In a car accident, airbags are designed to deploy to protect occupants from the force of impact. These devices save countless lives every year. But, unfortunately, the airbags themselves could cause severe injuries when they fail to deploy, deploy at the wrong moment, or deploy with such force that they explode and send shrapnel flying throughout the interior.
If a defective airbag injured you, you might be facing costly medical bills, the inability to work, a painful recovery, and other losses. At Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., we understand the trauma of severe injuries from a device that was supposed to help keep you safe. Our legal team wants to help you pursue justice and the fair compensation you deserve.
When you work with our firm, you can feel confident that your case is in good hands. Our attorneys provide honest, transparent, and compassionate counsel to injury victims. Our reputation for success has earned us a listing in the Bar Registry of Preeminent Lawyers and an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating they offer.
Are you ready to learn more about your options for financial recovery? Contact us today to talk to a knowledgeable airbag injury attorney in a free consultation.
How Can an Airbag Cause an Injury?
Vehicle manufacturers install airbags to protect drivers and passengers from suffering the full force of the impact during a collision. Instead of your head hitting the steering wheel, window dashboard, or another hard surface, an airbag inflates and cushions the impact.
Unfortunately, airbags don’t always work the way they should. Some of the most common airbag injuries occur when airbags fail to deploy or deploy too late. Many manufacturers issue recalls of safety devices due to malfunctioning or faulty parts. If there’s a flaw in the design or f a defect occurred during the manufacturing process, injuries and even death can result from a car accident.
In other cases, an airbag inflates when it is not supposed to – for example, when crossing railroad tracks or hitting a pothole. Inappropriate airbag deployment can injure occupants or even trigger a crash.
Some airbag injuries result from faulty airbags that eject shrapnel into the passenger compartment or inflate with excessive force, injuring occupants
How Does the Airbag Deployment Process Work During a Car Accident?
Most vehicles have an airbag in the steering wheel and dashboard in front of the front passenger seat. Many have additional side-impact airbags in the doors or the side of the seats.
Some have full curtain airbags along with the side windows and airbags under the dashboard to protect knees.
An airbag deploys when a sensor sends a signal indicating there has been an accident. After the sensor detects an accident, a gas is produced that rapidly inflates the airbag. Airbags take only 1/20 of a second to inflate and deploy at speeds of up to 200 miles an hour. Considering the force involved in the airbag’s inflation, it’s not surprising that airbag deployment injuries happen.
You may have been in a minor fender bender and remember that the airbag never deployed. That’s because airbags are not necessary for all types of collisions. They typically deploy only during a side-impact or head-on crash with sufficient force to trigger the sensor.
How Airbag Injuries Occur in Car Accidents
Various circumstances can contribute to an airbag injury. A vehicle occupant may be more vulnerable to suffering an airbag injury based on the following factors:
- The position of the seat
- The occupant’s weight and height
- The airbag design
- The design of the sensor
- The rate and angle the airbag deploys
- How the airbag has been folded
- The material used to make the airbag
- Whether the airbag inflates completely
Airbag injuries are often the result of a system malfunction, such as:
- The sensor’s failure to detect a collision
- Airbag deploying when there hasn’t been an accident
- Airbags not deploying during a crash
- Airbag deploying too late
Common Types of Airbag Injuries in Huntsville
A range of injuries can result from airbag deployment, depending on the circumstances of the collision. If the airbag malfunctions and doesn’t deploy, the driver could hit their head on the steering wheel or windshield. Alternatively, if an airbag explodes, the shrapnel emitted from the airbag could cause severe or fatal injuries.
Some of the most common airbag injuries suffered in car accidents include:
- Concussion, traumatic brain injury, and other head injuries
- Eye injuries
- Severed arteries and punctured lungs from shrapnel
- Facial disfigurement
- Spinal cord damage
- Broken bones
- Loss of consciousness
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- Neck injuries
No matter what type of injury you sustained, you deserve the opportunity to hold the at-fault party accountable for the harm they caused. The ongoing medical treatment you require could lead to expensive medical bills and debt. If you can’t afford these costs, you could face significant financial strain.
Compensation for Airbag Deployment Injuries
If you suffered injuries caused by an airbag, you could potentially seek compensation from the car manufacturer, airbag manufacturer, or another driver responsible for the crash. In most cases, we pursue compensation from the at-fault driver, but, in cases of catastrophic injury or death, we also investigate and may pursue claims against manufacturers for defective airbags.
Whether you file an injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company or a lawsuit, you might be able to recover compensation for the losses you suffered, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Physical impairment or disfigurement
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Property damage
If you choose to file a lawsuit, you must meet the statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Alabama. This is a strict deadline for pursuing compensation in a lawsuit from the negligent individual or company that’s responsible for your injuries.
Alabama follows a two-year statute of limitations for cases involving personal injury or wrongful death. This means you only have two years from the date of the accident or the date of your loved one’s death to file your lawsuit if you want to hold the at-fault party liable.
Contact Our Huntsville Airbag Injury Attorneys Today
Since 1966, the attorneys at Morris, King & Hodge, P.C., have provided knowledgeable counsel and aggressive representation for people who’ve been injured in accidents in Huntsville and across Alabama. We have experience handling a wide variety of defective safety feature cases, including those involving airbags that have caused serious injuries. Let our team help you seek the fair compensation you’re owed.