Albuquerque And Mesa Personal Injury Lawyer

Airbag Malfunctions and Your Legal Rights

Airbags are essential safety features in modern vehicles, designed to protect passengers in the event of a collision. They deploy rapidly to cushion impact and reduce injury risk. While we trust these safety devices to work correctly, there are times when airbags themselves can cause accidents or fail to deploy as intended. If you or a loved one has been affected by airbag malfunctions, it’s crucial to understand your legal rights and seek appropriate compensation. At Wood Injury Law, we’re here to guide you through the legal process and ensure your rights are upheld.

A Brief History and Functionality of Car Airbags

Airbags have a notable history, with their development dating back to the 1950s. They have since become a standard feature in most vehicles, playing a pivotal role in enhancing passenger safety. Airbags work by rapidly inflating during a collision, providing a cushion that absorbs some of the impact force and reduces the risk of serious injuries.

Potential Issues with Airbag Systems

While airbag systems are built to protect passengers, they can experience malfunctions for various reasons. Some common issues include:

  • Non-Deployment: Airbags may fail to deploy during a collision, leaving occupants vulnerable to more severe injuries.
  • Delayed Deployment: In some cases, airbags may deploy after the initial impact, missing the critical window for protection.
  • Unintended Deployment: Airbags might deploy unexpectedly, even without a collision, causing panic and potential accidents.
  • Overpowered Deployment: The force of airbag deployment could be excessive, and the airbag may explode, causing injuries instead of preventing them.
  • Defective Sensors: Faulty sensors can lead to incorrect deployment decisions or failure to deploy when necessary.
  • Missing Airbag: If a vehicle lacks an airbag that should be present, occupants are left without a crucial safety feature.
  • Defective Airbag: Airbags with manufacturing defects might malfunction or cause additional harm when deployed. Old airbags that should have been replaced could also have tears and rips on them, and not function properly.
  • Improper Installation: If airbags are not correctly installed during manufacturing or maintenance, their effectiveness can be compromised.

Common Injuries Caused by Airbag Malfunctions 

Airbag malfunctions can result in a range of injuries, such as:

  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI): Due to excessive force or delayed deployment.
  • Facial and Eye Injuries: Caused by airbags deploying at an inappropriate angle.
  • Burns: Airbag deployment can result in chemical burns due to the gasses released.
  • Neck and Spinal Injuries: Incorrect airbag deployment can exacerbate injuries in these areas.
  • Fractures and Contusions: Injuries sustained due to overpowered or unintended deployment.
  • Lung Irritation: The chemicals released upon airbag deployment can lead to respiratory irritation.
  • Internal Injuries: The force of airbag deployment can cause internal injuries, particularly in the chest area.

Liability for Airbag Accident Injuries

Several parties could be held liable for injuries resulting from airbag malfunctions, including:

  • Manufacturers: If design flaws, manufacturing defects, or inadequate testing contributed to the malfunction.
  • Car Dealerships: Responsible if they installed faulty airbag components, or placed them incorrectly.
  • Maintenance Providers: Liability might arise if incorrect repairs or maintenance caused the malfunction.

Compensation for Airbag Accident Injuries

Compensation for airbag malfunction injuries could cover:

  • Medical Expenses: Including current and future medical bills.
  • Lost Wages: For time away from work due to injuries.
  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation for physical and emotional distress.
  • Property Damage: Repair or replacement of your vehicle.
  • Wrongful Death: If the malfunction led to a fatal accident.

Immediate Steps After an Airbag Malfunction

  1. Seek Medical Attention: Your well-being is a priority. Make sure there is proper documentation of your injuries as these may be helpful in your case.
  2. Document the Scene: Take photos, collect contact information of witnesses, and keep relevant records. 
  3. Inform Law Enforcement: Make sure to inform responding law enforcement about the malfunctioning airbag so it can be included in their accident report.
  4. Preserve Evidence: Keep the vehicle as it is, if possible, to aid investigations.
  5. Consult an Attorney: Contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to assess your case.

While airbags are designed to enhance safety, malfunctions are possible and can lead to severe, even life-changing injuries. Don’t hesitate to seek legal guidance if you’ve suffered due to an airbag malfunction. Talk to us at Wood Injury Law, and we’ll make sure your case is heard and rectified. Your safety matters, and we’re here to fight for your justice and just compensation.

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