When you have a vehicle equipped with air bags, it is reasonable to think the air bags will deploy in an accident and prevent your injuries; however, air bags are not designed to deploy in every type of collision. In fact, when air bags inflate, they can cause harm to occupants, because they inflate at very high speeds. This is why air bags are not intended to deploy in minor fender-benders, rollover accidents, rear-impact collisions, or any type of crash involving very low speeds.
With that said, there are many instances in which air bags malfunction and should have deployed but they failed to, or they unnecessarily deployed when they shouldn’t have, leading to serious injuries for the people involved.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), vehicles are equipped with air bag sensors that determine if the air bags should be deployed in a crash. “Air bags are designed to deploy in moderate to severe crashes,” NHTSA reports. The agency defines such as crash as a frontal or near-frontal crash, specifically “crashes that are equivalent to hitting a solid, fixed barrier at 8 to 14 mph or higher.” The direction of the impact, vehicle speeds, and how fast a vehicle decelerates are all factors involved in whether air bags will deploy.
But sometimes air bags deploy (or fail to deploy when they should) because they malfunction. In fact, the recent Takata air bag recall was prompted by faulty air bags that malfunctioned, causing serious injuries and deaths to drivers and passengers.
While air bags are designed to keep people safe in collisions, they can also cause harm if they malfunction or fail to deploy. If one or all of the air bags in your vehicle did not deploy in a crash and you believe they should have deployed, you may have a legal case against the vehicle’s manufacturer.
It will be in your best interest to contact an attorney who will investigate your accident and make sure your vehicle is preserved for evidence. He will know how to build a case for you and walk you through the process. In these cases, computer simulations and expert testimony is often needed to prove liability, and we know how to handle these situations. To discuss your case further, we would be honored to provide you with a free consultation. Please fill out our online contact form or call us today.