If I was in a auto accident in which the airbags did not deploy and I sustained a facial injury which resulted in a trip to the ER, what are my rights?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I was in a auto accident in which the airbags did not deploy and I sustained a facial injury which resulted in a trip to the ER, what are my rights?

I would like to know if I can sue the manufacturer myself in a small claims court?

Asked on January 5, 2016 under Personal Injury, Michigan

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the manufacturer of the airbag and the seller (auto dealer) of the car for both negligence and strict liability.  However, you do not want to sue in Small Claims Court because the amount you can recover is limited.
You should file your lawsuit in Superior Court (this court may have a different name in your state) where you can recover much more monetary compensation than in Small Claims; however, prior to filing the lawsuit, it may be possible to settle the case with the insurance carriers for both the airbag manufacturer and the auto dealer.
Your personal injury claim should include your medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of wage loss filed with the insurance carriers for the airbag manufacturer and auto dealer.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.
If the case is settled with both insurance carriers (airbag and auto dealer), NO lawsuit is filed.  If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the insurance carriers, reject the settlement offers and file your lawsuit for negligence and strict liability.  Negligence on the part of the manufacturer is the failure to exercise due care to produce a product that is not defective.  The seller is liable even if the seller (auto dealer) could not have known that the airbag was defective.  Strict liability is liability whether or not due care was exercised.  Negligence and strict liability are separate causes of action (claims) in your lawsuit.
If the case is settled with one, but not both parties, only name the party with whom the case has not settled as a defendant in your lawsuit.  If the case is not settled with either party, name both (manufacturer and auto dealer) as defendants.
If the case is NOT settled, your lawsuit for negligence and strict liability must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption