Mark Roman | November 2, 2023 | Car Accidents
Studies and research indicate that airbags can reduce the risk of some injuries in a car accident when used correctly. It is estimated that more than 50,000 lives were saved because of the use of airbags over a 30-year period. Because airbags effectively save lives and reduce injuries in car accidents, the government made airbags mandatory for all cars beginning in 1998 and all passenger trucks, SUVs, and vans in 1999.
While airbags can save lives in a car accident, their deployment can also lead to serious injuries for drivers and passengers.
When Does an Airbag Deploy in a Car Accident?
Airbags are designed to deploy in moderate to severe car crashes. Therefore, if an airbag deploys, an insurance adjuster might treat the accident claim with greater attention. The greater level of attention may or may not benefit the accident victim.
If the airbag deployed, it could be presumed that you might have sustained serious injuries in the crash. It could be easier to convince an insurance adjuster that you sustained the injuries claimed.
However, the opposite could occur. The insurance adjuster might look more closely at medical records, witness testimony, and other evidence to confirm you sustained the injuries you claim. The extra scrutiny could raise issues that might go against you.
Therefore, it is in your best interest to speak with a car accident attorney before you speak with an insurance adjuster, regardless of whether your airbag deployed. An attorney evaluates your case and guides you through the insurance claim process to help you obtain a fair settlement.
What Happens When Airbags Malfunction?
There could be instances where an airbag should have deployed, and it did not. The reverse could also be true. When airbags malfunction, the vehicle occupants can be seriously injured.
Airbags deploy when a sensor indicates a collision occurred.
An airbag can fail to deploy for the following reasons:
- The airbag is defective
- The direction of the impact
- The crash sensor location
- The speed the vehicles were traveling when they collided
- The design of the airbag
- Faulty sensors
- A child or smaller person is sitting in the front seat
Minor car accidents might not trigger the airbags. When an airbag fails to deploy, the person could sustain additional injuries from colliding with the vehicle’s frame, seat, dashboard, window, or steering wheel.
Airbags Can Cause Severe Injuries When They Deploy Correctly
The airbag itself can cause injury when it deploys. An airbag inflates because of an explosion caused by a chemical reaction. The time from the explosion to inflation is about 1/20 of a second, so a lot of force occurs when an airbag inflates.
Some common airbag injuries include:
- Seat belt syndrome
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
- Facial injuries
- Chest and lung injuries
- Hearing and/or vision loss
- Internal organ damage
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries and whiplash
- Concussions and brain injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Cardiac injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Abrasions and lacerations
Airbag injuries might result if someone is not wearing their seat belt, sitting close to the airbag, or tampers with it. However, a person may sustain airbag injuries merely because the accident occurred and it was a natural consequence of the collision.
Who Is Liable for Airbag Injuries Caused by a Tampa Car Accident?
The driver who caused the car accident could be liable for airbag injuries. If the injury resulted from the accident, the accident victim could include the damages related to the airbag injury in their personal injury claim.
However, if a defect causes an airbag injury, the airbag manufacturer and/or vehicle manufacturer could be liable for economic and non-economic damages. Manufacturers can be held strictly liable when a defective product causes someone to be injured.
Other parties could share liability for airbag injuries. A Tampa car accident lawyer investigates the crash to determine all factors that contributed to the victim’s injuries. The attorney identifies the parties responsible for the contributing factors to pursue claims for damages.
What Should I Do if I Am Injured by an Airbag in a Tampa Car Accident?
After reporting the crash and filing a police report, seek immediate medical treatment for your injuries. Documenting your injuries with medical records improves your chance of receiving a fair settlement for your car accident claim.
Speak with a Tampa personal injury lawyer before repairing your vehicle, if possible. There could be evidence from your vehicle or the accident that can help prove who is liable for your injuries and damages.
Do not discuss the accident with an insurance company or adjuster without legal advice. Your comments to the company or one of its representatives could be used against you. Instead, let your attorney handle all communications with the insurance company for you.
A car accident where the airbags deploy can be frightening and lead to life-altering injuries. A skilled car accident lawyer can help you deal with the effects of airbag deployment in your car accident claim.
Contact the Tampa Car Accident Law Firm of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today
For more information, please contact the legal team of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for a free initial consultation with a Car Accident lawyer in Tampa. We have five convenient locations in Florida: Clearwater, New Port Richey, and Tampa.
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
6601 Memorial Hwy Suite 202
Tampa, FL 33615
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
1811 N. Belcher Road, Suite I-1
Clearwater, FL 33765
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Congress Ave Office
2360 Congress Avenue
Clearwater, FL 33763
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
2515 Seven Springs Blvd.
New Port Richey, FL, 34655