Airbags have been a great invention for the most part. It is practically impossible to tally how many lives they have saved and how many head injuries they have prevented. This is especially true when passengers hit the vehicle windshield after being jolted forward in a crash.
Airbags are designed to save lives, which is what they often do. However, injuries can still occur in certain situations when the bags release late or too early when a vehicle is impacted even slightly. When they do not function properly, or deploy when they should not, the airbags can cause severe injuries.
In addition, a very common type of airbag that deployed unexpectedly while the vehicle was in normal motion has forced more attention on airbag-related accidents. As a result, that particular airbag has been recalled and the automotive industry has taken notice.
There are two common types of frontal injuries associated with the use of airbags:
- Cuts and abrasions. Lacerations to the face can be extremely serious. In the worst cases, they can be cause for reconstructive surgery.
- Broken limbs. This injury is also commonly reported. This category includes broken fingers, wrists, and separated shoulders. These may seem like minor injuries, but they require medical care and possibly time off from work for recovery.
Some of the most prevalent internal injuries due to airbag deployment are neck and spine injuries.
- These can be whiplash style injuries resulting from the snapping of the neck when the bag contacts the head.
- Back injuries can occur from being twisted in serious crashes.
- Compound injuries are caused by multiple factors.
- Leg injuries are common, especially when the passenger is not wearing a seat belt.
Fatal Accidents Due to Airbag Deployment
Faulty airbags are currently the primary automotive recall in the United States. The Takata airbag recall is now active for over 34 million vehicles. There has been a significant number of fatal accidents due to deployment of airbags while the car is in motion without any type of impact. As a result, many of the prior unexplained accidents that produced injuries can be reevaluated for potential product liability lawsuits.
Product Liability Injuries
Product liability claims are a possibility for individuals who may have been injured due to a faulty airbag. The significance of this is that attorneys for the affected victims do not need to prove negligence on the part of the manufacturer. Under strict liability rule, the fault of the injured party does not matter when a product liability attorney can prove in court that the injuries to their client were due to accidental airbag deployment for no apparent reason.
Regardless of the type of injury suffered in an accident, an experienced auto accident attorney will likely investigate the possibility of a defective airbag. A defective airbag can easily result in a personal injury and/or wrongful death claim from accidental deployment.
If you or someone you care about was seriously or fatally injured in a vehicle accident, contact a personal injury attorney immediately for a consultation such as the personal injury lawyer Milwaukee, WI locals trust.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Hickey & Turim LLP for their insight into personal injury practice.