Safety Features Shouldn't Hurt You
In 1966, Congress required automakers to place seat belts in every car they built. By 1998, law required all cars and trucks sold in the United States to have airbags on both sides of the front seat. This legislation was intended to help keep motorists – and their passengers – safe. But, what about when airbags are doing more harm than good?
Airbags were developed for our safety and protection, but they can also be responsible for severe and sometimes immobilizing injuries, including whiplash, burns, traumatic brain injuries, and trauma to the spine. While airbag injuries do not occur as often as auto accident injuries, airbag injures are typically indicative of extensive damage.
If you or someone you know recently suffered an airbag injury, reach out to respected personal injury attorney Justin Weinstein. Justin and the team at Weinstein Legal will do everything in their power to ensure that you secure the damages you deserve.
What Causes Airbag Injuries?
Of course, the most obvious cause of an airbag injury is being involved in an auto accident which triggered the crash sensor in your automobile. Unfortunately, airbags can and do deploy incorrectly. This is typically caused by a malfunction of the crash sensor.
- The airbag deployed too late
- One airbag deployed and the other did not
- The crash sensor failed to deploy the airbags at all
- The airbags deployed in a low-impact crash
- The sensor failed and deployed the airbags without the presence of a crash
The timing of deployment is crucial. When airbags deploy even a second too late, the passenger or driver’s head is now too close to the airbag. The momentum the airbag carries during impact causes serious injuries, and in some cases, can be fatal.
Types of Airbag Injuries
Due to the high velocity of an airbag in deployment as well as the multitude of body parts exposed to its force, it is possible for many types of injuries to occur.
- Abrasion to the face, chest, or upper extremities
- Contusion of the face, chest, upper extremities, knees, or internal organs
- Strain, fracture, or blunt trauma to the cervical spine
- Fracture or break in the face, upper extremities, or wrists
- Fracture of the skull or rib cage
- Wrist trauma and sprained fingers
- Irritation of the skin (also called airbag dermatitis)
- Burns on the chest, upper extremities, or hands
- Laceration to the veins, arteries, heart, or lungs
- Laceration to the liver or spleen
- Rupture inside the heart muscle
- Trauma to the fetus of a pregnant woman or puncture in the placenta
- Internal bleeding
- Irritation of the throat, asthma attack, or coughing
- Laceration to the brain stem
- Compression of the brain or traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Loss of consciousness or concussion injuries
- Bruising or swelling of the brain
- Eye injuries such as rupture to the globe, retinal tear, corneal abrasion, or conjunctivitis
- Hearing loss or ear trauma
What Should I Do if I’ve Suffered Airbag Injuries?
In the case of airbag injuries, the most important thing you can do is preserve as much evidence as possible. This includes parts of the airbag as well as the car itself. If you turn your car in to the insurance company because it’s been declared as totaled, the computer of the car could be wiped clean as part of the totaling process. If you believe your injuries were sustained due to an accidental or faulty airbag deployment, a lot can be learned from your vehicle itself.
Secondly, hire a trusted attorney to fight your case. In many cases, vehicle manufacturers may be involved and due to the extensive testing performed on these safety devices, it is important to have a knowledgeable personal injury attorney on your team. Consider working with Justin Weinstein and the team at Weinstein Legal, who will work hard to secure the damages you need during this difficult time.
There are two main types of damages victims of airbag injuries may be entitled to, which are compensatory and punitive. Compensatory damages, also known as monetary damages, are the most common form of damages in a personal injury claim.
Compensatory damages can include:
- Property damage
- Current and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Emotional duress
- Loss of future earnings potential
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Punitive damages may be available if the vehicle manufacturer is to blame for the malfunctioning airbag. These types of damages are awarded to punish the at-fault party for outrageous negligence or illegal activities that led to the injuries.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today
The team at Weinstein Legal understands that accidents can occur at any time and anywhere, which is why we are always available to take your call. We take cases throughout South Florida and the Treasure Coast. Contact us today.