installed properly. In other scenarios, an auto repair show may be to blame for tampering with the airbags, causing them to not work when needed.

Besides an airbag failing to deploy, they can also malfunction by over-inflating or over-extending, or deploying unexpectedly. In any of these situations, a passenger can be injured, suffering broken bones, fractures, bruises, and head trauma.

Depending on the circumstances, a victim may be able to file a product liability case against the vehicle manufacturer. The three main types of product liability claims are:

  • Design defects: A fundamental flaw in the design makes the product hazardous to consumers.
  • Manufacturing defects: An error when the product was produced causes it to be dangerous to users.
  • Failure to warn defects: A product lacks sufficient warnings or instructions to keep users safe.

Contact a Bloomingdale Personal Injury Attorney

A car accident can have long-lasting effects, such as physical injuries in addition to emotional trauma. Seat belts and airbags are meant to protect passengers in the event of a crash. However, if they do not work, these devices can cause even more harm to occupants of a vehicle. At The Law Offices of David W. Clark, P.C., we have more than 20 years of experience representing clients in all types of personal injury cases. Our reputable DuPage County car accident lawyers will determine liability in your case and hold the negligent parties accountable. If you need help seeking compensation for your injuries, call us today at 630-665-5678 to schedule your free consultation.





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