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Side Curtain airbags didnt deploy on rollover

I was driving my 2014 Toyota Camry on the interstate doing 65 mph. A lad pulled out in front of me and I hit her in the side and it sent me rolling 3 times and slid 90 feet on my roof and hood. Not one airbag deployed… No lawyer will take it and even look at it unless I was hurt bad or someone got killed. I need any help I can get while ive been told by a dozen people that atleast one or the side curtain airbags should have deployed.

What did your auto insurer say?

I talked with them today and he said he didnt have a clue why they didnt
and maybe cause I didnt hit the sensors right

You’d have to have someone do an investigation on the car to see if they should have deployed or why they didn’t. I assume the car is a total loss. You need to think though what you would hope to accomplish by proving that they malfunctioned? The car would still be destroyed and actually air bags can cause additional injuries when they blow up in your face. So really there is no upside to pursuing the matter which is probably why no one will take the case. Just further reasons to wear a seat belt and not depend on safety features.


@bing, the seat belts are a safety feature meant to function with the air bags to provide the best protection possible. As you correctly pointed out, the bags alone aren’t enough. Maybe that’s what you meant, but it didn’t come across that way.

  1. No lawyer will take WHAT? Who are you suing? The person who pulled out in front of you? Has there been a determination of fault W/R/T the accident?

  2. There’s no damages unless someone got hurt or killed. So, you were in a pretty substantial crash, and didn’t die, and didn’t get hurt (by your own admission). Seems like you have no cause to sue anyone, except the driver IF they are found at fault (but more likely you have insurance coverage, so let your insurer reimburse you–that’s what it’s for–and they can go after the responsible party, assuming that the “responsible party” isn’t you.)

Does that answer your question?



How do you hit anyone “on the side” (i.e. T-Bone) on the interstate? There’s no intersections on an interstate, other than merge lanes. Also, “a lad” pulled out in front of you, but you “hit HER on the side?” Was that just a typo on your part, switching genders, or was this a 3+ car collision? (Or maybe you meant “A Lada pulled out in front of me?”)

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Or a lady.

C’mon, @meanjoe75fan, how’s the boy gonna get rich if he can’t sue the guy?

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From the brief description you gave there is no reason for the side air bags to have deployed. They will deploy with a side impact strong enough to hurt the occupant of the car. You infer that you were not seriously injured so the sensors / computer correctly did not deploy the side air bag. The air bags are designed to protect you. They also deploy in a rather surprisingly strong (almost violent) fashion. People that were in an accident that the air bags did deploy frequently have bruised faces, arms, sore chests etc. The trade off is the air bag hurts you just a little preventing major trauma to the body. That is a fair trade off I will take any day. Since an attorney won’t take your case unless you were seriously hurt leads me to believe that you were not seriously hurt, good for you. That means you probably were wearing your seat belt, super good for you!!. Seat belts are one of the best safety features you can use. The safety features of your car worked as designed, give thanks for that.

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You might clarify exactly how the accident happened.

Since this was on an Interstate with merge lanes this means you could not have T-boned the other car unless they were trying to pull a U-turn on a divided highway and head the other way. (Don’t laugh; that happened to me and wiped my Subaru out…)

A slight glancing blow on the right front corner which led to loss of control is what I’m wondering…???

Main thing you’re not hurt. Pretty amazing for that many rolls.

While no expert, I think those bags inflate for only a short time, as when a sharp collision happens. A rollover might not have had the sharp impact to set off the airbags. And even if they did go off, they’d deflate pretty quickly, might not have made much difference.

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Heh heh, gotta be a gear head if you see “lad” as a typo for “Lada” and the possibility they meant “lady” sails over your head! But yeah, you’re probably right.

Seems to me, OP survived a rollover crash, at highway speeds, with minor/no injury…and instead of singing the praises of their life-saving Toyota, aims to SUE Toyota because the airbags didn’t go off? This strikes me as HIGHLY ungrateful behavior! It wasn’t that long ago, that a rollover crash at 65 MPH would be expected to cause death or severe injury.


Meanjoe75fan has summarized my reaction precisely.
In reality, the OP apparently (and luckily) suffered no real damages, yet he wants to sue Toyota?

I will grant you that, while it…might…be possible to secure a verdict in the OP’s favor, if he cannot prove actual damages resulting from a defect in his Toyota, then it is very unlikely that he will prevail, and he should just be very glad that he is alive and well, and should just go on with his life–albeit with much more caution on the road.

Edited to add this addendum:
The OP should do a little research into the term “proximate cause”, and he will (hopefully) see that the only party culpable under that overriding legal concept is the other driver. In the absence of physical injuries, the only liability of the other driver would be for any vehicle damage that was not compensated by the OP’s insurance company. In the absence of physical injuries, even the other motorist has no potential liability for anything other than uncompensated vehicle damage/loss.


Yep, agree. Not to repeat myself but you can sue anyone for anything but to win anything, you have to show some damage or ill effects. So nothing here except someone angry and that’s why no one will take the case free. You can always pays someone $500 an hour to bring a case forward but you really really need to have damages or lots of money to do that.

I remember on a Bruce Williams talk show, he was having trouble with unintended acceleration with the new car his wife drove. He got no satisfaction from the manufacturer so he took them to court. He has lots of money and it was worth it to him to spend it to prove a point. He lost but still made his point but had the car demolished anyway.

Based on what little we know it seems like the lawyers were making a careful decision based on the possible value of a lawsuit. I was one of those lawyers for many years and turned down lots of cases. Most of the time you need the 3 important factors to start a suit - liability, damages, and resources. If the accident is 50-50 at fault, there’s nothing for anyone to gain by suing each other. If it was a crazy messy accident like this one there’s still nothing there without damages. Wrecked cars are valuable, but mostly people have their own insurance and don’t need to sue about it, and even if they do, there’s just not much money in it for the lawyer. The only damages that really count in this situation are injuries, permanent medical issues and loss of income, etc. If you walk away and you’re OK within a short time, then there’s nothing in it for a lawyer.

You didn’t describe this clearly, but I think you’re saying that the impact to your car was in the front. If so, I think it’s reasonable that your side airbags didn’t deploy.

On the other hand, I would expect that the lady who got T-boned had her side airbags deploy, as that’s the situation they’re designed for.

JT is right - all this technology is designed to save lives. The Stone Age is gone forever. The issue here is that DOT needs to be informed of this accident and investigate so in the future lives may be saved. Since no one was injured no one needs to be sued, except maybe the airbag manufacturer.

Walking on a tightrope?

Nissan announced the recall of over 54,000 cars because the side airbags can allegedly go off when the door is slammed shut.
Leon Russell lyrics,
I’m up on the tightrope , one sides hate and one is hope
It’s a circus game with you and me.
I’m up on the tightwire , linked by life and the funeral pyre
But the tophat on my head is all you see.

In case you want to listen

" With recent emphasis on preventing potential airbag injuries, and with onboard computers deciding to deploy or not to deploy, its perhaps not surprising that airbags don’t deploy in every collision, even in ones where occupants think they should have. "

"While it might seem like your air bags should deploy during every accident, that’s actually not the case. Some aren’t severe enough to warrant it, while in other situations, deploying the air bags might actually cause injury if someone isn’t properly seated in the car. "

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Hello all, I just stumbled upon this cool site and thus being a newbie to the block, I hope I am asking this in the right area…
My Nissan Altima was involved in a 3-4x+ rollver last week… and only the passenger side door bags/curtain went off. Can anyone help me understand why one side would deploy and not the other? This happened at @65mph, car hydroplaned with onset of a sudden downburst of rain at @530 am so was unseen… car went into median on the interstate, and tumbled 3 or 4+ times… per the occupants, one being my daughter (not driving). Thankfully God had his hands wrapped around the young 20 somethings and all walked away…surprisingly considering the situation. We are so thankful for their lack of injuries, but I am now searching to find out if bag non deployment is common. Are there questions I should ask Mfr and what insight do you have? … insurance has not said much yet, but were slightly surprised one side deployed and the other didn’t. Thank you in advance for your thoughts. Lanse