Airbags save lives. When they fail to deploy in a crash, it can lead to serious injuries. Surprisingly, properly functioning airbags can also cause severe injuries. If you or your loved one has been hurt by a vehicle airbag, don’t hesitate to speak with an experienced San Diego airbag injury attorney.
The Eugene Bruno & Associates legal team in San Diego is committed to providing the strong representation and compassionate support victims need to help achieve the compensation they deserve. Contact a San Diego car accident lawyer at (619) 209-6066 for a free case consultation.
What Types of Accidents Can Cause Airbags to Deploy?
The federal government has required auto manufacturers to install airbags to provide frontal impact protection for drivers and passengers since 1999, as stated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Modern vehicles have sensors designed to trigger airbags to deploy in a collision. The driver’s front airbag is located in the steering while the front passenger airbag is installed in the dashboard.
For drivers and passengers who are not wearing seatbelts, airbags will typically deploy with a frontal impact equivalent to crashing into a wall at 10 to 12 mph. When occupants are belted, the threshold for airbag deployment is typically higher – approximately 16 mph. Front airbags may also deploy in a side-impact collision if sufficient forward movement occurs during the crash.
Side airbags are designed to deploy in side-impact crashes. The threshold for deployment can be as low as eight mph for narrow objects, such as trees and poles. For more widely distributed side impacts, such as when one vehicle T-bones another, the threshold is approximately 18 mph. Side airbags may also deploy in certain frontal collisions, and some are designed to deploy in rollover crashes.
Who Can Be Victims of Airbag Injuries?
Airbag deployment is a violent event that can cause severe injuries to occupants. Because they deploy very rapidly, airbags can cause serious or even fatal injuries to drivers or passengers who are too close or come into direct contact when the airbag begins to deploy. Side airbags inflate even faster than front airbags.
Children are particularly vulnerable to injuries caused by airbag deployment. Head and neck injuries are the biggest concern. Children under the age of one year are often placed in rear-facing car seats in which a deploying airbag can strike the child’s head. It can also force the car seat into the passenger seat, crushing an infant’s head. Older children are also susceptible to injury in an abrupt stop that causes a child to slide forward, closer to the airbag. Deployment may directly impact a child’s face, causing hyperextension and injury to the cervical spine.
What Types of Injuries Can Airbag Deployment Cause?
Defective airbags can cause injuries to vehicle occupants in different ways. They may fail to deploy in a crash, leaving the occupant without protection. Deployment may be delayed and too late to protect the driver or passenger. Faulty airbags can cause injuries by deploying unexpectedly for no valid reason and causing the driver to crash the vehicle.
Even when they are working correctly and deploy when they should, airbags can cause a range of serious injuries, including:
Facial injuries such as bruising and fractures
Chest injuries from the impact of the deployed airbag
Eye injuries from the pressure of the airbag or chemical irritation
Organ damage from the impact of deployment
Injury to the fetus in a pregnant woman
Skilled Legal Counsel in San Diego
If you or a loved one has suffered airbag injuries in San Diego, we want to hear about it. You may have a claim for compensation against the responsible parties.
Contact a San Diego car accident attorney at Eugene Bruno & Associates at (619) 209-6066 to schedule a free case consultation. We have the knowledge, skills, and resources to build a compelling case and effectively pursue the compensation you deserve.
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