passenger grimacing from airbag impact after an accident in CaliforniaAirbags have saved thousands of lives in car accidents since they became widespread in the late 1980s, but these devices are not foolproof. Faulty airbags can cause devastating injuries both when they deploy at the wrong time and when they fail to deploy when they should. An airbag can injure a passenger even when it works as intended. These injuries can leave victims in pain for weeks or months after a crash, often unable to work.

The Folsom airbag injury lawyers at The Law Office of Black & DePaoli, PC, are dedicated to helping accident victims be heard. We are ready to thoroughly investigate the accident to determine who is liable for your injuries, whether it’s the other driver, the company that manufactured the airbag, or another party altogether. 

Our airbag injury attorneys have over 25 years of experience and have recovered millions for our clients. Let us put this experience to work for you. Contact our office for a free consultation and find out what we can do for you.

Airbag Injury Facts and Figures

Overall, airbags have unquestionably saved many more lives than they have cost. One analysis from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that front airbags prevented 50,000 deaths from 1987 to 2017. However, that does not mean airbags always work flawlessly.

Mechanical defects are a common cause of airbag injuries. According to Consumer Reports, exploding airbags made by the Takata Corporation killed at least 19 people and injured another 400. Manufacturers installed these airbags in millions of vehicles worldwide, and they are still subject to an ongoing NHTSA recall.

Even when airbags work as designed, they can cause serious injuries or death. Drivers and passengers can end up crushed between their seat and an airbag, leading to broken ribs and other injuries. Even the force of an airbag deploying can be enough to cause significant, even fatal, injuries. A NHTSA study determined that 284 people died from airbag injuries between 1990 to 2007.

How Airbag Injuries Occur in California 

Airbag injuries can occur in several different ways, such as when:

  • An airbag strikes a driver or passenger. Airbags are supposed to cushion vehicle occupants from the force of a collision, but the force of a deploying airbag is often enough to do damage of its own. Young children and adults with smaller body frames are more susceptible to injuries from a deploying airbag, which is one reason preteen children should ride in the back seats whenever possible.
  • An airbag does not deploy when needed. If an airbag does not deploy due to a sensor malfunction, defective propellant, or other defect, drivers and passengers can violently collide with a car’s steering wheel, steering column, or another part of the interior. The injury could be fatal if a driver or passenger sustains a severe head injury because an airbag does not deploy.
  • An airbag deploys when it is not needed. Manufacturers generally set airbags to deploy when a collision occurs above a certain speed when the force of a deploying airbag is preferable to the force of a crash at speed. But sometimes, they deploy when they are not required to – either when a collision happens at speeds not high enough to necessitate the airbag or because a faulty sensor triggers the airbag without warning. An airbag that deploys at the wrong time could actually cause a crash.
  • An airbag deploys too late. To be effective, an airbag must deploy in the split second between the car hitting an object and the car’s occupants hitting its interior. If the airbag deploys too late after a crash, it will hit a driver or passenger’s body at high speed instead of cushioning them from the force of an accident. It may even pummel someone after they’ve already suffered the initial collision.
  • An airbag explodes when deployed. If a defective airbag explodes, it can send shrapnel through a car’s cabin at high speeds, which can cause significant injuries. Takata initiated its airbag recall after regulators discovered their airbags had a high rate of exploding due to a defective component.

Can You Get Hurt by an Airbag Even If It Works as It Should?

While colliding with an airbag after a collision is better than hitting your car’s interior, these devices can still cause injuries even when they work correctly. If the airbag deploys as it should and works as designed, it’s still hitting you in the chest, arms, and face. That intense force can lead to broken ribs, broken bones in the hands and wrists, and other injuries.

A deploying airbag can also cause burns because of the chemicals used to inflate it rapidly. Finally, the loud noise of an exploding airbag and the chemicals used to deploy it can affect your hearing and sight, sometimes causing permanent damage.

The person at fault for the crash could be liable for airbag injuries that occur when the device works as it should.

Airbag Injuries and Deaths in Folsom, CA

Airbags have been known to cause the following injuries:

  • Broken ribs and arms
  • Injuries to the hands, wrists, and arms, such as sprains and broken bones
  • Lacerations and abrasions
  • Puncture wounds due to shrapnel from exploding airbags
  • Scarring and other injuries to the face and head
  • Internal organ injuries
  • Internal bleeding
  • Hearing loss
  • Burns
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Wrongful death

Why You Need Help from Our Lawyers in an Airbag Injury Case

If you want complete compensation for your losses after suffering an airbag injury, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. An airbag injury lawyer can investigate the accident to determine who is at fault for your injuries, document the extent of your losses, and calculate the financial compensation you may be owed.

Once an airbag injury attorney identifies the liable parties, the attorney can handle settlement negotiations with the negligent party’s insurance company. A personal injury lawyer can help you recover more compensation because they know the tactics insurance companies use to avoid paying out claims and how to beat them.

If a fair settlement cannot be reached and your case goes to trial, an attorney with litigation experience will be better able to represent your interests than you would on your own.

Airbag Injury

Contact Our Skilled Car Accident Lawyers Today

The airbag injury lawyers at The Law Office of Black & DePaoli, PC, are ready to help you demand compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact our office in Folsom, CA, today for a free case review.