Car Accidents & Airbag Injuries

Car Accidents & Airbag Injuries

by / Monday, 25 April 2022 / Published in Motor Vehicle Accidents
Airbag deployed from a steering wheel with a crash test dummy behind the wheel.

Airbags have been a standard safety feature on cars since the late 1990s, but they’ve been saving lives for longer than that. According to the NHTSA, frontal airbags saved 50,457 lives – enough people to fill a major league ballpark – between 1987 and 2017. Airbags work to prevent vehicle occupants from being injured in car crashes by protecting their heads and upper bodies from coming into contact with the steering wheel or other parts of the car’s interior. 

While airbags are an important part of passenger safety, they do deploy with a lot of force in the event of a crash. An airbag deploys in less than 1/20th of a second, so if someone is too close to an airbag when it goes off or comes into direct contact with the airbag when it first inflates, the force can potentially result in injuries such as:

  • Cuts and bruises
  • Whiplash
  • Eye injuries
  • Concussions and other head injuries
  • Neck and spinal injuries
  • Hand and wrist injuries
  • Facial fractures
  • Broken bones

Chemical Burns

Not only can the force of an airbag cause a wide range of injuries, the chemicals inside the airbag can potentially result in chemical burns. Airbags commonly contain chemicals like sodium azide and sodium hydroxide, both of which are caustic and can cause damage to skin and eyes when it comes into contact with a person during deployment. In some cases, these chemicals can result in hair loss.  If a person has asthma, exposure to the chemicals in an airbag may result in asthma attacks. 

Defective Airbag Injuries

There are some situations where airbag injuries can be a matter of product liability. When airbags are defective, they might deploy with more force than is necessary. One very notable example of this would be the Takata airbag recall, which involved airbag inflators igniting with an explosive force. If the casing of those inflators ruptured, it could send shards of metal throughout the cabin of a vehicle. This problem has resulted in hundreds of injuries and many deaths throughout the world. 

If you’ve been injured by an airbag you believe was defective, it’s extremely important to contact a lawyer who handles product liability cases. When people are injured by defective products, the system is often stacked against them so it’s important to have someone on your side who knows the law. 

Contact a Michigan Personal Injury Lawyer

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer who can help protect your best interests. At Goodwin & Scieszka, you’ll be able to get help from a lawyer who is experienced in handling a wide range of personal injury cases, including defective product and car accident injury claims in the state of Michigan. Contact us today to find out how we can help with your case.

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