Modern vehicles are equipped with airbags to reduce driver and passenger injuries in the event of an accident, especially high-speed collisions. They are designed to absorb some of the impact of a crash and serve as a buffer between a vehicle’s occupants and the vehicle’s hard steering wheel, dashboard, and windshield. If they are properly designed and manufactured, airbags are highly effective safety devices that can prevent serious head, chest, and limb injuries.
Unfortunately, however, automotive manufacturers have installed malfunctioning airbags in numerous vehicles over the years. These defective airbags have in turn caused thousands of airbag injuries—including hand, arm, neck, and head injuries—and even death. In fact, since 2003, more than 140 children and 80 adults have died because of defective airbags. Children and smaller adults are at greater risk of suffering passenger airbag related injuries and even death. Recently, the Takata airbag recall affected tens of millions of vehicles making it one of the largest defective product recalls. In addition to defective airbags causing injury to car drivers and passengers, fake or counterfeit airbags have also been found in cars and can cause injury to the vehicle's occupants during deployment.
Types of Airbag Defects
There are many different types of airbag defects that can cause serious injury to vehicle occupants in the event of an accident. Some common issues with airbag design and functionality include:
- Use of faulty or malfunctioning sensors
- Failure to utilize new and improved technology
- Installation of airbags without tethers
- Problems with airbag venting and folding
- Installation of over-sized airbags
Auto manufacturers are required to make sure their vehicles and vehicle components are safe and effective. This includes the airbags, and they should be held liable if people sustain injuries because of a defective airbag system.Types of Injuries Caused by Airbag Defects
Airbag injuries can range from minor to catastrophic. The most common injuries include burns and scrapes resulting from friction between the airbag and the vehicle occupant’s skin. Other types of injuries include:
- Wrist and arm sprains
- Broken bones and fractures in the hands, wrists, and arms
- Head and neck trauma
- Brain injury and skull fracture
- Eye injuries
- Rib fractures
- Spinal damage
In some cases, serious cardiac and pulmonary injuries present themselves days or even weeks after a collision occurred. According to medical researchers, these “hidden” injuries can result from airbag deployment even with no visible injury at the time of the accident. Therefore, if you were struck by an airbag during an accident, it is important to make sure all of your injuries are identified and treated, and included in an assessment of damages sustained in your accident.After Sustaining an Airbag Injury, Contact Our Atlanta Law Firm
The legal team at Katz Wright Fleming & Dodson, LLC is made up of experienced car accident lawyers who are equipped to handle airbag injury issues, and litigation against automakers and insurance companies. If you or a loved one has sustained an airbag injury in an auto accident, please contact us for a free initial consultation. Call (404) 460-0101 today!