Technology is giving cars more safety features that protect you in the event of an accident. One of the major safety components is the airbag. You may depend on this to stop an impact from propelling you forward and causing harm. But when airbags don’t work, you can sustain major injuries. If you’ve been hurt by a defective airbag, a Little Rock airbag injury lawyer from McMath Woods P.A. can help you with your claim.
Auto part manufacturers are supposed to make sure that their products are safe to use. When they are negligent or cut corners, the results can be devastating. Issues with the materials used to make the airbag or its design could do more than result in serious injuries—there could also be instances of wrongful death. McMath Woods P.A. will look out for your best interests and fight for your rights no matter what.
How Can Defective Airbags Harm People?
Airbags have to respond to certain cues from the car in order to work. The main elements of an airbag are the bag, accelerometer, circuit, heating element, and the charge. When the accelerometer detects that your car has quickly changed speed—usually from hitting another vehicle, stationary object, or animal—it sets off the circuit which then sends a current to the heating element. The charge is ignited, and the airbag inflates.
A careless manufacturer could release an airbag that has a problem with any of these elements. There are a few ways that airbags can fail to do their job during the occurrence of a car accident:
- Failure to Deploy. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that airbags are supposed to deploy in a moderate to severe crash. A collision that is equivalent to hitting a fixed object at 8 to 14 mph or higher. When they don’t, the driver isn’t protected from the force of the crash. They could slam their head against the steering wheel and if their windshield breaks, they’re vulnerable to shards of glass.
- Deploy Without Impact. It’s common for roads to have small bumps or potholes. A defective airbag could deploy when driving over something that doesn’t cause a lot of impact.
- Airbag Leak. The airbag could leak the chemicals that are inside of it, which can be dangerous.
No matter what issue caused your injury, your airbag injury lawyer in Little Rock will investigate your case and find out what went wrong and how it harmed you. We’ll do everything to gather evidence to support your case.
Defective airbags can cause severe injuries whether they do or do not deploy. When they don’t deploy, the people in the car lack the protection in a crash; however, incorrect deploying can also hurt the driver and passengers.
While airbags are made for adults, this doesn’t mean that every time they go off the adult is automatically safe. Airbags that deploy when they aren’t supposed to or are late can end up causing more damage.
The following are possible injuries from a defective airbag:
- Facial Injuries. When a faulty airbag deploys, your eyes, nose, and teeth are in danger of injury. Permanent blindness, facial fractures, and damage to your mouth may occur. There’s also a risk of scarring.
- Neck Injuries. Whiplash is a common injury from car crashes but can also happen when an airbag is triggered for no reason.
- Chest injuries. Injuries that occur in the chest area often include soft tissue damage or broken bones.
- Back Injuries. The airbag’s force can possibly cause damage to a person’s back. They may need physical therapy to heal the injuries.
- Burn Injuries. When an airbag deploys, the force can cause friction against the skin that results in burns. There can also be a situation where the chemicals leak out of the airbag and burn the skin.
Infants and Children
Infants and children often have to sit in designated car seats or areas of the car considering their smaller size and weight. If placed in the car improperly, a deployed airbag can result in injuries or fatalities.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 35 percent of children go unrestrained. If a child is incorrectly restrained in the front seat, the passenger-side airbag puts their health at risk. The force of the inflating airbag can push the child out of a seated position and they can come into contact with parts of the car, causing injuries or death.
When an infant is in a rear-facing child restraint, they need to be in the back seat of the car because the front passenger-side airbag is a danger to them as well. Infants are supposed to be in rear-facing car seats until they are around a year old or weigh 20 pounds.
Takata Airbag Recall
One major airbag recall, in particular, has affected 37 million vehicles that were equipped with 50 million defective airbags—the Takata airbag recall. Upon deployment, the airbags can explode.
The vehicles that pose the most danger from the airbags are the:
- 2001-2002 Honda Civic
- 2001-2002 Honda Accord
- 2002 Honda CR-V
- 2002 Honda Odyssey
- 2002-2003 Acura TL
- 2003 Acura CL
- 2003 Honda Pilot
- 2006 Ford Ranger
- 2006 Mazda B-Series
The dealers of the last two cars on this list advise owners to not drive their vehicles.
It’s expected that more vehicles will be recalled by December 2019. The total number of faulty airbags will be around 65 to 70 million. If your airbag caused you to get in an accident, our car accident lawyers are here for you in Arkansas.
What to Do After a Faulty Airbag Injures You
When you’re injured because of a faulty airbag, you can take legal action. It’s not your fault that a manufacturer made a defective product. This may be a case of product liability, and the lawyers at McMath Woods P.A. have experience in dealing with these types of cases.
The burden of paying for medical care and missing work shouldn’t be all on you. We will hold the responsible party accountable for their actions. Let us help you today. Get in touch with our office and we can schedule a free consultation for your case.