What can I do regarding faulty airbags which caused an injury?

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What can I do regarding faulty airbags which caused an injury?

My 2 year old car was in an accident at 70 mph in which it was hit head on into a concrete barrier. The air bags did not deploy and my cousin, who was driving the car at that time, was injured from the seat belt. What type of lawyer do I need to talk to?

Asked on January 18, 2017 under Personal Injury, Indiana

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You and your cousin should speak with a personal injury attorney.
Your cousin should file personal injury claims with the manufacturer of the airbag and the auto dealer where the car was purchased. Their insurance carriers should be notified in writing  that personal injury claims will be filed.
When your cousin completes medical treatment and is released by the doctor or is declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary, which means having reached a point in medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, cousin should obtain his or her medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of wage loss. The personal injury claims filed with the insurance carriers should include those items.
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement. The medical reports document the nature and extent of the 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 the insurance carriers for the manufacturer and seller, NO lawsuit is filed.
If your cousin is dissatisfied with the settlement offers, reject them and file a lawsuit for negligence and strict liability against the manufacturer and seller.
Negligence is the failure to exercise due care to produce a product that is not defective. Strict  liability is liability whether or not due care was exercised. 
The seller is liable even if the seller could not have known the airbag was defective.
Only name the party or parties with whom the case has not settled as defendants in the lawsuit.
If the case is NOT settled, the lawsuit must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or cousin will lose his or her rights in the matter forever.
 
 

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Your cousin, who was injured, could potentally sue the airbag and car manufacturer(s) for his out-of-pocket medical costs (i.e. any amounts not paid or covered by insurance) and, if he suffered significant, long-term disability and life impairment, possibly "pain and suffering," too. And if he missed work due to injuries, he can also seek to recover lost wages. A "personal injury" attorney is the type of lawyer who would handle a case like this. If you were not injured, you would have no grounds or basis to sue.


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