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What Is the Average Settlement for Airbags Not Deploying?

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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt

Schmidt & Clark, LLP is not currently accepting these types of cases and has posted this content for information purposes only. We encourage you to seek a qualified attorney, if you feel you might have a case.

If you’ve been in a car accident where airbags didn't deploy, you’re probably wondering what’s the average settlement for airbags not deploying.

Schmidt & Clark lawyers have two decades of experience dealing with personal injury cases. We’ve helped countless people get damages after being in motor vehicle accidents, including accidents where airbags failed to deploy. Today, we’ll explain everything you should know about the average settlement for airbags not deploying.

Summary of the Key Findings

  • Airbags failing to deploy can lead to serious injuries.
  • There’s no average settlement when airbags fail to deploy. This depends on several factors.
  • Multiple parties can be at-fault for the defective airbag.
  • A lawyer can help you establish who’s the at-fault driver when an accident occurs and help you get a fair amount of damages.

Factors that Determine the Settlement Amount

Air bag deployed in a carWhen airbags deploy correctly, they save lives. To be specific, airbags saved an estimated 2,790 lives in 2017 [1]. However, injuries happen when they don’t deploy.

There’s no average settlement when airbags don’t deploy because the accident outcome varies from case to case. One person’s settlement can be vastly different from what another person gets.

The settlement you can get after airbags fail to deploy depends on these factors.

Related Article: Malfunctioned Airbags Recall Lawsuit Update

The Severity of the Injuries

The biggest factor that determines the average settlement after an airbag fails to deploy is how serious your injuries are.

If you have catastrophic injuries or the accident caused you to be permanently impaired, you’ll usually get a higher settlement. Catastrophic injuries include loss of limbs, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and more. These are all severe injuries that permanently affect your life. 

You’ll have higher medical expenses as a result of these injuries, and you may need additional funds if you lose your income and need ongoing care.

In case a person dies because of airbag failure in a car accident, the surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim.

How Airbag Failure Affected the Injuries

Air bag deployed in a destroyed carYou have to prove that the airbag’s failure to deploy directly impacted your injuries to get a high settlement.

In other words, you have to prove that you would have suffered fewer or more minor injuries had the airbags been deployed normally.

If you can prove this, you’ll also be entitled to compensation.

Your Insurance Coverage

The final factor that determines the average settlement after airbag failure is the available insurance coverage

Each of the parties involved in a motor vehicle accident can have different levels of insurance coverage. More serious injuries can be higher than your available coverage. However, if the airbag manufacturer is also liable for the damages, you can have more insurance coverage available. 

Proving Product Liability

A car accident with a deployed air bag

Personal injury lawsuits that involve consumer products are different than regular car accident claims. These cases fall under the category of product liability law.

You don’t have to prove that the airbag manufacturer was negligent when creating the product in a product liability claim. Instead, the manufacturer is automatically liable for the injuries you sustained in a car accident, in this case, because of airbag deployment failure.

However, you’ll still have to prove some parts of the claim, such as:

  • The airbags were defective
  • The airbags didn’t deploy at the moment of the crash 
  • You didn’t make any changes to the airbags prior to the car accident
  • You suffered injuries because of a faulty airbag

“As with any other car part, it is possible for airbag sensors to fail to correctly detect impact or deploy the airbag, as the result of improper design, testing or installation of sensors, or because of software failure. Defective electrical components or severed wiring can interfere with the impact signal communication between sensors and airbags.”
State Street Auto Repair

Also, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the manufacturer is at fault.

You could seek damages from potentially liable parties involved in producing and maintaining the airbags, such as:

  • Designers
  • Auto manufacturers
  • Distributors
  • Auto shops
  • Previous vehicle owners

Note: Auto manufacturers can be held liable if the auto parts connected to the airbag were responsible for the airbag not deploying.

Available Damages in Airbag Not Deploying Case

You can get different damages when airbags fail to deploy, such as:

  • Air bags deployed in a carMedical bills for sustained injuries
  • Lost income if you’re unable to work
  • Physical disability or brain damage
  • Car repair expenses
  • Physical pain and suffering because of sustained injuries
  • Emotional trauma resulting from car accidents
  • Home healthcare
  • Medical assistive devices
  • Home modifications to accommodate impairments
  • Punitive damages if there’s a negligent driver 

Overall, the damages you can get depend on the extent of the injuries caused in the car accident.

Hire a Lawyer to Help with Airbags Not Deploying Case

A lawyer with a small car on his desk

If you’ve been in a car accident involving airbags not deploying, you should hire a personal injury lawyer. They can provide a free consultation, help with proving liability, and guide you through the car accident lawsuit.

Personal injury lawyers can help you:

  • Gather evidence — A lawyer can ask for the police report, check all aspects of the accident, and determine who are the liable parties.
  • Communicate with other parties involved in the accident — These can include the liable person, their lawyers, and the insurance company representative. A lawyer can make calls and answer emails on your behalf and negotiate the settlement.
  • Determine the settlement amount — A settlement depends on accident victims’ injuries. A lawyer can calculate what settlement you should get and help you ask for a fair amount.
  • Negotiate with other parties — If the other party or the insurance company is dragging the case or refusing to pay, a lawyer can push until they agree. A lawyer can also represent you in the case of a trial and fight for your damages.

In general, apart from providing a free consultation, a good and passionate lawyer can explain the law and guide you from start to finish of the case.

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What is the threshold for airbag deployment?

The threshold for airbag deployment is when the crash is equivalent to an impact into a rigid wall at 10 to 12 mph. However, most airbags deploy at 16 mph when the person is wearing a seat belt [2].

How long does it take for airbags to be deployed after a collision?

It takes 30 to 40 milliseconds for airbags to be deployed after a collision at a speed above 15 mph [3].

Hire Experienced Lawyers for Airbag Deployment Failure Cases

If you’ve been in car accidents where an airbag failed to deploy, you should immediately seek medical attention. Once you’re feeling stable, you should hire a personal injury lawyer. 

Schmidt & Clark, LLP lawyers will provide a free legal consultation. We can determine how much insurance coverage you have, help you determine a fair settlement amount, and recover compensation.

Contact us today and get help with your airbag failure case.