How to Protect Yourself from an Airbag Accident
When airbags function properly, they can be an effective automotive safety device. Unfortunately, when an airbag is defective, it can cause serious injury and even death. Because even the safest drivers can’t always avoid an Automotive Accident, read on to discover how to minimize your risk of being injured in an airbag accident.
- Check to see if your car is part of the recall. Takata, a major airbag manufacturer, has issued a recall affecting upwards of 70 million vehicles. To find out if your vehicle is one of them, check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website’s recall page. The page is updated on a regular basis and has a handy, easy-to-use search feature. You can also check with your vehicle’s manufacturer.
- Schedule an appointment to have the airbag fixed – immediately. If your vehicle is affected, contact your local dealer’s service department to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. The airbag replacement should be completely free. The sooner you can get the faulty airbag replaced, the sooner you can greatly reduce your risk of injury by airbag.
- Know your rights to a rental. Because of the sheer volume of airbag repairs involved in the recall, you may have to wait several months before you can have your vehicle repaired. Some dealerships are offering rental cars for those who have to wait for an extended period of time. However, keep in mind that in many cases, only the registered owner of the affected vehicle may be issued a rental and that rental may not be of equal standard to the affected car. If you are under 25 years of age, you may deny a rental due to insurance limitations. In these cases, seeking legal representation may be beneficial.
- If you’ve been hurt, seek legal representation. If you have already been hurt in an airbag accident, contact a personal injury attorney as you may be entitled to compensation from the airbag’s manufacturer. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to effectively deal with the insurance company and will help ensure you get the full settlement you are entitled to, including medical expenses, property damage and any lost wages.
Additionally, always follow your vehicle’s safety guidelines. Wear your seatbelt properly and ensure any children are properly secured in the back seat in car seats or boosters appropriate for the child’s height and weight. When in doubt, check your state’s department of motor vehicle safety guidelines.