Although intended to save lives in the event of a collision, airbags can cause severe injuries in certain circumstances. When an airbag malfunctions or is defective, you could be owed significant compensation for any injuries you suffer.
Even when an airbag functions properly, it can still cause serious injuries. In such cases, an at-fault driver could be liable for your injuries.
What Causes Airbag Deployment?
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Airbags are designed to deploy when the electronic control sensor is triggered in a collision.
Depending on the severity of the impact, the control unit will determine which airbags should deploy. A signal is then sent to the inflator mechanism, and a chemical reaction causes the airbags to quickly inflate to protect occupants from the impact. This whole process occurs in a fraction of a second.
Upon deployment, the airbag inflates and acts as a cushion between the driver or passenger and the steering wheel, dashboard, or other hard surface in the vehicle.
Causes of Airbag Injuries
Airbags are meant to work in conjunction with seatbelts to keep car occupants safe. In order to be effective, airbags must deploy quickly, but sometimes the speed with which they eject causes of blunt-trauma injuries.
In addition to the rate of deployment, the following are some reasons that may also cause airbaginjuries:
- Spontaneous inflation
- Failure to deploy
- Occupants unrestrained by seatbelts
- Young passengers in the front seat
- Allergic reaction to airbag chemicals
- Insufficient car set securing
- Close proximity to the wheel or dashboard
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that drivers and passengers sit at least 10 to 12 inches away from the steering wheel and dashboard to lessen the risk of impact injuries upon airbag deployment.
Common Injuries Caused by Airbags
While designed to protect drivers and passengers, airbags are commonly the cause of injuries. A wide range of injuries can be caused by airbags even when they operate as they should.
Injuries caused by airbags can include following:
- Friction burns to the hands and upper body
- Cuts or bruising to the face, chest, and arms
- Impact injuries to the wrists and fingers
- Spinal cord injuries
- Concussions and other head injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Trauma to the middle ear, causing hearing loss
- Exacerbating asthma
- Trauma to the fetus or amniotic sac in pregnant passengers or drivers
Airbag Injury Claims
Drivers have a right to expect that airbags will keep them safe in the event of a collision, not cause them harm. If an airbag is defective, you could be owed significant compensation from the manufacturer of the device, the automobile manufacturer, or multiple parties.
Even if the airbag was not defective, you could be entitled to compensation from the at-fault driver who caused the crash that resulted in airbag deployment and injuries.
Your attorney will investigate the cause of your injuries and will work to determine any and all liable parties.
You could be eligible to recover damages including: medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, among others. Time is limited to file an injury claim, however, so it is critical to get legal help right away.
How Can Belluck & Fox Help?
The car accident lawyers at Belluck & Fox are committed to protecting the rights of injury victims. We understand that when you’ve been hurt, nothing can undo the physical trauma that you have already experienced.
We’re here to seek the justice and the fair compensation that you are owed. To discuss your situation and legal options, contact a New York airbag injury lawyer at Belluck & Fox today for a free consultation.