Americans depend on airbags for protection in car accidents. Properly deployed airbags can significantly reduce the risk of injuries and fatalities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that frontal airbags saved over 50,000 lives in 30 years.
In some cases, airbags can cause injuries when deploying. Injuries from airbags in car accidents can be severe, and you may qualify for compensation regardless of whether airbags are deployed or not. Our Greenville car accident attorneys at David R. Price, Jr., P.A. explain.
What Are Common Injuries From Airbags?
Drivers and passengers may sustain many kinds of airbag deployment injuries. The location and severity of these injuries vary depending on several factors, including the vehicle’s speed, where you are seated, the angle of impact, and your distance from the airbag.
Common airbag injuries include:
- Broken bones, including facial fractures
- Bruises, cuts, or lacerations on the face or body
- Concussions, head or traumatic brain injuries
- Hearing or vision loss
- Neck injuries or spinal damage
Airbag deployment can also cause burns and skin irritation, internal organ damage, breathing issues, and many other injuries.
What Happens When Airbags Deploy?
Airbags should prevent drivers and passengers from hitting the steering wheel and dash. Side curtain airbags provide a cushion against windows. This cushioning mainly protects your head and upper body, although some vehicles have knee airbags to protect the legs.
In moderate to severe collisions, airbag sensors initiate inflation. These sensors signal the ignitor to begin the chemical reaction that inflates the airbag in under 1/20th of a second. The chemicals produce a harmless gas, but some people experience asthma attacks or other lung issues due to these chemicals.
The force behind an inflating airbag can reach the equivalent of 200 mph, although some advanced airbag systems adjust the inflation pressure and speed depending on the seated person’s size.
Because airbags inflate so quickly, a car’s occupants don’t have time to move out of the way. Positioning yourself correctly in vehicle seating is crucial to reduce the risk of sustaining injuries from airbags.
Can You Avoid Airbag Deployment Injuries?
Although airbags are designed to reduce the severity of injuries, airbags alone will not prevent injuries. There are a few things to remember about airbags to increase their effectiveness:
- Use your seat belt.
- Maintain as much distance as possible between your body and the steering wheel, dashboard, and windows. The minimum recommended space is 10″.
- Children aged 12 and younger should sit in the rear seating areas. Use appropriate booster or car seats.
- You should not place a rear-facing infant car seat in the front seat or in front of the airbags.
- Consider using an airbag on/off switch if shorter or elderly passengers ride with you frequently, as they are more likely to sustain injuries from airbag deployment.
Some passengers like to prop their feet on the dashboard or lean against windows. Those positions are dangerous, and you shouldn’t allow them in your car.
Can You Receive Compensation for Injuries From Airbags?
Injuries from airbag deployment can jeopardize your health, and you may qualify to seek compensation. An experienced car accident attorney from David R. Price, Jr., P.A., can evaluate your claim and explain your legal options against a negligent driver or another contributor to a crash in which your airbags deployed.
Why Choose David R. Price, Jr., P.A. To Assist With Your Airbag Injury Claim?
The attorneys at our award-winning firm are aggressive and experienced advocates, fiercely determined to protect your legal rights. We have successfully resolved personal injury claims in South Carolina ever since 2006, with several settlements exceeding $1 million.
If you sustained injuries from airbags, contact David R. Price, Jr., P.A., today to request your free consultation. Call us, submit our contact form, or use live chat. We can arrange a hospital or home visit if that’s more convenient for you.
FAQs About Airbag Deployment
What if my airbag didn’t go off?
Some kinds of crashes won’t trigger airbags, particularly low-speed collisions. An airbag that didn’t deploy doesn’t necessarily mean you have grounds for legal action against the manufacturer.
Are airbags mandatory in the U.S.?
U.S. laws require American vehicles to have front airbags. Although side airbags aren’t mandated, many manufacturers include them in new vehicles.
How much is my case worth?
All accidents, injuries, and settlements are different. David R. Price, Jr., P.A., and his legal team can assess your claim and tell you how much compensation you may receive according to the specific facts of your case.
David Price is a Personal Injury, Civil Litigation, Collections, and Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. He graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law, and has been practicing law for 12 years. David Price believes in helping those who have been injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.