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Injuries Caused by Airbag Deployment

Airbags are one of the most significant safety developments in the automotive industry. They save countless lives by preventing potentially life-threatening injuries in car accidents, such as head and brain trauma. However, the force of airbag deployment can also be what causes injuries in some cases. If an airbag malfunctions, injuries can even be fatal.

How Can an Airbag Cause Injuries?

The fact that airbags save lives is uncontestable; however, that is not to say they are perfect. When an airbag deploys, it can do so with enough force to inflict impact-related injuries. In addition, the chemical reaction necessary to inflate an airbag can cause exposure injuries when released into the cab of a car.

In some cases, injuries occur when an airbag fails to deploy or deploys at the wrong time – such as when no collision has occurred. Finally, in the case of a defective airbag, pieces of debris or shrapnel could be ejected and strike vehicle occupants. This was the case in one of the biggest airbag recalls in history: the Takata recall, which involved approximately 67 million airbags.

Common Injuries Caused by Airbag Deployment

Injuries caused by an airbag are typically much less severe than the injuries that likely would have occurred without an airbag. However, in serious cases (such as those involving defective airbags), these injuries could be life-threatening and even fatal.

Common injuries caused by airbags include:

  • Facial injuries. Impact from the force of an airbag against the face could cause bruising, abrasions and fractures of the facial bones, including the nose or jaw.
  • Head injuries. The blow from the airbag against the head could jostle the brain around the inside of the skull, resulting in a concussion.
  • Eye injuries. Airbag deployment could harm a victim’s eyes, such as causing corneal abrasions, orbital fractures, retinal detachment or eye irritation from chemicals.
  • Spinal cord injuries. The force of deployment could snap a victim’s head and neck rapidly backward, potentially damaging the neck, back or spine.
  • Upper body injuries. Various parts of the upper body, including the chest, ribs, abdomen and internal organs could sustain injuries due to the force of the airbag.
  • Chemical exposure injuries. Chemicals from the airbag that come into contact with the skin could result in burns, irritation, rashes and respiratory issues.

Certain individuals are more at risk of sustaining injuries from an airbag, including young children and pregnant women. However, anyone could sustain an airbag injury in a car accident – especially if the airbag does not function properly.

Can You Be Compensated for Injuries Caused by Airbag Deployment?

If you get injured by an airbag in a car accident in California, you may be eligible for financial compensation for your related expenses, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, from one or more parties. An experienced Orange County car accident attorney can help you seek maximum compensation from the at-fault driver or the manufacturer of a defective airbag.

Proving liability for an airbag injury will require evidence that the responsible party reasonably could have done more to prevent the injury, but negligently failed to do so. For example, if an airbag manufacturer should have safety-tested the product more thoroughly, it could be held liable for related consumer injuries or deaths.

Consulting with a qualified personal injury attorney in Orange County can give you a clear understanding of your legal rights and options after sustaining an airbag injury in California.

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