The Brown Firm Injury Lawyers


Most Common Airbag Injuries

by The Brown Firm / April 7, 2016

If you are involved in an auto accident and the airbags deploy, don't throw out the airbag or any of its related parts.The airbag was developed for our safety and protection, but it 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, when they do occur they are often major.
Suffering an airbag injury could mean you'll be dealing with chronic issues.

This is not suggesting cars would be safer without airbags. In fact, it would be difficult to imagine driving around without them. But it is important to remember the potential damage an airbag injury can cause.

In the article below, we will take a look at airbag injuries and how having a lawyer for car accident injuries can help you get maximum compensation for your injuries. 

Table of Contents


What causes an airbag to deploy incorrectly?

Most Common Airbag Injuries

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, according to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).

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 airbag 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.

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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.

Face Injuries

The collision from the air bag can fracture some of the more fragile bone structures in our bodies, like in your face.

Your face is the easiest target when your vehicle crashes. The purpose of the airbag is to prevent your windshield from coming in contact your face.

This may be accomplished, but your face may be struck with the force of the airbag in your eye, causing an eye injury.

The sudden strength of the airbag can damage the eyes to the point of causing temporary or permanent blindness in at least one eye.

Broken bones in the face and permanent scarring can be the result of airbag deployment.

Concussions and or a Traumatic Brain Injury can also occur when an airbag deploys.

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Chest Injuries

To 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 airbag 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.

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Neck and Back Injuries

Neck injuries can be caused by an airbagWhile airbags are put in place to save your life, ironically it may cause damage to your spine and cervical spine 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.

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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.

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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.

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

  • This includes parts of the air bag
  • Make sure the car's computer doesn't get wiped clean
  • 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.

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Woman injured her head from an airbag

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.

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Takata Airbags

Takata airbags are an excellent example of faulty airbags.

Nearly 70 million vehicles worldwide manufactured before 2009 have been recalled due to defective airbags manufactured by Japan-based Takata Corporation.

The Takata recall is the largest automotive recall in United States history.

There have been 19 deaths linked to the Takata airbag defects, and thirteen of those deaths were in the United States.

In Florida, in November of 2017, a federal judge granted final approval to an aggregate settlement of $741 million with automakers Toyota, BMW, Subaru and Mazda over claims relating to vehicles containing the dangerous Takata airbags.

The defective Takata airbags contain a propellant that can cause the airbag to explode upon impact in an accident.

This causes metal debris to shoot out the casing towards the occupants of the vehicle.

Many of the lawsuits claim that the Japan-based airbag manufacturer knew about the defects in its product after conducting secret tests that showed how dangerous the airbags could be.

But instead of alerting federal safety regulators to these risks, Takata allegedly ordered its engineers to delete test data.

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Contact The Brown Firm Today

An injury case involving airbags can be very challenging and lead to numerous medical bills.

That's why you need the help of a personal injury lawyer.

Vehicle manufacturers may be involved, and due to the advanced testing performed on these safety devices, it's even ore important to have legal counsel representing your case.

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

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The Original Article is HERE.

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