What Type Of Injuries Can A Defective Airbag Cause?

Airbags are designed to keep us safe. When you get into a collision, you can usually count on having your airbags deploying and cushioning you from impacting the steering wheel, dashboard, or any other part of your vehicle. However, over the last few years, there have been several high profile airbag recalls. In fact, the largest automotive recall in US history is still ongoing – the recall of Takata airbags. Millions of vehicles have been recalled due to these airbags and their potential to cause serious injuries or fatalities upon their deployment.

Many people have asked what kind of injuries can be caused by defective airbags. We want to discuss this topic because you need to know the importance of having quality, non-defective airbags in your vehicle.

What are the types of airbag injuries that can occur?

There are various types of injuries that can occur due to a defective airbag. This can include the following:

  • Abrasions or burns due to the speed of the airbag
  • Burns from the chemicals used for airbag deployment
  • Lung and airway irritation due to the chemicals
  • Eye injuries from shrapnel

There are several ways in which airbags can become defective. Some of the most common defects have to do with the airbag sensor. This can include:

  • An airbag sensor malfunction that deploys the airbag at the wrong time (in a non-crash scenario)
  • A sensor not triggering an airbag deployment in a crash
  • A sensor deploying the airbag too late in a crash (even a fraction of a second can make a big difference)

There are other ways that an airbag can be defective and cause injuries. The Takata airbag recall centers around the use of the chemical ammonium nitrate. In these defective airbags, the chemical causes the airbags to explode when deployed, sending shrapnel into vehicle drivers or passengers.

Who is liable for a defective airbag?

Defective airbags are a product liability issue. While it would seem like the vehicle manufacturer may be the liable party, that is not always the case. While the automotive manufacturer (Toyota, Ford, GM, Nissan, etc.) may indeed have some liability for any injuries, it is important to understand that vehicles are made up of parts manufactured by many different companies. Often, these companies are from outside of the country.

Defective airbag cases can become complicated and involve many different parties. When a person is injured due to a defective airbag, they need to secure a qualified product liability attorney as soon as possible. These cases will involve extensive resources and experience to properly pursue. An attorney will work through the court system to obtain all evidence related to the case, including all evidence from the incident as well as company records, internal documents from the manufacturer, and more. Expert witnesses may be required for these cases.

What kind of compensation is available for a defective airbag case?

A person injured by a defective airbag could be entitled to significant compensation. This could include the following:

  • Coverage of medical expenses related to the incident
  • Recovery of lost wages if the injured victim cannot work
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Loss of enjoyment of life damages
  • Possible punitive damages against the company or manufacturer

If you or someone you know has been injured due to a defective airbag, seek assistance from a qualified Orange County product liability attorney as soon as possible.