What do you when your air bags do not come out when they should have?

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What do you when your air bags do not come out when they should have?

Asked on October 5, 2011 under Accident Law, Georgia

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the manufacturer of your vehicle and the dealer who sold you the car for negligence and strict liability.  Negligence and strict liability are separate causes of action (claims) in your lawsuit.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable manufacturer/reasonable seller would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances so that the vehicle was not defective).  In order to prove negligence, you will need to prove duty (of due care mentioned above), breach of duty (failure to exercise due care because air bags were defective), actual cause, proximate cause and damages.  Actual cause means but for the air bags not deploying would you have been injured in the auto accident?  If the answer is no, actual cause has been established.  Proximate cause means were there any unforeseeable, intervening events which would relieve the manufacturer/seller of liability?  If the answer is no, proximate cause has been established.  Damages means the amount of compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit due to the air bags failure to deploy.  Damages would include property damage due to the air bags not deploying, your personal injury including medical bills,  pain and suffering, and wage loss due to your injury.

The manufacturer is liable for a defective product.  The seller is liable even if the seller could not have discovered the defect.

Strict liability imposes liability on the manufacturer and seller whether or not due care was exercised.

Prior to filing your lawsuit, it might be possible to settle your case with the insurance carriers for the manufacturer and dealer.  If the case is settled with both defendants, NO lawsuit is filed.  If the case is only settled with one of the defendants, the lawsuit only names the other defendant.  If the case is NOT settled with either defendant, the lawsuit names both manufacturer and seller as defendants.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance carriers, reject the settlement offers and file your lawsuit.  You will need to file your lawsuit for negligence and strict liability prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


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