If I was at fault for a car accident 3 years ago and my air bag didn’t deploy so my spine was severed, can I sue the car manufacturer?

I broke my back and severed my spine and now I live life in a wheelchair. Do I have any legal grounds to take on chevy or sue them.

Asked on October 21, 2015 under Personal Injury, North Carolina


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You would file one lawsuit naming both General Motors and the air bag manufacturer as defendants.  The lawsuit would include separate causes of action (claims) for negligence and strict liability.
Negligence is the failure to exercise due care ( manufacturer owes a duty of care to produce a product that is not defective).
Strict liability is liability whether or not due care was exercised.
Your damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) should include compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and wage loss.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills based on your medical reports.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.
Your lawsuit must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.
The statute of limitations may be a problem since three years have elapsed since your accident.  
You are the plaintiff.  GM and the airbag manufacturer are the defendants.
A lawsuit can be filed in the state where the plaintiff resides or in the state where the defendant is located or in the state where the claim arose.  
If the applicable statute of limitations has expired in NC, you could file your lawsuit in MI where GM is located or in the state where the airbag manufacturer is located.  If the statute of limitations has expired in those states, you could file your lawsuit in a state where GM and the airbag manufacturer are transacting business which would allow you to file in a state where the applicable statute of limitations has not expired. 

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