Airbags have been in use for many years now. In fact, some of the major U.S. automobile manufacturers began installing airbags in some of their vehicles in the early 1970s. While they do save lives, airbag injuries can occur. Frankly, children riding in the front seat can be seriously injured or killed when an airbag deploys in a car wreck or crash. An airbag is not a soft, billowy pillow. To do its job, an airbag comes out of the dashboard at up to 200 miles per hour – faster than the blink of an eye. The force of an airbag can hurt those who are too close to it.
Even when one is cautious, airbags can be unforgiving. When a manufacturer designs, produces, or installs an airbag incorrectly, serious injuries and deaths can result. Defective airbags include, but are not limited to, those that deploy with too much force, deploy in minor collisions when they are not otherwise needed, or fail to deploy under circumstances in which they should.
Airbags are designed to save lives in the event of an auto accident or car wreck. Occasionally, though, an inflated airbag may injure a passenger. Most bags deploy with a tremendous amount of force, thus posing a serious threat to those who sit too closely to them. Even the smallest of car wrecks or collisions could trigger the deployment of the airbag. Unfortunately for those injured, airbag lawsuits are extremely hard to win.
But in 2002, a jury awarded a ten-year-old Texas girl $4 million after she was left seriously injured by an airbag. Ashlee Hillhouse was riding in the passenger seat of her mother’s 1994 Plymouth Voyager in August 1998 when the car collided with another vehicle. Hillhouse’s airbag deployed but hit the girl’s head with such force that her nerves were pulled out of her spinal cord. Hillhouse’s left arm and hand were left ninety percent paralyzed.
Attorneys representing Hillhouse argued that design alternatives could have prevented the girl’s injuries. According to plaintiff attorneys, the case may have a profound effect on future airbag cases.
If you or a family member has been injured, abused or otherwise harmed, you should contact one of our California attorneys who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits within which you must commence suit.
You may also contact us by calling toll-free: 1-800-616-4529