Airbags have made headlines recently resulting in personal injury lawsuits being filed. Some airbags, instead of protecting drivers and passengers, have been causing injuries that range from burns to eye injuries and even death. If you or a loved one was in a car accident and your injuries were made worse by a defective airbag, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. Airbags are usually located in either the steering wheel or in a panel on the dashboard and connected to a crash sensor. The sensor works by deploying the airbag at the moment the car gets into a severe crash. This is usually a head-on or near head-on collision with speeds ranging from 8 to 14 miles per hour.
When airbags deploy, they burst out of the dashboard at speeds topping 100 miles per hour. Airbags can be hot, dusty and covered in chemicals. An airbag deploys in about 1/20th of a second. This means the average person has very little time to react. If an injury occurs when the airbag deploys, you may have a personal injury claim for damages.
Most airbags function properly but when there are deployment errors, a malfunctioning crash sensor is often to blame. The sensor may deploy the airbag at the wrong time or not at all. It may deploy one airbag but not the other. Airbags in Honda and Toyota cars that were made by a Japenese manufacturer where in the news recently. These airbags, upon deployment, propelled shrapnel and other debris directly into the driver’s or passenger’s necks, causing serious injuries. Federal regulators have urged owners of vehicles carrying these airbags to fix them immediately, because of the high risk of injury.
Bringing a Claim for a Defective Airbag
If a malfunctioning airbag has caused injuries, you may have a personal injury claim against several possible defendants. Potential defendants could include the automobile manufacturer, the airbag manufacturer and possibly anyone responsible for inspection, maintenance, repair, or replacement.
If you were injured by an airbag in an auto accident, be sure to preserve evidence of the airbag if wish to bring a claim. This may be a challenge after an accident, so try to remember to take pictures. An even better approach is to verify that parts of the airbag, the bag itself, and the crash sensor are still intact. Do not let the car be “junked” or transferred to the insurance company. This can be challenging if the car is totaled, because the insurer will want to take possession of the car. Be sure to contact a skilled personal injury lawyer as soon as possible, as they will help walk you through the process.