Charpentier Law Firm, P.A.

The Danger of Defective Airbags in Auto Accidents

By Steve Charpentier on March 13, 2014

Melbourne Defective Airbags and InjuryIn the event of an auto accident, airbags are meant to protect against serious injury or even fatality. And indeed, an appropriately functioning and deployed airbag can mean the difference between life and death. However, airbags remain a controversial issue in auto accidents due to the sheer number of injuries they fail to prevent or, in some cases, are the cause of themselves. Even when they pass safety inspections and are supposed to be working correctly, these products can fail at the time when they truly matter.

If you are injured because of a defective airbag in the Melbourne area, seek the advice of experienced auto accident lawyers. By holding the manufacturer legally responsible for a malfunctioning part, you can save a great deal of time, money, and frustration from the consequences of your accident.

How Can Airbags Fail?

There are many factors that go into the proper deployment of an airbag, making the chances of failure that much greater. Depending on if, how, and when the bag inflates, drivers may suffer from any of the following problems:

  • Failed or late deployment: Most airbags are set to deploy during crashes that occur at speeds of over 25 mph. If they fail to do so, drivers or passengers may experience severe injuries or death upon impact.
  • Unnecessary deployment: When airbags are released unnecessarily, such as in minor accidents or bumps, motorists may experience far more harm from impact with the airbag than without it.
  • Partially inflated airbags: If an airbag fails to fully inflate, it will likely do little to prevent someone’s head from continuing toward the steering wheel, window, or dashboard.
  • Horizontal deployment: Airbags are supposed to inflate upward, providing a fully inflated cushion by the time one reaches it. If they inflate toward a person, however, they create extra impact that results in serious injury.
  • Lack of tethers: Airbags should be tethered down, preventing them from inflating too large or too spherically and thus causing extra force upon impact.

Even when airbags function properly, they often fail to account for all passenger sizes. Shorter passengers in particular are at risk of injury, as their heads are not as likely to be positioned at the center of the airbag. This too may be a manufacturer’s fault, as they failed to test the product with a variety of crash dummies.  

Injuries from Airbags

Because airbags can be defective in a number of ways, the type and extent of injuries from them are equally varied. Due to its placement, some of the most common injuries occur in the face, head, and neck. Jaw injuries, ruptures within the eye, and upper spinal fractures are a few dangers posed by excessive force from an airbag. Fractures and dislocations may also occur in the upper body, along with the risk of cardiac problems.

In addition to the force of an airbag, motorists should also be cognizant of the danger posed by friction and chemical burns. Just by contact with the airbag’s surface, one may suffer abrasions and burns along the face or upper body. Due to the chemical compounds used to deploy an airbag, people are also at risk of irritation, burns, and asthma attacks.    

What Can We Do for You?

Our personal injury attorneys are committed to defending you from the financial repercussions of an accident. By filing a defective product lawsuit and personal injury claim, we can help take the responsibility of your accident off your hands, allowing you to simply focus on your well-being and peace of mind. We aim to:

  • Prove the negligence of a responsible party, such as a manufacturer or recent inspector
  • Protect you against insurance companies
  • Compensate you for medical bills and future medical expenses
  • Compensate you for missed work wages
  • Compensate you for emotional damages

Call Us Today

Don’t let a faulty airbag continue to hurt you after an accident. Call or email our office, and let us help you hold the right people responsible for your injuries.

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