Published On: Thu, Mar 23rd, 2023

How Much Is Your Safety Worth? The Average Defective Airbag Settlement

The iconic gleaming chrome finish of an automobile during the mid-20th century was something of a symbol. It represented status and luxury, and was the manifestation of a vehicle’s material value in physical form, growling down the street. 

However, the lives of the ones we love, and their safety are immeasurable, incalculable, and invaluable. At George Salinas Injury Lawyers, a San-Antonio based law firm specializing in personal injury law, one thing is abundantly clear: the cases that have led to substantial settlements for impacted individuals and their families, while serving justice, cannot bring back their loved ones or instantaneously heal their grief.

photo David Peña via pixabay

A look inside the machine

If we peeled away the aesthetically pleasing smooth finish of a vehicle, it would reveal that, fundamentally, cars are dense metal-shaped boxes weighing thousands of pounds, that we use as a mode of transportation. And even when manufacturers produce defective safety features like airbags, the consequences and impact can be deadly. According to Consumer Reports, “a total of 67 million airbags have been recalled, and at the end of 2022, 11 million were still yet to be replaced.”

Car manufacturers and part suppliers are responsible for designing functional vehicles that ensure the safety of not only drivers and passengers, but also the safety of pedestrians and their surroundings. Unfortunately, as airbag defect issues persist, victims may miss out on the compensation they deserve if they file a claim on their own or engage an inexperienced personal injury law firm. 

Trial lawyer George Salinas founded his firm with a commitment to bilingualism and accessibility for clients. He recognizes the importance of providing clients with complete access to an attorney at every stage of the legal process. This is especially important in cases where airbags fail to deploy, as victims are entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and any psychological or emotional suffering resulting from their injuries.

The harm caused affects not only the victim and their loved ones, but their future earnings in combination with any physical mobility issues resulting in long-term suffering. Consumer Notice explains that “exploding airbag inflators have hurled metal shrapnel at drivers and passengers, causing serious injuries and multiple deaths.”

In settlement cases, there are various physical injuries that can occur from airbag defects that individuals can claim. Consumer Notice also adds that metal shrapnel has been claimed in cases to cause devastating physical injuries, such as “bone fractures including limb, skull, spinal and rib fractures, brain injury or concussion, facial injuries and black eyes, broken neck or other neck damage, burns, serious cuts, loss of or damage to vision, hearing or voice, permanent scars, [and] death.”

Safety is not always guaranteed

Cars not only hold cultural significance, but have a pervasive presence in our environment, influencing the design and development of our cities, towns, and neighborhoods. As a result, this influence extends to the safety of our surroundings, in and out of the vehicles we use every day. The strict regulations and safety standards established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have evolved over the years to address design failures, recalls, and — most importantly — focus on ingenious safety features such as airbags.

Car manufacturers have employed advertising and marketing strategies rooted in psychology to mold customers’ perceptions of their products, placing a significant emphasis on safety measures. Nevertheless, the messaging they convey does not consistently reflect reality. 

Airbag defects have become all too common, with frequent occurrences of late deployment, faulty sensors, and shrapnel explosions that have caused serious injuries and fatalities. This has led to increased demands for additional safeguards in the development and manufacturing process, including legal action from consumers. 

Expert personal injury attorneys, like those at George Salinas Injury Lawyers, begin building their cases by listening and empathizing with the victim. In terms of collecting evidence, they hire experienced investigators to examine the accident scene, survey airbags, and find eyewitnesses because they believe that every affected individual has a right to fair compensation. 

Calculating the average settlement cost

Overall, the definitive settlement amount that a victim can receive is variable, as it depends on the particular circumstances of the accident. Typically, defective airbag case lawyers determine the amount of compensation that can be recovered based on the specific elements of each case by assessing the severity of the victim’s injuries, their maximum expected recovery time, and the impacts on one’s ability to work and maintain long-term employment. 

After an accident, the impact of injuries, legal logistics, and financial stress can be burdensome. This is why George Salinas Injury Lawyers offers a payment arrangement in which attorneys use their own resources to handle the case, and the victim does not have to pay anything out of pocket. 

This payment scheme is also known as “contingency fees,” wherein the lawyers receive a small percentage of the final compensation if (and only if) they win the case. Payment is not required if the case is not won. 

Car manufacturers must take responsibility for airbag defects and take action to improve the safety of their products. Until then, victims and lawyers will continue to take action to secure the safety of all passengers and drivers.

Author: Rohan Singh

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