Can I sue a carmanufacturer for a head-on collusion into a median ditch,if the air bags did not deploy?

Asked on November 8, 2011 under Personal Injury, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the failure to deploy caused you or a passenger injury and was due to something the manufacturer did (e.g. bad design or manufacture), then you certainly sue them. Even if you're not sure whether the failure was caused by something the manufacturer did or something someone else did (e.g. maybe the dealership deactivated them while performing maintenance, then forgot to turn them on), as long as there was injury you could sue the manufacturer--and also any other party (like the dealer) who might be liable, then look in the lawsuit to determine and assign liability.

If there was no injury, there's no point in suing. Except in rare cases involving deliberate malicious wrongoing or behavior grossly or wantonly negligent about possible consequences--i.e. "bad behavior," not just simple errors or carelessness--the law does not provide punative damages. Rather, you can only recover any amount in a lawsuit commensurate with injuries and direct costs caused by those injuries (e.g. medical costs). If the failure to deploy did not cause some significant injury or medical costs, you could not recover enough money in a lawsuit to even cover the cost of bringing it.

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