Q: I suffered fairly severe facial injuries when my car’s airbag deployed in a collision. Could my airbag have been defective?
After a major recall that affects millions of people hits the news, the ensuing nationwide concern is well deserved. The recent Takata airbag recall was just this type of recall, with the news covering stories of the airbags deploying explosively, potentially spraying vehicle occupants with what could only be called shrapnel. While these airbags have been placed into over 104,000 vehicles, the odds of suffering an injury from these airbags is very low—but the worry is understandable.
Many people have voiced their concerns about the safety of their car’s airbags following this particular recall, and after suffering injuries from your own airbag, you are smart to want your own answers on what happened—and why.
The Airbag: Simple Design Reliant on Delicate Systems
While airbags are responsible for saving lives on a daily basis, the technology behind them is quite simple. In order to understand whether your airbag was malfunctioning, you will need to investigate one (or all) of the following components:
- The crash sensor, which triggers the deployment of an airbag in a collision that generates sufficient force.
- The ignitor, which produces a gas that inflates the airbag at a high rate.
- The airbag, which inflates within a fraction of a second.
- The airbag compartment, where the airbag is housed, either in the steering wheel (driver) or dashboard (passenger).
Any of these components could cause the airbag to deploy improperly, or fail to deploy altogether. It is incredibly important that the airbag and your car are thoroughly examined to serve as evidence in your case if it is determined that your airbag was designed, manufactured, or serviced negligently.
Even a Perfectly Functioning Airbag Can Do Serious Damage
Because of the force generated by airbags in a crash, it is possible for an airbag to cause serious injury—even when it does exactly what it is supposed to do. If you are positioned too closely—within 10 inches or less—of the airbag compartment in the steering wheel, the rapid deployment can cause very serious damage. This is often a problem from shorter drivers who must sit closer to the steering wheel in order to reach the pedals.
In the same vein, many people are seriously injured by their airbag when they are involved in a crash while not wearing their seatbelt. Unrestrained occupants are thrown forward at impact, and often are very close to the airbag compartment when the airbag deploys.
Airbags deliver a burst of explosive power to help protect you from crash forces, so they do cause injuries as they prevent more serious injuries. Many people suffer broken noses, eye injuries, and burns as a result of their airbag deploying properly, so it is important that you seek legal assistance as you pursue your case.
Your injuries may very well be the result of an airbag that malfunctioned as the result of another party’s negligence, which means that you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries. To discuss your case with an auto injury attorney at Schmidt Kramer, call (717) 888-8888 or click on the live chat link today!