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Most Common Airbag Injuries

by The Brown Firm / April 7, 2016

If you are involved in an auto-accident, do not let the airbag or any of its related parts get thrown out.

Originally the airbag was a device developed for our safety and protection, but can also be responsible for many severe and immobilizing injuries including whiplash injuries, traumatic brain injuries and neck and spine injuries. Even though airbag injuries are rare, they are often major and suffering an air bag injury usually means you’ve undergone a life-altering anguish.

This is not suggesting cars would be safer without airbags, in fact, it would be difficult to imagine driving around without airbags. But it is important to remember the potential damage that we put on our bodies when an airbag is deployed.

Airbag deployments have claimed the lives of people in different types of car accidents, including drivers, adult passengers, children and infants with airbag-related deaths at the highest in 1997 resulting in 53 deaths.

Most Common Airbag Injuries

What causes an airbag to deploy incorrectly?

The most notable deployment error is a malfunction of a crash sensor. There are a variety of things that could go wrong with the crash sensor.

  • It might fail and deploy the airbag at the wrong time, such as when you are driving down the highway 
  • Deploy in a low-impact crash and cause death or injury
  • The crash sensor might fail to deploy the airbag in the occurrence of a crash
  •  One air bag might deploy, and the other one doesn’t
  • Similarly the airbag might deploy a microsecond too late.

Because the timing of deployment is so important, deployment of an airbag even a fraction of a second too late could cause serious injury because now the driver or the passenger’s head is too close to the air bag.  

What injuries can airbags cause?

Many of our body parts are exposed to airbags, making it possible for various types of injuries to occur. Many common injuries that occur in accidents attribute to the rate of rapidity that the airbag deploys.

Here are several types of injuries to be aware of:

FACE- Your face is the easiest target when your vehicle crashes. The purpose of the airbag is to prevent your windshield from wearing your face.

This may be accomplished, but your face may be struck with the force of the airbag in your eye. The sudden strength of the airbag can damage the eyes to the point of causing temporary or permanent blindness in at least one eye.

CHESTTo stop your body from being thrown out of the front seat of the car, an airbag has to come out fast and hard to be effective. After the air bag bursts from the steering wheel and collides with your forward moving body, your chest area is open to injury. Many drivers have endured broken bones in their chest, and damage to soft tissue.

FACIAL INJURIES - The collision from the air bag can fracture some of the more fragile bone structures in our bodies. Your face is one of the first parts of the body to come in contact with the airbag and has the momentum to hit the hardest. Broken bones in the face and permanent scarring can be the result of air bag deployment.

NECK AND BACK INJURIES- While air bags are put in place to save your life, Common Injuries Suffered from Airbagsironically it may cause damage to your life that you may have to deal with for the rest of your life. The neck and back are often areas that require continued medical treatment and therapy.

BURN INJURIES- The speed at which airbag deploys can cause abrasions or burns.This can cause a driver or passenger to suffer burn injuries in the process. The face and arms are particularly vulnerable to getting burned.

INTERNAL INJURIES- The chemicals released upon deployment can irritate or even cause an asthma attack. It’s important to note that even proper airbag deployment can cause serious or fatal injuries. Two tips in order to prevent such dreadful consequences, always, without exception make all persons in your vehicle wear a seat belt.

Adjust your seat to be approximately 10 inches from the area where the airbag deploys.

What steps should I take if an airbag malfunctions?

In an airbag injury case, the most important thing you can do is to preserve the evidence related to the airbag:

  1. This includes parts of the air bag 
  2. Make sure the cars computer doesn’t get wiped clean
  3. Don’t let the vehicle be junked or transferred to the insurance company.

In most cases, if the insurer declares a car to be a total loss after an accident, the insurer will want to take control of the car. Make sure you hold onto the car if possible.

Remember in litigation it is always the plaintiff’s burden of proving the defendant was negligent.Woman injured her head from an airbag

An air bag injury case can be very challenging.

Many times, vehicle manufacturers may be involved, and due to the advanced testing performed on these safety devices, it is important to have legal counsel representing your case.

If you are suffering injuries sustained in an auto or truck accident from an airbag deployment or malfunction, contact The Brown Firm car accident and truck accident attorneys in Savannah, Atlanta, or Athens.  

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