Airbags in cars and trucks are designed to protect drivers and their passengers during a wreck. However, sometimes, they malfunction. As airbag injury attorneys, we have worked with clients whose airbags failed to deploy during a crash, and with people whose airbags deployed at improper times. Either way, defective airbags can severely injury innocent people. Injuries can be caused by inferior airbag parts, poor installation, faulty design or other factors.
Common Injuries Resulting From Airbag Accidents
- Neck and head injury
- Damage to internal organs
- Spinal cord injury
- Chest trauma
- Traumatic brain injury
- Loss of sight — may be temporary or permanent
- Loss of hearing — may be temporary or permanent
- Amputation of fingers or thumbs
- Lacerations and abrasion — cuts and other damage to the skin
- Fractured bones — especially arms and legs
Airbags are called supplemental restraints because they are designed to work best when used with seat belts. Some newer cars have an on/off switch which allows an air bag to be deactivated. Air bags consist of three basic parts:
- an air bag module which contains the inflator unit and the air bag itself which is made of lightweight fabric.
- crash sensors which are designed to be activated by forces generated during a significant crash.
- the diagnostic unit which monitors the readiness of the system.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in order for airbags to be effective, they must inflate very rapidly, coming out of the steering wheel hub or instrument panel at a speed of generally more than 100 miles per hour. Serious or fatal injuries can happen when a person is very close to or in direct contact with an air bag module when it deploys. These type of injuries may be sustained by someone who is:
- unconscious and slumped over the steering wheel.
- unrestrained or improperly restrained and slides forward in the seat.
- sitting very close to the steering wheel.
- pain and suffering due to your accident
- medical bills and rehabilitation for your injuries
- lost income due to being off work from your injuries
- problems caused by a permanent injury