Can I sue for a car manufacturer for faulty equipment?

I have been in 4 front end collision accidents in my vehicles; 2 were my fault and the other 2 were not; 3 of the 4 accident have been over 55 miles an hour. My air bags have never deployed. I was in 1 last night and have a small head injury. I was wondering because I spoke with the manufacturer’s specialist today, and he said they should always deploy when going 35 miles an hour or more.

Asked on August 27, 2011 District of Columbia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the air bag was indeed defective, and you suffered an injury due to the defect, you may be able to sue the manufacturer for compensation. The question is, should you?

You can recover for out of pocket medical costs (so anything not covered by insurance); for lost wages (if any); and for your pain and suffering *if* the injury was serious enough. That means that if you have suffered loss of function or disability for any significant time, inability to enjoy or do normal aspects of life, significant pain for more than a few days, etc.

Lawsuits, especially product liability ones, cost money--you need to pay lawyers, experts, etc. You need to decide whether the cost is worth the potential recovery. If you were  lucky enough to not have significant medical bills, long lasting serious pain or disability, have not lost salary, etc., it's probably not worth it.

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