What to know if you were injured by an airbag in a car accident

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What to Know if You Were Injured by an Airbag in a Car Accident

If you’ve been injured by an airbag in a car accident in Florida, you may be eligible for compensation from the manufacturer. Getting in touch with a seasoned car accident attorney can help you get a grasp on the situation and begin your fight for a full recovery. 

deployed airbag from a car accidentInjuries from a car accident, including airbag injuries, can leave you suffering both physically and financially. Without the proper legal representation, you may be missing out on substantial amounts of money that you could use to improve your chances of healing fully and returning to your normal life.

How do airbags work?

Airbag technology has changed quite dramatically over the years, but the key thing remains: they are rapidly inflated cushions designed to keep your body from colliding directly with the rest of the car. When a sensor in your airbag detects a collision, a rapid-fire series of events causes the nylon bag to expand almost immediately. The intent is for your head, arms, or torso to collide with the cushion rather than the hard dashboard, steering wheel, or windows.

You may wonder how fast a car needs to be going to trigger an airbag or how quickly an airbag deploys. All airbags are designed to deploy even at low to moderately low speeds, meaning a head-on collision with a solid object at 8-14 MPH should cause the airbag to activate. When the airbag comes out, it has to accelerate extremely quickly to be effective, sometimes up to 200 MPH.

Modern cars have been required to use advanced airbag technology since 2007. These regulations required automakers to provide vehicles with airbags that adjust the deployment of the airbag based on the size of the person (judged using weight sensors in the seat.) This led to a significant decrease in the total injuries and deaths caused by airbag deployment alone.

What kind of airbag injuries are there?

Unfortunately, there are still cases where people are injured due to an airbag. In some instances, injuries can be caused by a properly functioning airbag, but in most cases, serious airbag injuries or deaths are due to defective airbags, improper seat belt usage, or pre-existing health conditions in the victim.

Some of the most common injuries that can be caused by airbags include: 

  • Neck injury
  • Spine injury
  • Lacerations
  • Bruises or burns
  • Face and eye injury
  • Brain injury
  • Broken ribs or chest injury

In any accident where an airbag is deployed, there’s a significantly greater risk of injury when a driver or passenger is unbuckled. Airbags are designed to work in conjunction with tensioning seatbelts as part of the vehicle’s overall safety crash system. 

There’s also a higher chance of injury when the victim is elderly, as their bones tend to be more brittle, and there are likely to be other health conditions at play as well, such as age-related osteoporosis. 

Children should always be fastened into a child seat in the back seats, as sitting a child in the front seat of the car poses significant risks in the event of an accident.

Defective or Improperly Installed Airbags

As the technology in airbags improved over the years, the complexity behind their production, installation, and maintenance has also increased. This means there are potentially more points of failure due to any number of mistakes before the airbag makes it into your car. 

If an airbag malfunctions, it could be due to the negligence of a manufacturer or dealership, so it’s important to have your vehicle thoroughly inspected in case of any airbag-related injury.

The most famous case of defective airbags is the Takata airbag case, in which about 67 million vehicles with Takata airbags were recalled. The defects involved airbags that exploded rather than inflated, potentially sending ” shrapnel into the face and body of both the driver and front-seat passenger,” according to a CNN Money report

Florida residents are likely to be particularly concerned with the Takata recall due to the relationship between this dangerous defect and high temperatures and humidity. Under some specific conditions, the airbags would sometimes explode without warning. This defect was tied to 15 deaths and hundreds of injuries.

Other defects can include:

  • Failure to properly inflate
  • Sensor failure, causing unexpected inflation or no inflation in the event of a crash
  • Inadequate design that failed to prevent crash injuries according to the warranty or minimum regulatory standards
  • Defects that can cause an airbag to inflate unevenly, applying unexpected pressure
  • Corrosion
  • Premature inflation
  • Faulty designs
  • Counterfeit and aftermarket installations
  • Electrical system defects

An injury that seems inevitable may have actually been caused or worsened by a defective airbag. Always speak to a personal injury attorney after you have been injured in a car accident to determine if your airbag could have contributed to your injuries or failed to prevent them to an unacceptable extent.

Contact an Airbag Injury Lawyer Today

There’s no doubt that airbags save lives every day. But sometimes that 200 MPH nylon sack of air can cause drivers and passengers serious damage. You should be aware of your options when dealing with the injuries after a car accident in which your airbag caused you injury, and seeking the help of a Florida car accident attorney is a great way to start off on the right path.

At Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd, we will give you our complete focus when working on your case in order to find the maximum amount possible for your damages. For your convenience, we have offices located all along the Florida Treasure Coast from Sebastian to Port St. Lucie, to Okeechobee, and beyond. Give us a call at (866) 460-1990 or contact us online to get started on a free consultation where we can discuss the details of your airbag injuries today.

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