Takata Airbag Injury

Takata Airbag Injury

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Takata Airbag Injury

Airbags are supposed to save lives and protect us in an accident. However, defective airbags, such as those manufactured by Takata Corporation, could be ticking time bombs. Although subject to several recalls, vehicles on the road today may still contain dangerous airbags. When they deploy incorrectly or fail to inflate, Takata airbags can cause significant injuries and even deaths.  

If you or a loved one suffered a Takata airbag injury, you could be entitled to compensation. However, litigating product liability cases can be challenging, costly, and lengthy. Morgan & Morgan has your back. As America’s largest personal injury firm, we have the resources and experience to stand up to big corporations and fight even complex airbag liability claims.

Let us assess your airbag injury claim today with a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

Takata Airbag Recalls and Lawsuits

The safety problem with Takata airbags was first discovered in the early 2000s. However, the issue did not become widely known until around 2014, when several major car manufacturers recalled vehicles equipped with faulty airbags.

According to Reuters, at least 19 individuals died in the US due to defective Takata airbags. However, not all vehicles with Takata airbags have been fixed, and many affected cars may still be on the road, posing a risk of injury to drivers and passengers.

When Were Takata Airbags Recalled?

In the early 2000s, car manufacturers recalled vehicles equipped with Takata airbags due to reports of airbags deploying abnormally. However, authorities and manufacturers only recognized the scale of the problem when a series of Takata airbag injuries and fatalities occurred in the late 2000s and early 2010s

In response to the growing crisis, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began investigating the issue and issued recalls for affected vehicles. According to the agency, high heat and humidity could cause Takata airbags to explode when deployed in a crash. Manufacturers recalled over 60 million cars in the United States alone due to defective airbags.

Further Takata Recalls in 2019 and 2020

In 2019 and 2020, more Takata airbags were recalled separately from the original safety recalls. The newer recalls may explode or fail to inflate correctly due to defective inflators. According to the NHTSA, vehicles with potentially faulty inflators include those from car makers like BMW, Audi, Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi, and Isuzu.

The Causes of Takata Airbag Defects

Takata's airbags problems stem from using ammonium nitrate as a propellant, which can degrade and become unstable over time. This instability can cause the airbags to rupture upon deployment, sending metal fragments flying into the vehicle's cabin, resulting in shrapnel potentially causing severe injury or death. High temperatures and humidity exacerbate the problem by accelerating the degradation of ammonium nitrate.

Takata Lawsuits

The original Takata airbag lawsuit involved millions of vehicles with faulty airbags manufactured by the Japanese company Takata Corporation. It was one of the largest and most complex product liability cases in history. The scope of the recall, the number of vehicles affected, and the number of injuries and deaths caused by the defective airbags made it a major crisis for the automotive industry.

In total, automakers paid billions of dollars to settle lawsuits related to defective airbags. The settlements compensated victims injured or killed as a result of the faulty airbags. If you or someone you know is affected by a Takata airbag injury, let Morgan & Morgan know, as you may be entitled to damages.

Takata Airbags Can Cause Severe Injuries

In a collision, crash sensors trigger inflation of the airbag. However, since airbags inflate very quickly, they could cause significant injuries and even deaths if defective. Faulty Takata airbags have caused devastating injuries to drivers and passengers by sending metal pieces flying through the air during deployment. Common Takata airbag injuries include:  

  • Deep lacerations
  • Abrasions
  • Hearing loss
  • Eye injuries
  • Head and brain injuries
  • Bruising of the face
  • Chipped or broken teeth
  • Fractures
  • Bleeding of the brain
  • Burns
  • Neck injuries

Drivers and occupants may also suffer severe and fatal injuries when defective Takata airbags fail to deploy in an accident.

Compensation in Takata Airbag Injury Claims

Victims of Takata airbag defects could qualify for significant compensation with a personal injury lawsuit or by filing a claim with a Takata trust fund.

What Is the Takata Trust Fund?

As part of the bankruptcy proceedings of Takata Corporation, trust funds were established to provide compensation to individuals and entities injured or affected by the defective airbags. Therefore, you could be entitled to a settlement from the fund if affected. A lawyer at Morgan & Morgan can walk you through the process of filing a claim.

Damages You Could Recover

What you could receive will depend on the facts of your case, such as the scope of your injuries, medical expenses, income losses, and other factors. Available damages can include, among others:

  • Healthcare expenses and long-term care costs
  • Loss of wages and the ability to earn a future income  
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of a sense, such as eyesight or hearing
  • Permanent disability
  • Reduced life enjoyment

Wrongful Death Due to Takata Airbag Injury

If your loved one died from an airbag injury, you could have legal recourse and recover a settlement from the Takata trust fund or a responsible car manufacturer. While damages you can recover will depend on your jurisdiction, you could be entitled to the following:

  • Loss of income and benefits from the deceased
  • Loss of companionship (spouse)
  • Loss of parental guidance (minor children)
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Medical expenses before death
  • Pain and suffering

Losing a loved one in unexpected circumstances, such as a car crash, can be heartbreaking and traumatic. While we cannot turn back the time, Morgan & Morgan could help you recover the settlement you need to avert financial hardship and manage your future life after the death of your loved one.

How Morgan & Morgan’s Product Liability Lawyers Can Help

Firstly, we want you to stay safe and advise you to check your car and ensure that it is not involved in a Takata airbag recall, particularly if you own an older vehicle. If you or a loved one already experienced an injury from a defective Takata airbag, Morgan & Morgan could help. We can:

  • Investigate the Airbag Defect with the help of professional automotive experts
  • Help you understand whether you qualify for compensation
  • Explain your options, such as initiating a claim with an existing settlement fund or filing a personal injury lawsuit
  • Move forward with filing a settlement claim or lawsuit and fight vigorously for what you deserve

Not all law firms have the resources and knowledge to handle complex Takata airbag injury claims and stand up to powerful global car or car part manufacturers. However, you can place your trust in Morgan & Morgan. We have been fighting for the injured for over 35 years, recovering over $20 billion in damages. We want nothing more than to help our clients receive the compensation they need to get their lives back on track.

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Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

Morgan & Morgan

  • How Can I Find Out Whether My Airbags Are Affected?

    You can check your vehicle's VIN (vehicle identification number) against the list of affected vehicles on the NHTSA website to determine whether your vehicle's airbags were produced by Takata and are subject to any recalls. The NHTSA’s lookup tool allows you to enter your VIN and run a check on the website. You can also contact your vehicle's manufacturer or dealership to see if your vehicle is part of the recall.

  • Who Could I Sue for My Takata Airbag Injury?

    Since the company that manufactured the defective airbags is no longer in business, you would not be able to sue Takata Corporation directly for damages now. However, you could still have a claim against the following and other responsible parties:

    • An airbag parts manufacturer
    • The vehicle manufacturer
    • A car dealership

    You may also be entitled to a payout from a Takata settlement trust fund. Since product liability claims can be challenging to understand, consult with an experienced attorney to determine your options for filing a personal injury lawsuit. Morgan & Morgan is here to help. We can analyze your claim and identify all liable parties.

  • What Should I Do if I Was Hurt by a Takata Airbag?

    If you suffered a Takata airbag injury, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Consider contacting a product liability attorney who can help you understand your legal rights and options, as the settlement and compensation process can be complex and depend on individual circumstances.

    Keep all documentation related to your accident and injury, such as:

    • Medical bills
    • Police reports
    • Receipts for out-of-pocket expenses
    • Photographs of your accident and the defective airbag parts
    • Correspondence with the NHTSA or your car manufacturer

    Morgan & Morgan can help you understand your options and legal rights. We see the results of corporations neglecting the health and safety of consumers every day. Our product liability attorneys understand the hurdles injured victims and their families face when fighting for what they deserve. We are here to help the injured get justice.

  • Should I Disable My Airbag as a Precaution?

    Airbags save lives, and disabling your airbags could put you at risk of severe injuries in accidents. If you are concerned about the safety of your airbags, contact your car dealer instead of disabling them, and check whether your vehicle is implicated in any recalls. However, it is also critical to note that there are no warning signs if the airbag is defective. Therefore, if you are concerned, take prompt action and ensure your vehicle’s airbags are safe.

  • Can I Still File a Takata Lawsuit?

    It may be possible to file a lawsuit related to the Takata airbag recall. However, the deadline for filing claims in the Takata airbag settlement may now have passed. The settlement, which was reached in 2016, established a fund to compensate individuals injured or killed due to the defective airbags. If you believe you may have a valid claim, consult with an attorney who can advise you on your legal options.

  • Should I Hire an Attorney for a Takata Trust Fund Claim?

    You may be able to file a claim on your own. However, due to the legal issues involved in obtaining a trust fund settlement, such as potentially being prohibited from filing a personal injury lawsuit, you should get legal advice to protect yourself.

    Moreover, depending on your case, it may now be too late to file a trust fund claim. However, you could have other options for recovering what you deserve, including a personal injury lawsuit. Our attorneys can assess your specific case and determine your next best steps, whether filing a personal injury lawsuit or applying for a trust fund settlement.

  • How Much Does an Injury Lawyer Charge?

    Product liability lawyers usually work on a “no-win-no-fee” basis, meaning you don’t pay any attorney’s fees out of your own pocket. The lawyer only gets paid if and when you win the case. If you lose, neither you nor your attorney will receive any money.

    However, some law firms charge their clients for legal expenses upfront, such as:

    • Court filing fees
    • Deposition expenses
    • Professional investigator and expert witness fees

    At Morgan & Morgan, we want injured individuals to have access to the best lawyers, regardless of their financial circumstances. We know that money can be tight when you suffer a severe injury or a loved one dies. Therefore, you pay nothing unless and until we recover compensation for you.

  • Morgan & Morgan Fights Back for You

    When corporations play games with the health of consumers, we fight back. Our experienced tenacious product liability attorneys want to help if you or a loved one suffered a Takata airbag injury. Contact us now for a free case review to start the process of getting justice and compensation.

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