If you or a loved one was injured or killed due to the defective Takata airbags, there are a few steps you should take to protect your physical and financial recovery.
Step 1: Follow Your Medical Care Regimen
In addition to helping you recover from your injuries more quickly, it can also help bolster an injury claim if you decide to file one later.
If you disobey doctor’s orders or skip doctor’s appointments, the defendant might try to argue you are fabricating or exaggerating your injuries.
Step 2: Document Your Losses/Keep Track of Your Receipts
Once you have received medical care or begun to take care of your loved one’s affairs, you must document your losses. Make sure you keep track of any bills, losses, or receipts related to your injuries or your loved one’s passing. This might include:
- Medical bills for you or your loved one
- Any time you needed to take off work to recover from your injuries
- Any receipts related to your loved one’s funeral or burial
- A journal documenting the emotional effects of your injury or your loved one’s passing
Note: If possible, be sure to preserve the airbag. This can be the most important piece of evidence in your case.
Step 3: Assess Your Potential Damages
You may be entitled to compensation for injuries caused by a defective Takata airbag and other costs related to your injuries, including the following:
- Medical expenses
- Prescription drug costs
- Physical therapy expenses
- Emergency transportation costs
- Reasonable attorney’s fees for pursuing your case
- Lost income and earning capacity
- Replacement costs for damaged property
- Funeral expenses for a loved who died due to a defective Takata airbag
- Mental anguish and suffering
- Special accommodations due to disability
- Loss of consortium after a spouse’s injury or death
You will need documentation to support all your damages. We can help explain which damages you may receive compensation for.
How much compensation you can receive will depend on your injuries or, in wrongful death cases, your relationship to the victim and other factors. Some damages, such as emotional pain and suffering, can vary widely and are difficult to predict.
Step 4: Check If Your Vehicle Is Under Recall
Whether your vehicle was part of the Takata airbag recall or not can affect your entitlement to compensation. For example, if you received a “do not drive” warning from your automaker but chose to drive anyway, Takata or your automaker might argue that you contributed to or caused your injuries by ignoring the warning.
A recall can also help your case. While a recall does not automatically establish liability on the manufacturer’s part, it can provide evidence linking your injuries to the defect.
Step 5: Make Sure You File Your Claim Before Deadlines Pass
Every state has one or more time limits for filing a product liability or wrongful death claim. These time limits can include a statute of limitations and a statute of repose. For example, Florida’s statute of limitations is four years for product liability claims and two years for wrongful death. New York gives claimants three years to file a product liability claim and two years for wrongful death.
If you file a claim outside this limit, you will likely be unable to recover anything.
Step 6: Discuss Your Case with a Takata Airbag Recall Lawyer
Get a professional opinion about whether you have a claim for a lawsuit due to a defective Takata airbag.
During an initial consultation, your attorney will listen to you explain the facts of your case to determine the validity of your defective product claim. Your attorney might ask the following questions:
- What caused your Takata airbag to deploy? Did it occur after an impact or was a random deployment?
- How did the incident happen?
- Did the airbag rupture or explode?
- What physical injuries or other damages did you suffer?
- Did you receive a recall notice?
- Did you receive a “do not drive” warning?
After your consultation, you should have a good idea of whether you have a product liability case. You may then pursue a claim against one or more companies to receive compensation for your injuries.
At Newsome Melton, we have experience taking on big companies in complex defective product cases. You will not have to pay any legal fees unless you receive compensation for your injuries. Call 888-808-5977 now to schedule your free Takata airbag injury case consultation.
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