As the safety technology in cars gets more advanced, the glitches in such technology become more complex. Increasingly, airbags cause just as much, if not more, injury when they don’t deploy as when they do. Earlier this year, a Virginia family was awarded $14 million plus $140,000 for medical expenses in just such a case. It involved a 16-year-old who got into a car accident in his 2008 Hyundai Tiburon.
In the accident, the teenager’s car left the road and struck a tree. A side airbag failed to deploy, causing head injuries to the teen. Attorneys for the family argued that airbag sensors in the 2008 models, as well as the five previous year models, were located in the wrong place. It also happens that 2008 is the last year Hyundai manufactured this car. Defense argued that in 2008, side airbags were an optional feature not required by law.
The injuries sustained by the teen resulted in nearly $140,000 in medical bills, extensive physical therapy for the relearning of basic skills like walking and talking, loss of short-term memory and the need for long-term care indefinitely.
The original trial ended in a hung jury. During the second trial, the jury deliberated for 10 hours before finding that Hyundai breached the implied warranty of merchantability — that is, they had manufactured a car that was unreasonably dangerous.
It’s easy enough to assume that a teenage driver would be at fault in a one-car accident. A Connecticut auto accident lawyer can help you in devastating cases like this. When the safety technology is there, it needs to work right, every time, even if it’s ahead of its time.
If you’ve been in a car accident, contact the experienced attorneys at The Pickel Law Firm. We offer free consultations in personal injury cases.