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:
- The defendant manufactured, distributed, or sold the product;
- The product contained a manufacturing defect when it left the defendant’s possession;
- That the defect was a substantial cause of the victim’s injuries; and
- 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.