Common Airbag Injuries After an Accident

Airbags inarguably save lives. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, when properly used in conjunction with seatbelts, airbags have saved over 50,000 lives since they came into common use in vehicles. They work by protecting the vehicle occupants’ heads and upper bodies from coming into contact with the interior structures of the car during a crash. However, the forceful deployment of airbags during an accident can cause significant injuries, especially if they malfunction. In addition, sometimes airbags forcefully deploy even in a minor collision, causing serious injuries to motorists who would otherwise have been uninjured. Understanding the impacts of airbag injuries after a car accident can be an important part of a compensation claim.

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Understanding Airbag Injuries After an Accident

Vehicle manufacturers install airbags into the steering wheel and dashboard of vehicles and sometimes into the side panels or inside car doors. The airbags are connected to crash sensors that deploy them in a collision by filling them with gas in a millisecond. The airbags must deploy with a reasonable amount of force to prevent contact between the vehicle occupant and the hard internal structures of the car, preventing injuries. When properly deployed, airbags may cause minor bruising and tenderness, but sometimes airbags don’t function as intended and result in more serious injuries, severe injury, or even death. Airbags sometimes forcefully deploy unnecessarily or sensors malfunction and the airbags deploy without a crash. There have also been instances of shrapnel from the burst airbag canisters forcefully exploding into the vehicle’s interior. In other cases, the gases used to inflate airbags have caused respiratory problems. Some airbag injuries result from airbags that inflate with deadly impact far exceeding reasonable force.

Serious Airbag Injuries After a Car Accident

Even when they work properly, airbags can cause injuries while simultaneously saving lives but more severe injuries result from airbag malfunctions. Common airbag injuries in car accidents include the following:

  • Facial injuries, including bruising and fractures
  • Eye injuries from blunt force trauma, ranging from mild to severe
  • Ear trauma, sometimes resulting in hearing loss
  • Chest injuries
  • Heart injury due to blunt force trauma to the chest
  • Fractures of the wrists, clavicle, ribs, and skull
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Chemical burns to the face and upper body
  • Chemical damage to the eyes
  • Internal bleeding and internal organ damage
  • Fetal injury in pregnant women
  • Respiratory problems from the airbag gas, particularly to those with asthma or other respiratory conditions

When motorists aren’t wearing seatbelts or their seatbelts aren’t secured in the proper position, the injuries may be more severe. In some cases, airbag malfunctions may result in fatal injuries.

What Can I Do After an Airbag Injury?

If you suspect your vehicle’s airbags caused serious injuries to you or a loved one in a car accident, due to an unnecessary deployment, or because of a malfunction, it’s important to preserve the airbag remains and the damaged vehicle as evidence. The insurance company may wish to take possession of a car after an accident, so it’s important to speak to an attorney and obtain legal representation to defend your rights.

After an accident, have a thorough medical evaluation and ask for a detailed medical report as evidence of the airbag injuries.

Call Younglove Law Group If You Suspect You Suffered Significant Injury From Your Vehicle’s Airbags

If you or a loved one experienced serious injuries from an airbag, you could obtain compensation through a personal injury claim holding the manufacturer accountable. Contact our Encino personal injury attorneys who specialize in car accidents today so we can evaluate the merits of your case with a free consultation.