Designed to save lives in a collision, airbags are a key safety feature on today’s vehicles. In some instances though, airbags cause serious injuries – and in the worst cases, death. So, what can I do if I suffer airbag injuries?
Victims of airbag injuries have a right to compensation, regardless of whether or not the airbag was faulty. Even if the airbag functioned exactly as it should, you may be eligible for compensation. But because the legal system can be difficult to navigate alone, it’s important to have an experienced team on your side.
Here at Hoffman Law Firm, our qualified car accident attorneys are standing by to help. Read on to learn more about the most common airbag-related injuries, their causes, and our solutions for recovering damages in the aftermath.
A Quick Guide to Airbags
Airbags have been required in all new passenger vehicles since model year 1999. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), airbags have saved more than 50,000 lives throughout a 30-year period.
How Does an Airbag Work?
Frontal airbags are typically found in the steering wheel and dashboard in front of the passenger’s seat. Side airbags may come standard in some vehicles as well.
Airbags are made of light fabric connected to a crash sensor that is triggered when a moderate to severe car accident occurs. A signal is sent from the airbag’s electronic control unit to an inflator inside it. An igniter initiates a chemical reaction that causes the airbag to rapidly inflate in less than 1/20th of a second. That’s up to 200 miles per hour!
The airbag’s purpose is to cushion the blow in a collision, preventing both the driver and passenger from making contact with any hard surfaces, like the dashboard. But because a significant amount of force is exerted as the airbag inflates, sometimes injury occurs instead.
How Can an Airbag Cause an Injury in a Car Accident?
Airbag injuries often occur due to a faulty airbag. If any of the following occur, airbag injuries may result:
- Gasses released by the airbag can lead to respiratory issues
- Airbag deployment can result in severe eye injury
- Shrapnel from the propellant canister can strike the driver and/or passengers
A malfunctioning airbag sensor may also be to blame. If the sensor mistakenly triggers airbag deployment at the wrong time, it’s likely that the driver and the passenger are too close to the airbag. In these instances, a 200-mile-per-hour airbag with up to 2,000 pounds of force behind it deploys when it is not needed – and causes more harm than good.
Most Common Airbag Injuries After a Car Accident
Whether your airbag works as it should or malfunctions, airbag injuries may result. Airbag-related injuries are a catch-all category because various body parts may be impacted. The most common types of airbag injuries include:
- Facial bruising and fractures
- Sprained fingers and wrists or other hand-related injuries
- Eye injuries from chemical irritation
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Ear trauma, including hearing loss
- Internal bleeding
- Asthma attacks and other respiratory issues from chemical irritants
- Burns and lacerations
- Spinal and neck injuries
If the airbag malfunctions, injuries tend to be more severe or, in the worst cases, even fatal. If you or a loved one have suffered an airbag injury, contact Hoffman Law Firm for a free consultation with one of our car accident lawyers near you.
What Should You Do If You Think An Airbag Caused Your Injuries?
While the pursuit of compensation may not be your initial concern in the aftermath of a car accident, it’s important to contact a personal injury attorney near you as soon as possible. Here at Hoffman Law Firm, our experienced legal team will get right to work, investigating your accident and gathering evidence for your claim.
If you suspect an airbag injury, preserving evidence is especially important. Consult one of our personal injury attorneys to discuss the next steps and optimize your chance at compensation.
Are You the Victim of an Airbag Injury From a Car Accident? Contact Hoffman Law Firm Today!
While airbags can certainly save your life in a serious collision, their improper deployment can also cause severe injuries. If you have suffered an airbag injury, you have the right to pursue compensation. To ensure you get what you deserve, contact Hoffman Law Firm today.
Located in Charleston, SC, we are proud to serve accident victims throughout the Lowcountry. Because we call the Charleston area home too, we’re uniquely equipped to fight for you – and we have the reputation of results to prove it.
Plus, you only pay us if we win your case.
At Hoffman Law Firm, our personal injury lawyers have extensive experience in a wide variety of cases, handling each with compassion and care. To meet with a member of our team, schedule your free consultation today.
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