When a car crashes, airbags play a crucial role in protecting automobile occupants, but they can also pose risks. The requirement for front airbags by law in 1998 marked an important step in enhancing occupant safety. While side airbags are not mandated by law, they are commonly included as standard features in new vehicles. The notable advantage of side-impact airbags is their rapid inflation, as they are in closer proximity to the occupants. However, it’s important to note that airbags, despite their intended purpose, can still cause severe injuries, even in cases where the vehicle is moving at a slow speed. Defective airbags, unexpected deployment, or excessive force during deployment are potential factors that significantly increase the likelihood of injuries occurring.
The Types of Injuries Caused by Airbags:
Airbags, while designed to protect vehicle occupants, can indeed cause certain injuries due to their high-speed deployment. Abrasions and burns on the skin are possible, resulting from the friction and heat generated when the airbag rapidly inflates. The force exerted by an airbag during deployment can be powerful enough to break bones, particularly in more severe collisions. Furthermore, there is a risk of debris being propelled into a person’s eyes by the forceful release of the airbag, potentially leading to eye injuries. It is essential to be aware of these potential injuries that can be caused by airbag deployment to understand the importance of proper seat positioning, seatbelt usage, and maintaining a safe distance from the airbag to minimize the risk of harm.
- Asthma and other respiratory conditions and injuries;
- Broken arms, wrists, hands, and fingers;
- Broken noses;
- Broken ribs and fractured sternums;
- Bruising and swelling;
- Burns and abrasions;
- Eye damage;
- Soft tissue and organ damage;
- Spinal fractures of the neck;
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs);
- Upper body injuries;
Airbags have proven to be effective in protecting drivers and occupants during crashes since their installation in cars. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) acknowledges that these safety devices have saved tens of thousands of lives. However, it is crucial to address the potential risks associated with defective airbags, which can result in serious or even fatal injuries.
To minimize the risk of injury, it is essential to always wear a seatbelt and maintain a safe distance from the airbag. Sitting too close to the airbag can increase the chances of sustaining injuries during deployment. In the event of a collision where an airbag deploys, it is recommended to seek medical attention, even if you believe you are uninjured. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent and require professional assessment.
By practicing these safety measures and remaining vigilant about airbag functionality, we can continue to benefit from the life-saving potential of these devices while minimizing the associated risks.
Understanding the Legal Grounds and Requirements for Filing an Airbag Injury Lawsuit
The presence of fake and counterfeit airbags has indeed had a detrimental impact on consumer safety. These counterfeit airbags have the potential to malfunction and fail to deploy correctly in the event of a car accident, leading to severe injuries or even fatalities for the occupants of the vehicle.
Moreover, the sale of counterfeit airbags that do not meet safety standards poses a significant threat to consumer safety. These fraudulent airbags are often marketed and sold as legitimate products, deceiving unsuspecting consumers. The use of these fake airbags puts vehicle occupants at heightened risk since they may not function properly during a collision.
Consumers must be cautious and aware of the potential existence of counterfeit airbags. When replacing airbags or purchasing them from third-party sellers, it is essential to ensure that the products are sourced from reputable and authorized dealers. This diligence helps to mitigate the risks associated with counterfeit airbags and ensures the safety of vehicle occupants on the road.
Unveiling Negligence in Airbag Injury Lawsuits
A car manufacturer or airbag manufacturer may be held liable for an airbag injury under various circumstances, including:
- Defective Design: If the airbag’s design is inherently flawed or dangerous, leading to injury during deployment or failure to provide adequate protection, the manufacturer may be held responsible.
- Manufacturing Defect: If an airbag is improperly manufactured, resulting in defects that cause injury, such as faulty inflators or improper installation, the manufacturer may be liable for the resulting harm.
- Failure to Warn: If the manufacturer fails to provide adequate warnings or instructions regarding the safe use and potential risks associated with the airbag, and an injury occurs as a result, they may be held accountable for the failure to warn adequately.
- Negligence: Manufacturers must produce safe and reliable airbags. If they breach this duty through negligence, such as inadequate testing, substandard quality control, or failure to address known risks, and injuries result, they may be held liable.
- Recalls and Failure to Remedy: If a manufacturer becomes aware of a defect or safety issue with their airbags and fails to issue a recall or take appropriate corrective action, and injuries occur as a result, they may be held accountable for their failure to remedy the known problem.
It’s important to consult with a qualified attorney who specializes in product liability cases to assess the specific circumstances of your airbag injury and determine the appropriate legal recourse. Laws and regulations governing liability may vary by jurisdiction, so seeking professional legal advice is crucial in pursuing a lawsuit against an airbag or car manufacturer.
How Airbag Injuries Happen
In cases where injuries are caused by product defects, it may be possible to pursue legal action against the manufacturer or other responsible parties to seek compensation for damages. Consulting with an attorney experienced in product liability cases is recommended to assess the specifics of the situation and determine the appropriate course of action. Defective airbags can cause injuries by:
- Deploying too late;
- Deploying unexpectedly when not in a crash;
- Deploying with excessive force;
- Firing chemicals and debris at vehicle occupants;
- Not deploying at all;
Talk to an ATLINJ Georgia Lawyer
You may feel confused when you’ve sustained an injury from a product meant to protect you. You could be wondering how such a thing could happen. As the lawyers at ATLINJ Georgia know, airbags can and do malfunction, hurting people – and innocent consumers shouldn’t pay the financial and physical costs. If an airbag has injured you, we can explain your compensation options as we learn your case details.