Paramedic placing a cervical collar to an injured woman from car accident.

Who Is Liable for a Defective Airbag Injury? 

Jose Orihuela, Attorney at Law Dec. 9, 2022

Airbags are designed to prevent injuries and deaths in car accidents, yet sometimes due to defects, they can cause more harm than good. If you’ve been injured by a defective airbag, you may be eligible to pursue legal action.  

As a car accident attorney at Jose Orihuela, Attorney at Law, I can evaluate your situation and determine who is liable for a defective airbag injury. With offices in Houston and Webster, Texas, I can help you take the steps necessary to seek justice. I also proudly serve clients in Pasadena, South Houston, Santa Fe, Kemah, League City, Clear Lake, and other parts of the state.  

Types of Airbag Defects  

There are several types of airbag defects that can lead to injury or even death. The most common include:  

  • Sensor failure. When sensors fail, the airbag may not deploy when it should. This could be due to a malfunctioning sensor, an electrical issue, or even wiring problems caused by corrosion.  

  • Deployment force. Too much force could cause serious injury when an airbag deploys during a collision. If an airbag deploys with too much force, it could shatter the glove box or steering wheel and cause serious harm to those seated in the front seats of the vehicle.  

  • Design flaws. Sometimes, a design flaw in an airbag system can lead to serious injuries. In some cases, this has included defects like faulty inflators that have caused severe burns and other types of harm when deploying in an accident.   

  • Inadequate warning systems. A manufacturer’s failure to warn about potential risks associated with their product could also lead to liability if someone is injured as a result of their negligence. 

When it comes to who is liable for injuries caused by a defective airbag, it depends on what caused the defect in the first place.  

Common Airbag Injuries  

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the use of front and side airbags helps reduce fatalities in frontal crashes and side crashes by 29% and 37%, respectively. However, the deployment of the airbag can result in injuries on its own.  

Some of the most common injuries that occur due to defective airbags include:  

  • Abrasions 

  • Contusions 

  • Concussion 

  • Whiplash 

  • Internal bleeding 

  • Internal organ damage 

  • Facial injuries 

It is best to seek medical attention after a car accident, regardless of whether the airbags are deployed or not. Some injuries may not be apparent immediately.  

Liability for Injuries Caused by Defective Airbags 

The person or party responsible for your injuries will depend on the specifics of your case and what type of defect caused your injury.  

If an impact occurred but there was an issue with the wiring or other components within the system itself that prevented proper deployment, then liability typically falls on either the manufacturer or dealership where you purchased your vehicle. 

The liable parties may include car manufacturers, suppliers, parts makers, distributors, and dealerships or repair shops that serviced the car recently. It’s important to note that if someone else was at fault for the accident itself (e.g., another driver), they may also be held liable for any injuries related to defective airbags as well as any other damages incurred as a result of their negligence behind the wheel.  

Possible Compensation  

If you’ve been injured in an accident involving a defective airbag, you may be eligible for compensation from the liable parties responsible for your injuries and losses. Understanding who is liable and what type of defect led to your injury can help you take action and seek justice against those responsible for your suffering and losses—including medical bills, lost wages from missed time at work due to recovery time from your injuries, pain and suffering damages due to physical trauma sustained from being injured by an airbag, and more.  

Texas law recognizes three types of damages: economic, non-economic, and exemplary (punitive). Economic damages are direct expenses (monetary losses) caused by the accident, while non-economic damages refer to compensation for subjective, non-monetary losses. Exemplary damages, on the other hand, are meant to punish the defendant whose conduct can be described as violent, oppressive, malicious, or grossly negligent.  

Turn to Jose Orihuela, Attorney at Law  

Liability for injuries caused by a defective airbag can be difficult to determine since many different factors can come into play depending on what exactly caused the defect and how it resulted in injury. At Jose Orihuela, Attorney at Law, I can help guide you through the process and protect your rights. If you believe you have suffered from a defective airbag, reach out to my office and schedule a free consultation.