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Crashworthiness

When we get into our cars, we expect them to protect us in the event of a crash. For example, in the event of a car crash, we expect our seatbelts to work properly, our airbags to safely deploy, and our seats to remain on their tracks and upright so as to support us.

Since 1985, the Alabama Supreme Court has recognized a type of legal claim for “crashworthiness.” A crashworthiness case exists when an accident happens and a defect in the product (e.g., the airbag) is the source of the injury. In other words, the law expects for the occupants of a vehicle to be reasonably protected in the event of a collision, and further expects that the car itself will not cause harm to the occupants.

Some examples of crashworthiness cases include the following:

  • Airbags that fail to deploy when there is significant crush damage to the front or side of a car
  • Airbags that deploy in the absence of any crash
  • Airbags that deploy unexpectedly and eject shrapnel or metal
  • Fuel tanks that cause a fuel-fed fire following a crash
  • Seatbelts that do not remain latched during a crash
  • Seatbacks that collapse backwards in the event of an impact

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by a product defect in a vehicle, please contact our firm at 251-471-6191 for a free consultation.

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