Experienced New Jersey Airbag Failure Attorneys
Representing clients seriously injured by defective airbags and seat belts
In 1968, the United States National Highway Safety Bureau required car makers to install seat belts in passenger vehicles made and sold in the United States. When it was determined that the original single-strap lap belts failed to prevent serious injuries to the upper body during an accident, the law was amended to require the full safety harnesses in use in all cars today. Then, in 1999, the federal government began requiring all new passenger cars sold in the United States to come equipped with front passenger air bags.
Manufacturers are required to ensure their seat belts are effective in securing both the driver and passengers in crashes at highway speed limits. Air bags are supposed to deploy automatically when the moving vehicle is struck in a frontal collision as low as eight miles per hour. If injuries to the driver or passenger result because a latched seat belt fails to remain secure or the air bag fails to deploy during a crash, the manufacturer may be held liable for compensating the victims for their losses.
If you were injured or lost a loved one in a car accident in which the seat belt or air bag failed to provide the required protection, talk to a New Jersey products liability lawyer at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP. For more than a decade, our firm has been recognized for our effective representation to help victims of auto manufacturer negligence recover the full and fair financial damages to which they are entitled for their injuries and financial losses.
About NJ airbag and seat belt injuries
Airbag and seat belt defects and failures fall under product liability law when a design or manufacturing defect causes injuries.
Examples of airbag defects are airbags that suddenly deploy while the vehicle is in use, airbags that fail to deploy, or otherwise dangerous airbags that cause injury when deployed. Dangerous airbags can cause drivers or passengers to experience more serious injury than if the airbag had worked properly during an accident.
Defective seat belts can also cause preventable injury. Seat belt failure can result in passengers hitting the dashboard or window. It can also cause a passenger to be thrown from the vehicle. Seat belt defects can include weak or improper webbing material, defective latches, or defective retractor devices.
Why didn’t my airbags deploy during my car accident?
Your vehicle likely has different types of airbags set to deploy for different types of car accidents and collisions. For example, a front airbag is designed to deploy during a frontal collision (like a head-on crash). This means it typically will not deploy in an undercarriage-type accident, like if you hit a huge pothole or run over debris in the road.
Side airbags are set to deploy in other types of collisions, and deploy on the side of impact. Side curtain airbags are also designed to deploy during side impact, as well as during rollover crashes as a method to prevent passengers from being ejected from the vehicle.
However, there are other, preventable, reasons airbags may fail to deploy. These can include:
- Defective crash sensors
- Defective deployment signals from vehicle computer
- Defective wiring or inflators
The product liability attorneys at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP will investigate what happened (or did not happen) with the airbags in your vehicle and find out exactly what led to your injuries.
Why did my seat belt fail during my car accident?
Seat belts save lives – the numbers speak the truth. The CDC reports that wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of sustaining serious injuries in an accident by half, and saved nearly 15,000 lives in 2017. Seat belt use is mandatory in New Jersey.
Common seat belt failures include:
- False latching, where the belt appears to be latched when it is not
- Retractor failure, which causes the belt to fit too loosely
- Seat belt breakage, where the webbing of the belt tears or frays
- Tensioner failure, when the belt does not lock during an accident
- Unlatching during an accident
If you are unsure about why your seat belt (also called safety belts) failed to protect you or a loved one during an accident, our New Jersey lawyers are ready to help.
What are common defective airbag and seat belt injuries?
When the safety features in a vehicle fail, the results can be tragic. Victims of car accidents tend to experience serious injury even with protection. Without it, injuries can be catastrophic, including:
- Amputation injuries
- Burns, cuts, and abrasions
- Facial injuries and disfigurement
- Internal bleeding
- Neck, back, and spinal cord injuries
- Puncture wounds from defective airbag shrapnel
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Vision and hearing impairment injuries
The legal team at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP works to find out the extent of your injuries and exactly what caused them.
How can a New Jersey product liability attorney help with my case?
Vehicle manufacturers will do nearly anything to avoid liability for a faulty seat belt or airbag injury. Taking responsibility for your injury potentially means costly recalls and fines, which can greatly affect the company’s bottom line. Our attorneys will take up the fight on your behalf so you can focus on healing and getting better.
With an experienced law firm on your side, you can increase your chances of a success product liability claim. We seek financial compensation for:
- Medical bills, current and future
- Loss of wages and future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- In cases of wrongful death, funeral and burial expenses
We also work to ensure that car manufacturers do not cause further harm to consumers – making these products safer for everyone.
What should I do after being injured by defective airbags or seat belts?
After doing all the things you should after an accident – getting medical help, securing police reports – it is also important to preserve the evidence. This means keeping your vehicle in the same condition it was at the time of the accident. Store your vehicle safely but do not make any repairs or replace any parts until an automotive specialist can inspect it for defective parts.
You should also take photos of the car for evidence. Take as many as you can, from all angles. This can help accident reconstruction experts, as well as be used in a trial, if necessary. These photos will help you build a solid claim for your injuries.
Dedicated NJ product liability attorneys on your side
We have built our reputation on integrity. There are very precise ways to determine whether seat belt or air bag failure resulted in additional bodily injury or death. We offer a no-cost consultation to evaluate your case. We will investigate the circumstances of your accident. If you have a legitimate claim for damages, you will have a formidable litigation firm on your side, fighting aggressively to help you recover the full money damages you deserve. Insurance defense attorneys and judges know that if our firm handles a case, it is only with full confidence that there is negligence on the part of the manufacturer.
Strong representation for injured drivers and passengers in NJ
From offices in Edison, Red Bank and Toms River, our lawyers advise and represent clients in personal injury and wrongful death litigation matters throughout New Jersey. From wherever you are, call our office at 732-777-0100 or contact us online to request a free consultation.