When Airbags Fail

Airbag Accident Attorney

Automobile airbags play an important role in saving lives. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that airbags helped save the lives of more than 50,000 people from 1987-2017. In most cases, airbags and safety belts protect passengers from serious injuries when accidents happen.

Unfortunately, airbags don’t always function properly. They can explode, fail to deploy, deploy at the wrong time or deploy with too much force. Activated by crash sensors, airbags deploy at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour (mph). When malfunctioning at that velocity, serious injuries can occur.

Car owners rarely get an early warning sign about the effectiveness of their airbags. It’s a bit disconcerting to think that even now some of us may be driving vehicles with faulty airbags. 

What Happens When Airbags Fail?

When an airbag doesn’t fully deploy in a traffic accident, passengers can be injured or even killed. NHTSA says 284 Americans, including 180 children, died between 1990 and 2007 due to faulty airbags. Thousands of non-fatal airbag injuries also occurred during that time period.

A common element of incidents involving airbag injuries centers around how close passengers are to airbags when they deploy. Young children are particularly vulnerable to serious injuries when they sit in a front passenger seat that is positioned close to the dashboard. Because airbags are situated in multiple locations throughout the vehicle, passengers can be exposed to different injuries based on which airbags malfunction.

What Kinds of Injuries Are Common when Airbags Fail?

Injuries differ, in part, due to the design and location of the airbags, the speed of deployment and chemicals inside the airbags. Potential injuries include:

  • Abrasions to the upper body, including the chest, arms and face
  • Contusions to the arms, knees, chest, face and internal organs
  • Burns to the hands, arms and chest
  • Fractures of the arms, ribs and skull
  • Cervical spine injuries, including blunt force trauma
  • Eye and ear injuries and trauma
  • Rupture of heart muscle

If Someone Is Injured by a Defective Airbag and Incurs Significant Expenses, What Should They Do?

They should contact an experienced personal injury attorney. These attorneys understanding the legal issues surrounding defective airbags and can give sound advice regarding victim’s rights and the likelihood of a successful lawsuit seeking compensation. There are many options available to those who’ve been injured by faulty airbags, as a lawyer, like an airbag accident attorney in Indianapolis, IN, at a law office such as Ward & Ward Law Firm, can explain.