While airbags save many lives in car accidents they are also sometimes the cause of serious injuries. If you sustained life-altering temporary or permanent injuries by an air bag in a car accident you may have a claim for compensation for your airbag injuries. Contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Why can airbags cause so much damage?
- Airbags deploy rapidly which means a big impact
- The size of the person hit by the airbag impacts the injury
- The position of the person’s arms and legs at the time of impact
- The substances inside of an airbag
- Whether or not the person impacted by the airbag was wearing a seat belt
Common types of airbag injuries
Depending on the type of impact, different airbags may deploy from the steering wheel or door, for example. Because different body parts can be hit by airbags, the types of injuries vary.
Airbag injuries may present as:
- Burns to the upper body and extremities
- Bruising to the face, knees, internal organs, upper body or extremities
- Cuts or scrapes to the face
- Fractures to the face, skull, ribcage or extremities
- Fractures, strains or blunt trauma to the spine or brain stem
- Bruising, compression or swelling of the brain or other traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Deep cuts to the liver, spleen, veins, arteries, heart or lungs
- Internal bleeding
- Trauma or sprains to extremities
- Irritation to the throat, coughing or asthma symptoms
- Airbag dermatitis (irritation of the skin)
- Ruptured heart muscle
- Ruptured eye globe, retinal tear or corneal abrasion
- Hearing loss
- Trauma to the fetus of a pregnant woman/punctured placenta
How to reduce your risk of airbag injuries
The most important airbag safety tip is to ensure that everyone in the vehicle is wearing their seatbelt and that children are properly strapped into the appropriate car seat for their weight and height. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 80 percent of the 300 people killed in crashes where airbags deployed between 1990 and 2008 were improperly restrained or belted.
Other safety tips include:
- Adjust your seat to be at least 10 inches from the area where your airbag deploys
- If you are short, elderly or own a very old vehicle consider purchasing an airbag on/off switch or pedal extensions
- Never allow children 12 and under to ride in the front seat (in a situation where you have no choice, place the biggest child in the front and move the seat as far back as possible.)
- Do not allow children to put their feet up on the dash or lean on car doors
- Never place a rear-facing child safety seat in a seat that has frontal airbags
- Women in their third trimester of pregnancy should avoid driving if possible to prevent the risk of injury to the fetus
If you or a loved one was seriously injured by an airgbag deployment, you may benefit from a free consultation with a car accident attorney.
If you or a loved one is dealing with an accident or injury, you have enough on your plate. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!