Defective Seat Belts & Airbags Holding Car Manufacturers Responsible

Attorneys for Seat Belt & Airbag Defect

No one can deny that seat belts and airbags have had a major role to play in promoting the safety of individuals in a car accident. In fact, it would be fair to say these have been two of the greatest advancements made in automobile safety technology. However, defective seat belts and airbags have also contributed greatly to accidents and injuries.

If you believe you have grounds for a product liability claim based on a defective airbag or seat belt, an auto product liability lawyer at Arnold & Itkin LLP can help. Our law firm is dedicated to preserving the rights of the injured. We help those injured by defective products take a stand against the biggest manufacturing companies and insurers in the U.S., seeking the compensation they deserve through negotiation or litigation.

If an airbag or seat belt was improperly designed or had a manufacturing defect that caused it to malfunction, one of our attorneys can review the matter to determine how to hold the manufacturer legally responsible. It is true that these cases can present highly technical issues related to compliance with safety standards and the design of the seat belt or airbag, but we work with experts in these fields to build strong cases for our clients. Find out how we can help with your case by calling for a confidential, free consultation. You pay no legal fees unless we win your case.

Defective Seat Belts

The absence of seat belts (also known as safety belts) has been traced to a large number of deaths that occur in car accidents. However, time and again, passengers and drivers who have relied on the sturdiness of their seat belts have found themselves injured when these very same seat belts that were meant to protect them have been ripped, torn, or unlatched during an accident. When a seat belt is designed properly and functions well, it is probably the most important safety component in your car. However, thousands of cars with defective seat belts continue to be introduced on American roads every year, and these offer little or no protection even during a moderate accident.

Types of Seat Belt Defects

  • A defective seatbelt buckle may become unlatched during an accident, when the latched plate slips out of the buckle. This is called inertial unlatching, and the auto industry denies that something like this can ever happen with their seat belts. However, it does happen, and such unlatching has caused injuries in thousands of crashes where seat belts unlatched during impact.
  • Sometimes, a defective seat belt may look and even feel like it has been latched properly, when it is not. This is called false latching, and it can be just as dangerous as inertial unlatching, because even a small amount of force is enough to release a latch plate. When this happens, the person is thrown out of his or her seat restraint. The result is a collision against the windshield or even ejection from the vehicle.
  • Failure of the seat belt retractor to lock can result in a shoulder belt that fits loosely around the passenger. During an accident, the impact can throw the passenger forward just enough to slam against the windshield.
  • Seat belt webbing is required to be strong enough to resist the impact of an accident without collapsing. Sometimes, defective seat belt webbing can actually rip apart during an accident. There is no other explanation for this, but manufacturing or material defects that result in a weak seat belt.

Defective Airbags

Airbags are estimated to have contributed to a reduction in accident fatalities by up to 30%. A defective airbag is one that fails to deploy or deploys when it is not supposed to. Because airbags deploy with such massive force, the risk of injury is always present. The danger is especially great when an airbag deploys at the wrong moment. Injured passengers have filed lawsuits against automobile companies in cases where airbags have failed to deploy.

Types of Airbag Defects

  • The airbag can fail to deploy.
  • The airbag may deploy at the wrong time.
  • Airbags may come without tethers.
  • Sensor defects, cheap inflators or faulty wiring can lead to a failure to deploy.

Airbag defects have caused spinal injuries, fractured necks, head and brain injuries, facial injuries, and eye injuries in motorists. When an airbag deploys when an accident has not occurred, it may cause a driver to lose control.

Involving an Auto Product Liability Attorney

When your future and financial stability are threatened because of a serious car accident, you need an attorney who can properly handle your case. This may include thoroughly investigating the accident and all parts of your vehicle and then working to build evidence that supports your case against the manufacturer.

To get started, contact an auto product liability attorney at our firm.

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