The Effects of Airbag Deployment In Your Car Accident Claim
Ryan Bradley | April 14, 2023 | Car Accident
Airbags have been standard on all passenger vehicles beginning in 1998. The mandate was extended to passenger trucks, vans, and SUVs in 1999. It is estimated that almost 2,800 people were saved in a recent year because of frontal airbags. When used correctly with seat belts, airbags significantly reduce the risk of severe injury and death in a car accident.
Airbag deployment can also impact your car accident claim. Let’s discuss two ways airbag deployment could affect a car accident case.
The Insurance Company Could Take Your Claim More Seriously
Airbags do not deploy in every car accident. The type and severity of the crash determine whether the airbags deploy.
Airbags are designed to deploy in moderate to severe collisions. Therefore, if your airbags were deployed, it could be assumed that your car crash was at least moderately severe.
Insurance adjusters downplay injuries and damages from accidents they term “minor” car crashes. However, it is more difficult to argue that the car wreck was minor when the collision caused the airbags to deploy.
Your lawyer might use the airbag deployment as evidence that the collision was severe enough to cause your injuries. The insurance company might be more willing to accept a higher settlement offer after reviewing the car accident report to note airbag deployment.
Airbags Can Cause Additional Injuries in a Car Accident
Unfortunately, airbags can also cause additional injuries or cause injuries to be more severe in a car crash. Even when an airbag deploys correctly, it can cause injuries, including:
- Neck injury
- Soft tissue injury
- Lacerations and abrasions
- Eye injuries and vision loss
- Internal bleeding
- Chest injuries
- Face and eye trauma
- Hearing loss and ear damage from the loud explosion
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
- Internal organ damage
- Cardiac injuries
- Injuries to the lungs, including from breathing the chemicals released from the airbag
- Fractured or broken ribs
Overall, airbags generally prevent more injuries than they cause. However, a person could sustain injuries because of the force with which the airbag inflates.
When you seek medical treatment after a car accident, tell the doctor the airbag inflated during the crash so that detail can be noted in your medical records. Also, ask the doctor if the airbag could have caused any of your injuries.
What Causes Airbag Injuries in St. Louis Car Accidents?
Numerous factors could contribute to the cause of airbag injuries. Common causes of airbag injuries include:
- Defective airbags
- A sensor in the airbag or the vehicle was faulty or defective, causing deployment malfunctions
- The airbag deployed when it should not have
- A child or vulnerable adult was seated in the front passenger seat when the airbag deployed
- An installation error or manufacturing defect caused the airbag to deploy incorrectly
- A person was not wearing their seat belt
A St. Louis personal injury lawyer can investigate the cause of the airbag injury. The reason the airbag caused the injury may help determine who is liable for the injury and whom to seek compensation from.
Who Is Responsible for Damages Caused by Airbag Deployment?
A person injured by airbag deployment could incur substantial damages. Economic damages could include lost wages, medical expenses, and out-of-pocket expenses. However, the injuries could also cause severe pain and suffering and other non-economic damages.
The party responsible for the injuries caused by the airbag can be liable for the victim’s damages. One or more parties could share liability for damages.
If the airbag injuries were a natural consequence of the car crash, the driver who caused the accident could be liable for airbag injury damages.
However, suppose the airbag is defective. The defect caused a problem with airbag deployment that caused the person’s injuries. In that case, the manufacturer or other responsible party could be liable for the airbag injury.
Likewise, suppose the vehicle manufacturer made a mistake while installing the airbag. If so, the automobile manufacturer could be liable for damages if that mistake caused the airbag injury.
What Should You Do if an Airbag Injured You?
Seek immediate medical treatment for the injuries. Do not have the airbag replaced or repaired until you talk with a St. Louis car accident lawyer.
Airbag cases are complex and often involve exhaustive investigations and the use of expert witnesses. The best way to know if you have a claim is to talk with an experienced St. Louis airbag injury lawyer. An attorney can evaluate your case to determine if one or more parties are liable for your injuries.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm For Help Today
For more information, please contact Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free case evaluation today.
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