Airbags are the great double-edged swords of the highway. Undoubtedly, they’ve saved countless lives, and no new car should be without them. But like anything else, airbags are imperfect. Occasionally, they malfunction or fail to deploy. When that happens, people can find themselves seriously injured.
How Airbag Injuries Happen
Airbags work by deploying a special cushion during an auto accident, protecting drivers or passengers from the force of impact against a steering wheel or any other hard surface in the cars interior.
The timing of the airbag is everything. If even a second too late, they might not be able to interrupt the body’s high-speed trajectory toward the vehicle surface. Unimpeded by an airbag, those forceful impacts are known for causing whiplash, lacerations, broken bones, spinal problems, or even death.
But what if the airbag deploys too early — or when there isn’t any accident at all? That happens more often than you might think, and in those cases, the airbag itself can inflict whiplash or serious injury.
Airbags sometimes even cause car crashes when they deploy randomly, startling or injuring the driver, or otherwise obstructing their view or control of the car.
Toxic chemical exposure is a concern too. Airbags are filled with more than just air. When they deploy improperly, they can release harmful chemicals or even cause small explosions or fires.
Preventing Airbag Injuries
Don’t let the risks scare you. Studies clearly show that most airbags are incredibly safe and absolutely essential for protecting passengers and drivers. Defects, while not altogether uncommon, are the exception to the rule.
So what can you do? For starters, don’t rely on airbags alone. Seatbelts remain a “must wear” for drivers and passengers alike, and you can reduce the likelihood of serious injury by ensuring you’re always driving responsibly and in compliance with the law.
The next time you take your car into the shop for routine maintenance or repair, ask the mechanic to take a close look at your airbags. In particular, you want to make sure the sensors are working properly. Sensor error is a leading cause of airbag problems.
Finally, check with your vehicle manufacturer on a regular basis to see whether they’ve issued any bulletins, recalls, or service advisories relating to the airbags for your particular model.
Facing an Airbag Injury? Contact an Attorney
If you’ve suffered injury because of a airbag, an experienced Miami injury attorney at Kaire & Heffernan, LLC can help. We’ll walk you through the claims process and help you understand the full value of the relief to which you might be entitled. You can count on us to fight tirelessly for every single penny you deserve. We accept these cases on a contingency basis, which means we don’t charge a fee unless you recover compensation. There’s no charge for our initial consultation, either. Contact us right away to schedule one.