The swift deployment of airbags can be concerning, especially when they spray metal and other dangerous materials into the vehicle. However, excessive force does not always result in a personal injury case in Nevada. Sometimes airbags fail to open when they should, either because of improper installation of airbags or because of a design defect.
The government has required auto manufacturers to install passenger and driver airbags for protection in all cars since the 1999 model year, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Front airbags reduce driver fatalities in crashes by 29 percent and fatalities of front-seat passengers age 13 and older by 32 percent. Side airbags that protect the head reduce a driver’s risk of death in driver-side accidents by 37 percent and an SUV driver’s risk by 52 percent.
These figures indicate how imperative is the presence of airbags in a car, along with its effective functioning. However, the Nevada law permits plaintiffs to claim damages caused by flawed products on the basis of strict liability. This means that there is no burden of proof over the plaintiff.
Following is a list of frequently asked questions to assist you in understanding when you can file a personal injury case in Nevada:
How Do Airbags Work?
Airbags are developed to prevent injury from moderate to severe car accidents. The airbag system’s electronic control unit sends out a signal when this type of impact takes place. Within 1/20th of a second, a harmless gas begins to inflate the frontal airbags upon impact. The impact starts a chemical reaction that causes that. Side-impact airbags inflate even more quickly.
The injuries sustained by a driver can be extremely severe if they are too close to the airbag at the time of its deployment. This is the reason why manufacturers suggest maintaining distance from the steering wheel and always wear seatbelts.
How Do Airbags Cause Injuries Resulting in a Personal Injury Case in Nevada?
In recent years, airbags have proven to be effective lifesavers. However, in some cases, airbags have also resulted in severe injuries and even deaths. The most common are:
The Airbag Was Not Installed Properly:
The airbag must be installed properly for its adequate functioning. Most of the body shop personnel are not trained to install airbags, so if the airbags fail to deploy or deploy with too much force endangering the life of the driver, they can be held liable for any damages sustained. For safety concerns, it is recommended to purchase airbags from an authorized dealer and have them properly installed.
The Airbag Was Defective:
As per Nevada law, companies that manufacture, sell or distribute defective products can be sued for injuries caused, if such products are used in a reasonable manner.
A plaintiff must prove five things in order to win a lawsuit involving defective airbags in Nevada:
- The airbag was defective
- The defendant manufactured, distributed, or sold the airbag or its ancillary components
- The plaintiff used the airbag in a reasonable manner
- The defect was present when the airbag left the defendant’s premises
- The defect caused damages to the plaintiff
The Driver Did Not Know How to Use the Airbag in the Right Way:
The manufacturers or distributors of the airbag will always claim that the plaintiff used the airbag in the wrong way. They may claim that the user ignored the guidelines. According to the comparative negligence clause of the Nevada law, fault can be apportioned between a plaintiff and one or more defendants.
The Airbag Was Recycled:
Some shops refold already deployed airbags when they are not meant to be recycled. There is no law in Nevada restricting such acts. Recycled airbags possess a great risk of malfunctioning. It is advised to get the airbags tested or replaced if they were installed by someone other than the manufacturer.
The Airbag Did Not Come with Proper Warning Labels:
Adequate and visible warning labels and guidelines are a compulsory requirement imposed by the federal regulations. Many car owners sometimes accidentally or intentionally remove them. However, if the owner sells the car to someone else with removed warning labels and guidelines, they are personally liable if the second owner of the car is injured due to missing labels on the airbag.
The Best Recourse When Defective Airbags Cause a Personal Injury:
We at Nettles Morris Law specialize in cases of defective airbags which potentially lead to a personal injury case in Nevada. To file a successful lawsuit in order to cover your injuries along with medical costs, it is important that you hire a competent attorney. Call us today to book a free consultation session and know more about the services we offer our clients.