Cars are designed with safety in mind. Seatbelts, airbags, and even the framework of many new vehicles are put together to keep you safe. There have been many studies conducted showing the decrease in serious injuries from car accidents where an airbag was deployed. However, you can still be injured in a car accident and even from a safety device. You may be eligible for compensation if you suffer airbag injuries in a car accident.
How Do Airbags Work?
Airbags are connected to a sensor that detects an impact. This sensor keeps your airbags from releasing if you’re merely slamming on the brakes and not involved in a collision. A properly functioning airbag will deploy on impact, and only on an impact of a certain caliber. When the sensor registers an impact, it will signal your airbags to inflate. Airbags will inflate almost instantaneously when the loaded sodium azide heats up and releases a blast of nitrogen gas. The life-saving process only takes milliseconds!
Unfortunately, airbags are often included in vehicle recalls. Various components of the airbag could be faulty, including the impact sensor. A malfunctioning airbag can deploy late, not fill with air fully, or explode when deployed.
These malfunctions can include:
- Shrapnel being projected into the vehicle toward the occupants
- Airbag deploying with excessive force
- Airbag underinflating
- Airbag deploying too late
- Airbag deploying without an accident
Why Do Airbags Cause Injury?
When an airbag sensor is triggered, the airbag completely deploys in about .04 seconds at a speed of roughly 200 mph. This impact can certainly injure a driver or passenger, especially if the seatbelt is not worn properly, the passenger is outside of the height or weight limits of the seat, or the airbag malfunctions.
Airbag deployment injuries can include:
- Broken nose or face
- Head trauma
- Chemical burns to the face, upper body, and lungs
- Abrasions to the upper body, face, chest, and arms
- Impact on the spine
- Eyes and ears trauma
- Sprained wrists
- Asthma attack
- Heart and muscle rupture
What You Should Do If You Suffer Injuries from Airbags?
If you are in a car accident and have sustained airbag injuries, you are entitled to financial compensation.
After an accident, there are a few steps you should take. First, make sure everyone is safe and out of harm’s way. Then call law enforcement. You’ll want to submit a police report as soon as possible. Indiana is a shared fault state, meaning it will need to be determined which driver is at fault or how much of the negligence is shared.
This will factor into your personal injury claim when reaching out to insurance companies, especially when you are a passenger in an accident. Next, seek out medical treatment and ensure all of your injuries are documented. Medical professionals may even be able to pinpoint which injuries were airbag injuries.
Lastly, you’ll want to contact a car accident attorney. Working with an attorney is highly recommended to receive the greatest compensation or settlement. Attorneys understand the legal process, taking the guesswork out. In addition, they’ll represent you when working with the insurance companies and possibly even vehicle manufacturers if it’s found to be a technical issue.
Your attorney will help you build your case and collect all the evidence to make a strong defense for you to receive full and fair compensation for your injuries. If you or a loved one suffered an injury due to an airbag, please contact the Crossen Law Firm today at 317-401-8626. Crossen Law Firm specializes in personal injury claims and is dedicated to getting you the compensation you deserve.