Louisiana Car Accidents: Can I Sue if My Airbag Failed to Deploy?

February 6, 2023 18-Wheeler Truck Accidents

Louisiana Car Accidents: Can I Sue if My Airbag Failed to Deploy?

Airbags are safety features that are legally required to be installed in most passenger vehicles in the United States. There are front airbags and, often, newer vehicles also have side airbags. The purpose of airbags is to inflate instantly and cushion the impact of a crash. If airbags fail to deploy, that is often solid evidence that there has been some sort of mechanical, design or installation failure which could make the car manufacturer (or other company) legally liable to compensate the crash victims for some portion of the injuries suffered.


However, there is one important caveat — failure of an airbag to deploy must be causally related to the injury suffered or related to the severity of an injury. Put another way, if the airbag had deployed, would that have prevented the injury or lessened the severity of the injury? For example, assume the only injury was a broken arm. Airbag failure might have had no relationship to that kind of injury.

In any event, that caveat is rarely at issue. Almost always, failure of airbags to deploy will be directly related to injuries sustained and to the severity of such injuries.

Airbags are actually quite complex technologically involving sensors, computer programming, wiring and electrical components and the airbag module itself. As such, there are many reasons that an airbag can fail to deploy. As a result, airbag failure cases are legally complicated involving technical documentation, expert reports and opinions as to exactly why the airbag failed to deploy. For this and other reasons, if you have been injured in an airbag failure-to-deploy crash, it is crucial to retain experienced Louisiana personal injury and products liability attorneys like the ones at Mansfield, Melancon, Cranmer & Dick LLC.

Who is Potentially Liable? 

As noted above, the main potential at-fault parties are the vehicle manufacturer and/or the company that installed the airbags. This is because product manufacturers and sellers are responsible in Louisiana for injuries caused by their products either because of defective design or manufacture. But, because of this there may be other potential at-fault parties depending on why the airbag failed to deploy. For example, as noted, if the airbag was designed improperly, then the design company can be held liable. Alternatively, maybe this particular airbag had a manufacturing defect when it left the assembly line. In that case, the company that manufactured the specific airbag module at issue can be held liable in addition to the company that sold the vehicle. Likewise, another reason for failure could be linked to defects in software and programming of the vehicle’s computer module. Again, if that was the reason for the failure of deployment, then the tech company involved in the software and computer system could be held liable. Failure of repair and/or maintenance can also be the reason that an airbag might fail to deploy. In that case, the repair service company might be liable.

These are the factual questions that your experienced and courtroom-tested Louisiana personal injury attorneys will explore and develop. With complex cases like this, it is necessary to bring ALL potential at-fault parties into the case. This ensures the maximum recovery for the victim. Further, there may be multiple parties who are eventually held to be at fault, and each should be required to compensate the victim based on the percentage of their fault.

Our Attorneys Can Help 

For more information, contact the Louisiana personal injury lawyers at Mansfield, Melancon, Cranmer & Dick LLC. We have a proven track record of success handling many types of Louisiana personal injury cases, including car accidents, boating accidents, motorcycle accidents, premises liability accidents, and cases involving nursing care facility abuse/neglect. Contact us by calling one of our offices: New Orleans at (504) 500-1108, Baton Rouge at (225) 612-0800, or Lafayette at (337) 409-0003. You can also request a free consultation by using our “Contact Us” page.