Seat Belt & Airbag Failure
Auto manufacturers are required to make automobiles and automobile components that can withstand a crash and perform as intended. Functioning seat belts and airbags are essential to protect vehicle occupants from serious injury in the event of a collision. If you or someone you love was involved in an auto accident and was injured because of a faulty seat belt or airbag, you may have an auto defect claim on your hands, and a North Carolina auto accident lawyer at Nagle & Associates, P.A. can help.
Types of Seat Belt Defects
There are actually a variety of defects that can cause a seat belt to malfunction and not restrain a vehicle occupant as intended. In other words, some seat belts are not crashworthy. Listed below are some of the most common types of seat belt defects:
- Unlatching Caused by Inertia- Seat belts are meant to keep an occupant restrained when the driver breaks or the vehicle sustains impact. Some faulty seat belts can come loose due to inertia (an object facing resistance due to a change in direction).
- False Latching – Some seat belts may appear to be latched when in fact they are not. If your buckle came loose in an accident, it may be because it was not actually latched to begin with.
- Accidental Release – The release button on seat belts (usually red) can be accidentally bumped by an occupant, causing the seat belt to become unbuckled. This could be due to poor buckle placement.
- Retractor Failure – The retractor function on seat belts is what causes it to sit snugly against the occupant’s body and tighten in the event that the seat belt is pulled rapidly forward (such as in an accident). If the retractor fails, the seat belt can accumulate slack and the occupant will be virtually unsecured.
- Faulty Seat belt Design – There are plenty of other seat belt design defects that could cause serious injury in the event of an accident. When seat belts do not function properly, in many cases it is because of a design defect.
If You Were Injured in an Accident and Your Airbags Didn’t Deploy
Car accident victims have filed successful lawsuits against auto manufacturers for airbag defects. For example, in July 2013, a jury awarded a family more than $14 million against Hyundai. According to the complaint, the family alleged that their son was killed in an accident and that his death could have been prevented had the airbags deployed properly. The jury agreed and awarded the family the large judgment. You may have also been injured if your airbags deployed improperly, causing damage. Airbag injuries can be severe in some cases. If your airbags (or lack thereof) caused you injury, you may have an auto defect claim against the vehicle’s manufacturer.
Car Accident Representation in Winston-Salem, Raleigh & Beyond
If you or someone you love was involved in an accident in which the airbags or seat belts did not function properly, you may have an auto product liability claim. To learn more, contact a North Carolina auto accident attorney at our firm. Nagle & Associates, P.A. was founded by a former insurance adjuster and former insurance defense attorney. Attorney Carl Nagle understands how to deal with insurance companies and how to stand up against big auto manufacturers to get victims the compensation they deserve. Call today to set up your free initial consultation!