Can an Airbag Hurt You?

Car manufacturers love to point to the fact that their safety features are better than they have ever been before.  Current safety regulations require manufacturers to include and test a number of different airbags to help keep you safe.  Unfortunately, these safety products do occasionally malfunction.  When they do, the people who rely on them are often left with serious injuries.

Despite being there for safety, an airbag can in fact hurt you, especially if it is malfunctioning.  Defective airbag deployment can cause blunt force trauma to the head, neck, arms, legs, and internal organs of a driver or passenger.  These defects can occur in the airbag itself or in the computerized systems that determine when to deploy the airbag.  If you sustained an injury due to a defective airbag, you have legal options available to compensate you for the consequences of your injuries.

Once you get the proper medical attention, call the car accident injury lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm.  Our firm has the experience and resources to assist you on your search for justice for your defective airbag injuries.  For a free consultation on your potential case, call our offices at (817) 476-1797.

Common Airbag Injuries

Airbags are meant to protect you, but that does not mean that they cannot injure you, especially when they malfunction.  Airbags deploy at a speed of roughly 200 miles per hour and typically take only 20 milliseconds to fully inflate once they are triggered.  That amount of force so close to a person is always capable of causing a range of injuries. Below are some of the most common injuries caused by defective or malfunctioning airbags.

  • Concussions
  • Lacerations to the head or face
  • Skull fractures
  • Whiplash
  • Spinal injuries
  • Facial fractures
  • Eye damage
  • Internal bleeding or organ damage
  • Broken ribs
  • Sprained or broken wrists
  • Broken fingers
  • Second degree burns to the face, arms, or legs
  • Hearing loss
  • Lung irritation and asthma attacks

An exploding airbag can also cause shrapnel injuries and other serious harms.

If you suspect you may have sustained an injury from an airbag, seek medical attention immediately.  Many of these conditions may not present themselves immediately.  If conditions such as concussions or internal bleeding are left untreated, they can cause serious and even life-threatening damage.

How to Tell if Injuries Were Caused by an Airbag Malfunction

The vast majority of injuries caused by airbags occur when the airbag malfunctions in some way.  Sometimes it can be hard to tell if your airbag malfunctioned.  You should be aware of how airbags are intended to function so you can determine whether your airbag deployed correctly.  If you have any questions, our experienced Dallas product liability attorneys can advise you further.

Airbags are safety measures that have been required in cars for some time.  Almost all cars have multiple airbags that protect the driver and passengers of a car from the consequences of a collision.  Airbags will deploy based on the car’s computer and crash sensors, which are built into the car.  When a sensor detects a collision, it will automatically trigger airbag deployment.

This leaves the door open for issues on multiple fronts.  The airbag itself does not have to be defective in order for the airbag system to malfunction.  There could also be issues with the crash sensor or the car computer’s software that disrupts the airbag deployment process.

Below are some common examples of situations that imply an airbag system malfunction, whether the problem is with the airbag itself or the sensor system.

  • The airbags do not deploy during a collision.
  • The airbags deploy when there is no collision.
  • The airbags deploy too late in a collision.
  • Only some of the airbags deploy in a collision.
  • An airbag explodes or catches fire when deployed.
  • The airbag deployment spreads shrapnel from a broken housing.

If you experienced any of the above circumstances recently and sustained an injury as a result, you may have legal grounds to sue any or all of the manufacturers of the car, the airbags, and the sensors.

Damages for Defective Airbag Injuries

If you were injured by the deployment of a defective airbag, you may be able to win compensation through a personal injury lawsuit against its manufacturer.  In a successful personal injury lawsuit, you can recover for the consequences that the defective product had on your physical and mental health.

Your compensation for these harms is determined under a calculation for damages, a legal term used for the consequences to you as a result of the defective product.  If you were injured by a defective airbag, you can seek damages to cover the cost of your medical care.  Emergency procedures, hospital stays, specialist appointments, and physical therapy are all costs that should be covered by damages.

If your injuries prevent you from working, courts will factor in your lost wages or decreased earning potential into their damage calculation.  This is particularly important in the case of certain long-term airbag defect injuries, such as brain or spinal injuries.

You can also recover damages for the pain and suffering that you have and will endure as a result of your experience.  It is not uncommon for a victim of a defective auto safety device to develop phobias and other psychological conditions that prevent them from enjoying their life as they had before.  Rest assured that if you experienced trauma as a result of a defective airbag deployment, you can sue for damages to compensate you for that trauma.  Speak to one of our experienced Dallas car accident attorneys about your options for pain and suffering damages

Get Legal Help for Your Defective Airbag Injuries

Dealing with airbag injuries after a car accident can be difficult.  No matter the injury, the Houston car accident attorneys at The Queenan Law Firm can help you get the compensation you deserve.  Get your free initial consultation by calling us today at (817) 476-1797.