Dallas Defective Airbag Attorney
Perhaps you’ve heard of the Takata airbag recall, which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) calls one of the most comprehensive and largest in history. Affecting over 100 million vehicles worldwide, the defective airbags were installed in vehicles from 14 different automakers in model years ranging from 2002 to 2015.
The heart of the problem rests with the propellant used in the air bag inflator, which can cause these airbags to deploy explosively, injuring or killing drivers or passengers on impact. If the airbag ruptures during a crash, it could release metal shards into the vehicle with disastrous consequences.
Over 100 injuries and 10 deaths have been associated with the Takata airbag. NHTSA officials have linked the problem to the ammonium nitrate-based propellant, which lacks a proper drying agent. High temperatures and age exacerbate the defect, leading to possible explosion of the airbag upon impact.
How Do I Know If My Vehicle Is Equipped With a Defective Airbag?
If your vehicle is part of the Takata airbag recall, you may have received a recall letter from the manufacturer of your vehicle. If you have a used vehicle or you move frequently, however, you may not have received one. Check to see if any recalls apply to your vehicle by visiting safercar.gov and entering your VIN number, which is located on the lower corner of your vehicle on the driver’s side (you can also find it on your driver’s side door).
Is your vehicle part of the airbag recall? If so, your manufacturer is required by law to fix it for free. Contact them for more details.
I’ve Been Injured by a Defective Airbag. What Are My Options?
If you’ve been injured by a defective airbag in your vehicle, you’re not alone. The NHTSA estimates tens of millions of vehicles are subject to faulty airbags in the United States. An investigative report by CNN found victims of defective Takata airbags looked like they had been “shot or stabbed,” according to police officers who responded to the scene. At least two victims had shrapnel land in their eyes, permanently damaging their vision.
Your first course of action should be tending to your health, but it’s also important to consider your legal options. Consult with a personal injury attorney to discuss a settlement. Never pay for someone else’s negligence – a personal injury claim will help compensate for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Basics of Personal Injury Claims
Successfully winning a personal injury claim requires several moving parts. First, you must prove:
- You were injured,
- Someone (e.g., the manufacturer of your airbag) was negligent, and
- That negligence directly caused your injuries.
Second, you must file a personal injury lawsuit with the appropriate court within the statute of limitations, which in Texas is 2 years. Last, you must comply with all applicable timelines to ensure a payout of your settlement.
This is why hiring an experienced attorney is so important. A lawyer will ensure you’re suing the appropriate parties, conduct a thorough investigation, and file all paperwork in an orderly and timely fashion.
In cases like the Takata airbag recall, it may be advantageous to pursue a “mass tort action,” which is when many parties experiencing similar injuries in the same circumstances file a lawsuit together. This is often a more expedient solution when the courts are bogged down with several lawsuits.
To discuss your personal injury case, contact the Law Office of Stephen W. Shoultz. We offer our services on a contingency-fee basis, so you only pay if we win. Let us evaluate your case and advise you of your next steps. Schedule your free initial consultation today.