What to Do If Your Side Airbag Went Off and Injured You
Airbags function as a safety net in the case of a forceful car accident. But airbags themselves can be extremely dangerous due to the sudden force necessary to deploy them. If your side airbag goes off and injures you, you may have legal options for recovery.
Airbags deploy based on sensors built into the car. If a sensor malfunctions or the airbag itself contains a defect, the rapid deployment may cause a number of different injuries. If there was a malfunction or defect in the side airbag or sensors on your car, you may be able to sue the car’s manufacturer for the injuries you sustain.
If you have questions about what to do after your side airbag injured you that aren’t answered here, call The Queenan Law Firm for more information. Our experienced Dallas car accident injury attorneys are on your side. For a free consultation on your options to recover for your injuries, call us at (817) 476-1797.
Common Side Airbag Injuries
Airbags deploy with tremendous force very close to the person that they are meant to protect. If something goes wrong, there are a number of different potential consequences to a victim’s health. Below are some of the most common injuries that a person could deal with after a side airbag goes off:
- Broken ribs
- Eye injuries
- Skin lacerations
- Bruising on the face, chest, or arms
- Organ damage or internal bleeding
- Facial fractures
- Sprained wrists or broken fingers
- Hearing loss
- Burns to the face, hands, arms, and legs
- Spine and neck injuries
- Lung irritation or induced asthma attacks from powder on the airbag
Steps to Take After a Side Airbag Injury
If you were injured when your side airbag went off and you suspect that there may have been a defect involved, you can take several actions to help maximize your chances at recovery.
Seek Medical Attention
First, always seek medical attention as soon as possible after sustaining an injury in any kind of car accident. The sooner you seek medical attention, the less likely that anyone else can make an argument that you were injured elsewhere. Getting immediate medical care also shows that your injuries were severe and that you treated them as such. Remember, a successful lawsuit against the manufacturer of a defective part will cover your medical expenses, so you should also save all invoices of medical expenses. Everything from hospital parking to ambulance fees should be covered under damages.
Keep Defective Airbag Parts
You should also attempt to keep all of the relevant hardware from your car in your possession. This means taking care to collect the actual airbag. Even if it is damaged, the actual airbag can be assessed by an expert to determine whether there were defects in the device. You will also want the other parts associated with airbag deployment from the vehicle, such as the crash sensor and compressor. When in doubt, always play it safe and retain the parts of the vehicle, even if you believe they were too destroyed to be of use.
Call a Lawyer
Finally, you should contact a respected Dallas product liability lawyer. Your defective airbag injury lawyer will be able to assess the accident and your injuries for evidence of a defect and bring in experts. This can help ultimately determine the cause of the injuries and whether you have the opportunity to sue. Each state has its own rules on how long you have to file your lawsuit, so be sure to speak to your Odessa personal injury lawyer soon or else risk losing out on compensation that is rightfully yours.
How Can Side Airbag Defects Cause Injuries?
Airbags, when functioning correctly, pose little danger to the people that they are designed to protect. Side airbags in particular are meant to protect the head and torso of occupants in a car. Federal regulations passed in 2014 require a certain level of protection for these areas in all cars. As a result, almost all cars made since 2014 have side airbags.
The presence of side airbags is typically a good thing. However, airbags must deploy with a speed of around 200 miles per hour in order to function correctly, reaching full deployment around 10-20 milliseconds after receiving the signal that there is a collision. Due to the violent and rapid deployment process, even the mildest malfunction can have disastrous consequences. In fact, the most common injuries reported because of airbags are caused by a faulty deployment or a malfunction in the crash sensor software.
The following are all examples of side airbag deployments caused by malfunctions that have the potential to injure the driver or passengers in a vehicle:
- The sensor fails to deploy the airbags during a collision.
- The sensor deploys the airbags with no collision present.
- The sensor is late to deploy the airbags in a collision.
- Not all of the airbags deploy when a crash is detected.
- The airbag explodes upon deployment.
What if a Side Airbag Went Off and Injured a Passenger or Non-Owner?
There is no difference in liability for the manufacturer of a defective side airbag product if the injured party is a passenger as opposed to a driver. It is reasonably foreseeable that the owner of a car might have passengers in the vehicle. Side airbags are meant to provide protection for everyone in the car, not just the owner or lessor of the vehicle. If you were a passenger or non-owner driving a vehicle with a defective side airbag that caused you injury, you have the same legal right to file a personal injury lawsuit as you would if you were the driver and owner.
The only difference with this kind of case occurs when the driver knew the airbag was probably defective. If the owner allowed you to ride in a car that they knew had a safety issue, your injuries could be their fault.
Did a Defective Side Airbag Go Off and Injure You? Talk to a Lawyer Today
If you were injured in a car accident by a side airbag that you suspect may have been defective, the experienced Dallas personal injury lawyers at The Queenan Law Firm can put you on the road to recovery for your injuries. Call us today at (817) 476-1797 for a free consultation.