Our vehicles now come equipped with not one, but several airbags, to protect vehicle occupants from frontal and side impact collisions. Airbags are meant to safeguard vehicle occupants from serious or fatal injuries by providing a layer of safety. But, often we see that airbags can do more harm than good when they deploy, malfunction, or are defective.
How Can Airbags Injure?
Airbags can injure passengers when they deploy. Usually, when a car’s airbag deploys, it comes out at an extremely high speed. A vehicle’s airbags are connected to a crash sensor. In the event of a crash, the sensor will be activated and the airbag will deploy. The crash sensor will trigger an igniter to fill the airbag and make it deploy. When this occurs, the airbag comes out explosively at speeds in excess of 100 mph.
Conversely, airbags can fail to deploy causing impacts with the interior of vehicle such as the steering wheel or windshield. In the alternative, air bags can be deployed accidentally by senor errors or by simply bumping into an object. Lastly, the airbags themselves can injure due to a design defect.
What Are Common Airbag-Related Injuries?
Malfunctioning airbags that do not deploy may cause catastrophic injuries or even death. But, even a normal airbag deployment can cause injuries such as abrasions and burns because of the speed at which the airbag deploys. The dust and chemicals released on deployment can cause irritation, respiratory problems or even an asthma attack. Airbags can also cause rib fractures and severe eye injuries. An airbag can cause fatal injuries to front seat occupants who are smaller in size or sitting too close to the airbag, even when it deploys as it is supposed to.
Defective airbags can cause other types of injuries. Recently, Takata airbags have been in the news. These types of airbags allegedly shoot out metal or plastic shrapnel into the passenger compartment. It is suspected that these projectiles have seriously injured or even killed vehicle occupants.
Protecting Your Legal Rights
If you or someone you know has been injured by your vehicle’s airbag, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost income, among other losses. It is important that you preserve all evidence including the vehicle, the airbag and other parts relating to it such as the crash sensor. At d’Oliveira & Associates, we work with experienced airbag lawyers who can help you and they charge no fee unless you receive a settlement or award. For a free no obligation case evaluation, call us toll-free at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out a contact form online.