Airbags have saved countless lives. Whether you are the driver or the passenger, airbags, when deployed, offer supplemental cushioning that can prevent serious injuries during a car crash. But despite this, airbags can also become the cause of injuries themselves.
These injuries could result from airbag malfunctioning or injuries caused by airbags due to the negligence of another driver. Whatever the case may be, you might be eligible for compensation because of the airbag malfunctioning. Read on to learn more.
How Do Airbags Work?
Modern cars have been required to use airbag technology since 2007. Since then, airbags have evolved greatly, but their basic function remains the same. Airbags are made of light fabric and inflate quickly and immediately upon impact with a solid object. This cushioning aims to prevent direct contact of the head, arms, torso, and limbs with the dashboard, steering wheel, or windows.
Airbags are located behind the steering wheel, on the doors for side-impact collision, and the passenger side. These safety features are deployed after car crash sensors are triggered. They are only triggered when the vehicle faces a head-on collision. The airbag inflates quickly, at 200 mph, to stop the driver and passenger from hitting the dashboard at high speeds.
Defects in Airbags That Can Cause Injuries
As stated above, airbag technology has advanced, and more complex mechanisms are in place during installation, deployment, and inflation. Thus, it opens up more areas of error and increases the risk of airbag injuries. There are many ways airbags can fail, such as:
- Fail to deploy
- Deploys too late or too early
- Has a faulty design
- The sensors deploy the airbags in a non-collision situation
- The airbag applies unexpected pressure by inflating unevenly
A defective airbag can cause more serious injuries than a head-on collision will. Thus, if you face injuries due to an airbag in a car crash, you can not only take action against the at-fault driver but also file a case to prove the airbag malfunctioned. This will maximize your compensation and ensure you get what you deserve.
Common Injuries Caused By Airbags In A Car Crash
A malfunctioning airbag can lead to severe injuries; the most common among them are:
You can suffer from broken bones in the chest and damage to soft tissues if an airbag deploys too fast during a car crash, especially if your body is moving.
One of the most common injuries caused due to a malfunctioning airbag is internal injuries and lacerations. For instance, the increased pressure on the body can lead to internal bleeding and bruising, lacerations on the liver and spleen, etc.
Moreover, when the sensors are triggered, airbags use gas like argon or nitrogen to inflate. When deployed, they leave various chemicals behind that can irritate your skin or cause asthma attacks. You can also develop a skin condition called airbag dermatitis.
Small burns are painful as it is; now, imagine them on a bigger surface. The fast deployment of the airbag can cause surface abrasions and burns, which are painful and take at least a few weeks to clear up.
Back and Neck Injuries
As stated above, soft tissue damage can occur because of an airbag. Even though your body is prevented from going forward, the impact can tighten your muscles. Thus, it’s best to consult a doctor if you feel stiffness in your back and neck.
Your face is the first thing that comes into contact in a head-on collision, and it’s the first thing that an airbag protects. But a strong impact can break delicate bones, lead to fracture, eye problems, and even a concussion.
How to Prevent Injuries By Airbags
There are several precautions you take to minimize airbag injuries, such as:
- Don’t forget to wear a seatbelt. Airbags work best with a seatbelt and should not be considered a replacement. A seat belt ensures your body is not moving during a head-on collision to avoid injuries.
- Need to be at least 10” away from the airbag deployment area.
- Don’t let children below 13 or the elderly sit in the front seat; the airbag impact can lead to severe injuries for small kids.
- Don’t place a rear-facing car seat in the front seat of your vehicle.
- Keep your hands on the steering wheel from 9 to 3 or 8 to 4-o’clock.
Can You Sue For Airbag Injuries?
Yes! If you are a victim of a car accident caused by other drivers’ negligence, then you can file a personal injury claim and get compensated for your losses. But if the malfunctioning of the airbag also caused your injuries, you can file a case against the designer, manufacturer, and distributor of the airbag. Such claims are termed product liability.
Moreover, the at-fault driver can also register a claim if a faulty airbag partly caused the accident. However, these cases are difficult to approve due to the technical and engineering complexities involved. Thus, it’s best to consult a car accident lawyer that is aware of the state’s law and can get you maximum compensation.
Damages You Can Recover By an Airbag Malfunction
Whether the accident was caused by another driver and your injuries were in part due to the accident and the malfunctioning airbag, you can get compensated in various ways. This depends on the severity of the injuries and who was at fault. You can recover:
- Lost income because of being unable to work.
- Medical healthcare and treatments.
- Physical disabilities.
- Damage to the car and property.
Getting a good settlement requires time, effort, and knowledge, all of which you lack because of the physical and emotional trauma you just faced in the car crash. Thus, it’s best to consult professional car accident lawyers to help you out. Port St. Lucie Car Accident Lawyers can guide you in proceeding with your accident claim by stating your legal rights, gathering evidence, and working towards a maximum settlement. From collecting medical records to dealing with the insurance company, they help take care of everything. Call them now for a consultation.
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