Airbags are meant to protect you from serious injuries by deploying before you hit something hard such as the steering wheel or dashboard. However, a malfunctioning or poorly designed airbag can end up doing more harm than good.
How Airbags Work
Airbags are designed to deploy as soon as your car collides with another object due to a sensor in your car that is measuring your speed for dramatic deceleration. The airbag uses fuel to essentially fill the bag through a controlled explosion. It fills at around the same speed as a blink of your eye. So, in the event of a crash, your airbags inflate before you’ve even moved in your seat. There are openings in the back of the bag that vent excess air so that the bag doesn’t explode in your face.
Potential Airbag Injuries
A properly working airbag will deploy in a literal blink of an eye and cushion your impact without causing too much damage in the process. However, there are a number of ways that a poorly made airbag can hurt you rather than help you. If the airbag sensor malfunctions, the airbag may not deploy when it’s needed and, less commonly, it may deploy when there is no collision.
Airbags filling at high speeds generate heat and if the airbag deploys in a way that makes contact with you as it inflates, it can result in a burn. Also, if the ventilation holes are obstructed, the bag could explode as it fills with air.
Because airbags use a lot of force to quickly deploy, a malfunctioning bag can result in burns, bruises, broken bones, concussions and many other injuries.
If you are in an accident and injured by your airbag, you will have to prove that the bag was manufactured in a dangerous manner. When claiming a personal injury due to a defective car, you must argue that the vehicle wasn’t crashworthy. Airbags are a big contributor to a vehicle’s crashworthiness.
If you are in an accident, first report what happened to the police so that they can make an official report and, if you are able, document the scene yourself. Take pictures of the airbag and anything that can potentially help your case.
Automobiles are inherently dangerous and you will have to prove that the airbag or other malfunction caused your injuries or accident. If you have been injured in an accident due to a defective airbag or automobile, consult an experienced car accident lawyer to help you decide if you should pursue a claim.