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San Diego Defective Airbag Attorney

Fighting for Compensation for Injuries Caused by Airbag Defects

Statistics show airbags save thousands of lives each year, and greatly reduce the chance that occupants suffer serious injuries due to striking the interior of a vehicle during a crash.

While their impact on vehicle safety is undeniable, airbags save lives and prevent injuries only when they function properly and as intended. Should an airbag fail to perform as it should, fail to deploy when needed, or contain a defect that makes it dangerous to vehicle occupants, the results can be devastating.

If you or someone you love has suffered harm in a motor vehicle collision due to defects involving frontal airbags or side airbags (SABs), you may be entitled to compensation. The McClellan Law Firm is a recognized leader in automotive defect litigation and is available to discuss your potential case and how we may be able to help during a FREE consultation.

Why Choose The McClellan Law Firm?

The McClellan Law Firm is a boutique Civil Trial Law Firm with a national reputation for our work fighting on behalf of the injured and the wronged. Backed by decades of experience, we have helped clients across California and the U.S. in a range of personal injury and wrongful death cases involving motor vehicle accidents and defective products.

Our record speaks for itself:

  • Millions Recovered. We have recovered millions in compensation for our clients, including more than 140 separate verdicts and settlements in excess of $1 million dollars each.
  • Nationally Recognized. Attorney Craig McClellan is recognized among the nation’s top plaintiffs’ trial attorneys. He has been named San Diego’s Product Liability Litigation Lawyer of the Year by U.S. News – Best Lawyers in 2012, 2014, and 2019.
  • Proven Experience. Our firm is renowned for our work litigating high-stakes vehicle defect cases against some of the world’s largest automakers, including Porsche, Chrysler, GM, Ford, and more. Attorney Craig McClellan and our auto defect cases have been profiled on national and international media, including ABC’s 20/20 and CBS’ 60 Minutes.

Millions Recovered in Auto Defect Claims

The McClellan Law Firm has cultivated a reputation as a leader in automotive defect litigation. Examples of our auto defect results:

  • $25.36 Million – Confidential product defect and negligence wrongful death case.
  • $9.515 Million – Auto defect case involving post-collision fire.
  • $8 Million – Confidential wrongful death settlement over seatbelt design.
  • $6 Million – Settlement against Ford over SUV rear seatbelt design.
  • $5.8 Million- Confidential recovery involving off-road vehicle rollover.
  • $5.5 Million – Confidential wrongful death recovery over post-collision fuel-fed fire.
  • $5.2 Million – Settlement against Mercedes Benz involving seatbelt design.
  • $5 Million – Confidential product defect recovery for seatback failure.

Several of our high-profile auto defect cases have led to improvements in the auto industry and the passing of laws and standards designed to better protect vehicle occupants.

This includes a $2.5M jury award that prompted Porsche to offer driver’s training to people who purchase its turbo-charged vehicles, and a $6M settlement against Ford involving a family that later lobbied for legislation to require all used car dealers to place warnings on vehicles with lap-only seatbelts.

What Can Cause an Airbag to Fail?

Airbags are only effective at protecting drivers and passengers if they work correctly. Unfortunately, some airbags may contain defects that render them inherently dangerous.

Airbag defects may involve:

  • Failed deployment – Airbags cannot protect vehicle occupants if they fail to deploy in a crash or fire too late, which may be caused by defects involving electrical components, including sensors.
  • Defective sensors – Airbags are designed to deploy when alerted by a crash sensor. If these sensors or the systems which control them are defective, it can cause airbags to fire without warning during low-speed or non-frontal collisions, or fail to deploy in legitimate crashes.
  • Inflator defects – Defective airbag inflators or propellant systems can spell disaster for vehicle occupants. In addition to over-inflation and overly aggressive deployment, some inflator defects may result in rupture or explosion. In the case of the high-profile Takata airbag recall, the defective inflator system used a chemical propellant (ammonium nitrate) that could become unstable over time, resulting in explosive deployment and dispersal of metal shrapnel.
  • Poor design - A defectively designed airbag may fail to adequately protect and cushion vehicle occupants, causing them to suffer injuries in crashes they would not have been injured in had airbags been properly designed.

Can You Sue for Faulty Airbags?

If you or a loved one suffered harm due to a potentially defective airbag, you may have grounds to bring legal action against the manufacturer, distributor, and/or retailer responsible for making the defective product available to consumers.

While the specific claim(s) you bring against a product maker may vary depending on the facts of your case, products liability generally allows victims to hold manufacturers strictly liable for defectively designed, manufactured, or marketed products.

Strict liability means plaintiffs do not have to prove negligence (though they can bring negligence claims in addition to strict products liability claims). However, plaintiffs must prove a product is defective. For example, in manufacturing defect claims plaintiffs must prove that:

  1. The defendant manufactured, distributed, or sold the product;
  2. The product contained a manufacturing defect when it left the defendant’s possession;
  3. That the defect was a substantial cause of the victim’s injuries; and
  4. The victim suffered damages as a result.

In some case cases, victims may need to prove other essential elements. In design defect claims, for example, plaintiffs must prove either:

  • That the product failed to perform as an ordinary consumer would have expected when used as intended or in a reasonably foreseeable way (Consumer Expectation Test); or
  • That a safer alternative design existed that would have prevented the injury (Risk-Benefit Test).

While an experienced attorney skilled in litigating auto defect claims can determine the most appropriate claims to bring in your case, all defective product lawsuits require extensive preparation, investigation, and collaboration with expert witnesses. Having handled these cases for decades, The McClellan Law Firm has the necessary resources to help victims take on powerful automakers.

Recoverable Damages for Defective Airbag Injuries

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Lost income and lost future earnings
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering
  • Other economic and non-economic damages

Attorney Craig McClellan and our firm are recognized leaders in auto defect litigation and have secured more $1+ million verdicts and settlements than any other San Diego lawyer. We are available to review your case and discuss how we can help.

Contact us at (619) 215-1488 to request a FREE consultation.

  • Endorced by the Inner Circle of Advocates

    Craig McClellan is a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, an invitation-only group of the top 100 plaintiff trial lawyers in the United States.

  • Best Lawyers in America 2020

    Craig McClellan has been selected to the list of The Best Lawyers in America every year since 1993.

  • The firm earned a Tier 1 ranking in Personal Injury in the 2023 list of the Best Law Firms.

  • Best Lawers "Best Law Firms" - Personal Injury Litigation Plaintifs Tier 1, 2016

    The firm earned a Tier 1 ranking in Personal Injury in the 2022 list of the Best Law Firms.

  • Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" - Commercial Litigation Tier 1, 2016

    The firm earned a Tier 1 ranking in Commercial Litigation in the 2022 list of the Best Law Firms.

  • Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" - Product Liability Tier 1, 2016

    The firm earned a Tier 1 ranking in Product Liability in the 2022 list of the Best Law Firms.

  • Craig McClellan earned one of the top 10 medical malpractice settlements in California, securing a $9,000,000 settlement for a client.

  • Top 10 Settlements

    Craig McClellan & Conor Hulburt earned one of the top 10 premises liability settlements in California, securing a $3,175,850 settlement for a client.

  • Craig McClellan selected to Super Lawyers list, Top 10 San Diego Attorneys

    Craig McClellan has been selected to the list of Super Lawyers every year since 2007, and earned the most votes of ANY lawyer for 2019 in San Diego.

  • Craig McClellan was voted Lawyer of the Year for Product Liability Litigation by Best Lawyers for 2019.

  • 2020 AV Preeminent Peer Rated

    Attorney McClellan earned a Distinguished rating from Martindale-Hubbell for his achievements.

  • America's Top 100 Personal Injury Attorneys

    Craig McClellan is listed as one of America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators in Business Litigation, Personal Injury, and Product Liability.

  • Craig McClellan is rated 10.0 on Avvo - Top rated Personal Injury Lawyer

    Attorney McClellan has a 10/10 “Superb” rating, the highest rating an attorney can receive from Avvo.

  • BBB Accredited Business

    The firm has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, the highest possible rating offered by the organization.

  • Consumer Attorneys of San Diego

    Attorney McClellan is a member of the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, and previously served on its Board of Directors.

  • Attorney Craig McClellan was named as one of the “Best Attorneys” by the Los Angeles Times.

    Attorney Craig McClellan was named as one of the “Best Attorneys” by the Los Angeles Times.

  • Attorney Craig McClellan named “Best Lawyers” by San Diego Metro.

    Attorney Craig McClellan was named one of the “Best Lawyers” by San Diego Metro.

  • Attorney Craig McClellan named Top Lawyers in San Diego in Business Litigation by San Diego Magazine.

    Attorney Craig McClellan was named one of the Top Lawyers in San Diego in Business Litigation by San Diego Magazine.

  • Craig McClellan has been named among the Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers, which honors the nation’s top advocates.

Trusted Recommendations

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  • We wouldn’t be here, in this moment of life without the kindness and professionalism of you all and how you went to bat for us! Eternally grateful! A.K.

  • Immediately after our interview we knew without question that no matter how steep the mountain, win or lose, we had found the right person—Craig McClellan, Esq.—[…] We felt a profound sense of ... G.P.

  • We will NEVER forget what you did for us Craig. We are FOREVER GRATEFUL. K.V.

  • I just wanted to thank you for your efforts on [Pam’s] behalf, your skills, and your heart. You are not just a lawyer in what you do, you are a master of your profession. And I hope you are passing ... Juror

  • I thank you for your kindness and generosity in giving selflessly without reserve. Additionally, please extend my thanks to your staff for their diligent work and encouragement throughout the trial. A.D.

  • We do not quite know how to verbalize or show how grateful we are to have had the distinct honor to have you represent us at truly the most critical time in our lives. S.C.

  • Having had the high privilege of presiding over a number of cases involving national counsel, I want you to know you’re one of the very best [...]. You and those with you were outstanding ambassadors ...

  • It was a real honor to preside over a case with you as counsel. In my mind you represent all that is good in our profession. Judge J.

  • Your appearance on the nation-wide broadcast of ‘60 Minutes’ was a public service in which all San Diego has reason to take great pride. To integrity—you have added public service and again elevated ... Juror

  • We could not be happier with the McCllelan Law Firm team! My husband and I were referred to Craig McCllelan by one of his peers. We had a very sensitive medical malpractice case that we were hesitant ... S.P.

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