Free Consultation (803) 350-9230

Columbia Attorneys for Seatbelt and Airbag Failure in Car Accidents

Columbia Attorneys for Seatbelt and Airbag Failure in Car AccidentsSeatbelts and airbags have helped save millions of lives in vehicle accidents, and they are important and required safety features in most vehicles on the road. In fact, many states and municipalities have laws regarding seatbelt use, and they are routinely touted in public service campaigns as being highly effective in reducing the severity of injuries in car crashes.

However, sometimes seatbelts and airbags malfunction or fail altogether, and the results are often disastrous. The failure can often be traced back to a defect in the product’s design or manufacturing or improper installation. In these cases, the parties responsible for designing and making the component and bringing it to market could be held liable for any injuries or death that happen as a result.

If you or a loved one suffered injuries, or you lost someone in a vehicle crash because of a defective seatbelt or airbag, you might be able to obtain compensation for your losses, and the Columbia auto defects attorneys of Goings Law Firm, LLC can help. Voted one of the Best Law Firms in South Carolina for Personal Injury Litigation, we have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients. We are ready to help you get the justice you deserve, too.

Contact us today at (803) 350-9230 to request a free case evaluation.

Seatbelt Failure

Since the late 1960s, automobile manufacturers have been required to install seatbelts in all vehicles sold in the United States. Seatbelts started as only lap belts but evolved to include the three-point, shoulder-belt system most people have in their cars today.

While no one can deny their effectiveness in reducing serious and fatal injuries in car accidents, seatbelts have also caused injuries and deaths when they failed or malfunctioned. Some of the most common reasons seatbelts fail or malfunction are:

  • Latching issues – The seatbelt does not fully latch even though it feels secure.
  • Retractor problems – The retractor is supposed to lock and restrain the occupant. A failure could cause excessive slack in the belt, eliminating its effectiveness.
  • Defects in webbing – The seatbelt webbing itself may contain defects that can cause it to unravel or fail during impact.
  • Improper installation – Seatbelts must be anchored properly and securely, and the design and installation method should minimize the risk of injury from the seatbelt itself.

Injuries from Defective Seatbelts

Columbia Attorneys for Seatbelt and Airbag Failure in Car AccidentsThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) claims that thousands of people across the United States suffer injuries or are killed due to defective or malfunctioning seatbelts, and some statistics place the number in the millions.

If a seatbelt fails during an accident, the effects on the occupant can be the same as if they were not wearing a seatbelt at all. As a result, a car driver or passenger can suffer any of the following injuries in an accident due to a faulty seatbelt:

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Internal bleeding
  • Organ damage and failure
  • Blunt force trauma
  • Crushing injuries
  • Broken ribs and fractured bones
  • Shoulder dislocation
  • Whiplash
  • Respiratory problems

Aside from a defect in their design or issue with their installation, seatbelts can cause severe injuries to those wearing them even when they are functioning properly and doing what they were designed to do. Some vehicle accidents happen at high speeds or involve the car rolling or flipping. The tremendous physical forces involved can cause “seatbelt syndrome” injuries, such as:

  • Abdominal pain and bruising around the midsection
  • Internal bleeding
  • Damage to the intestines and other internal organs
  • Nerve damage
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Paralysis

Although you cannot sue a manufacturer for injuries you sustained from a fully functioning seatbelt, you may be able to file suit against your own insurance company if they refuse to pay for treatment of injuries arising from seatbelt syndrome.

Injuries Due to Airbags

A more recent safety feature in vehicles than seatbelts, airbags have been required in all cars and light trucks sold in the U.S. since 1999. Like seatbelts, their effectiveness in reducing serious and fatal injuries is undeniable, and they have been shown to reduce overall fatalities in passenger vehicle accidents by more than 30 percent.

Airbags provide a cushion to shield a vehicle occupant from slamming against the steering wheel, dashboard, side support, or some other surface in the car. Sensors around the car determine the direction and potential severity of the impact, and they send signals to the airbags, which then deploy an inflatable bag very quickly by using a rapidly expanding gas.

However, airbags are also prone to design and manufacturing defects as well as improper installation issues. What’s more, airbags themselves have caused serious and fatal injuries to vehicle occupants when they have deployed in a crash. In fact, during the early years of their widespread use, they caused hundreds of driver and passenger deaths, particularly those of infants and small children.

Although government requirements and improved airbag design have reduced the number of injuries and fatalities the devices themselves cause, injuries from airbags still happen simply due to the energy they use to deploy. Such injuries include:

  • Abrasions and lacerations
  • Sprains and dislocations
  • Broken bones
  • Contusions and bruising
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Eye injuries
  • Internal bleeding
  • Organ damage and failure

Airbag Defects

Like seatbelts, airbags can fail because they are defective. Unlike most seatbelts, airbags have a complex system that includes sensors and wires installed in the car’s body and frame, a gas cartridge to deploy the bag, the bag itself, and other components.

Any one of these components can contain a defect or fail or malfunction for some other reason. Sometimes, environmental factors can affect the sensors and cause the airbag to deploy spontaneously, even without a collision.

The Takata corporation’s defective airbags that caused injuries and fatalities are an example. Their airbags were linked to 15 confirmed deaths and more than 250 reported injuries in the U.S., and it led to an unprecedented airbag recall that began in 2015.

Contact Us for Help

The Columbia car accident attorneys at Goings Law Firm, LLC are here to assist you with all aspects of your injury claim involving seatbelt or airbag failure in South Carolina. Contact us today at (803) 350-9230 to request a free and confidential consultation.

Last Updated : April 28, 2023
TBest Law Firms - Personal Injury Litigation 2022
International Society of Barristers
10.0Robert F. Goings
Legal Elite Logo
Legal Elite Logo
South Carolina Leadership in law Honoree Logo
Rated a 10.0 Super Lawyer by
American Board of Trial Advocates
American Society of Legal Advocates Top 40 Under 40 - 2014
Best Law Logo
National Trial Lawyers Top 100
Legal Elite of the Midlands logo
 AV Preeminent
Best Law Badge
Best Personal Injury Attorneys in Columbia
South Carolina Association for Justice
Lead Counsel Seal
American Society of Legal Advocates Top 40 Under 40 - 2014
Super Lawyers Rising Star
Goings Law Firm, LLC, LawyersPersonal Injury & Property Damage, Columbia, SC
Robert Goings CR Platinum 300
Robert Goings PR AV
Trust Analytica-badge
The State's Best - 2023 Winner - Goings Law Firm
South Carolina Lawyers - The 2024 Powerlist - Personal Injury
Experienced caring and diligent professionals that fight to defend your rights to a fair compensation. Looking forward to years of service. Profesionales de experiencia, amables y diligentes que defienden con tenacidad su derecho a recibir una compensación justa. Hablan Español.
I had the opportunity to work with a group of exceptional legal professionals who assisted me with a settlement case. Their level of professionalism and expertise was apparent from the very beginning, and I felt confident that I was in capable hands. Their deep knowledge of the law was impressive, and they conducted a thorough analysis of my case, leaving no stone unturned. They were meticulous in their attention to detail, and they kept me updated on the progress of the case every step of the way. I was particularly impressed with their diplomatic approach to negotiations. They were able to handle even the most delicate situations with sensitivity and tact, which helped to maintain a positive relationship with the other party involved in the settlement. Overall, I am extremely satisfied with the services provided by this group of legal professionals. They demonstrated exceptional communication skills and were able to effectively represent my needs and concerns throughout the settlement process. I would highly recommend their services to anyone in need of legal assistance. Thank you for your outstanding service!
It was a pleasure working with the Going‘s law firm. They made me feel at ease through the whole process. Which helped me with recovery? Yes, I will recommend him in his law firm.
I would highly recommend Chris Paschal, and Goings Law Firm. Chris showed compassion, and you can really see that he cares about his clients. He stayed in constant communication with me and guided me throughout the entire process. Thank you so much for all of your help!!
I would highly recommend Chris Paschal, and Goings Law Firm. Chris showed compassion, and you can really see that he cares about his clients. He stayed in constant communication with me and guided me throughout the entire process. Thank you so much for all of your help!!
SEE MORE About Testimonial