Dangers of Defective Airbags During a Car Crash

defective airbags

One of the most important safety features in a crashworthy vehicle is an effective airbag system. Airbags inflate during a car crash to protect you from impacting the steering wheel or dashboard, which can cause severe neck and brain injuries. However, when manufacturers neglect safety tests and standards, the result may be defective airbags that fail to shield vehicle occupants and possibly inflict additional injuries. Since airbag failure and defects are caused by negligence, you can hold the manufacturing company accountable for your medical bills and other damages if you sustain catastrophic airbag injuries in a car accident.

Airbag failure commonly results in catastrophic injuries or wrongful death, since there may be nothing to protect vehicle occupants from the full force of a car crash. If you or a loved one sustained injuries in a car crash due to defective airbags, then we can put our experience to work for you. An airbag injury attorney from our firm can investigate your accident and determine who is to blame for your injuries and damages. At Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C., our attorneys have experience with these kinds of complex auto defect claims. In one case concerning lack of airbags in a passenger van, our attorneys obtained a settlement of $10 million for a spinal cord injury victim.

What are Common Airbags Defects and Injuries?

Airbags may seem like a small component of a vehicle. Still, product defects can result in many different kinds of malfunctions and injuries. Some of the most common results of airbag defects include:

  • Airbag failure. Some defects result in airbags that do not go off at all. In a high-speed car crash, this can cause an otherwise preventable traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage and/or wrongful death.
  • Delayed deployment. Airbags must inflate promptly to protect vehicle occupants. Otherwise, car accident victims may sustain injuries from the initial impact as well as secondary injuries from the delayed airbag.
  • Unnecessary deployment. Sensors in airbags should deploy them only in the event of a car accident of sufficient force to cause injury. Defective sensors can cause airbag deployment during a minor fender bender, or even without any collision at all. This can result in face and neck injuries, and can sometimes directly cause a crash.
  • Airbag explosion. Some defective airbags, notably Takata airbags, have flaws in their casing and design. These defects can result in airbags that explode without warning along with small pieces of broken casing. The high speed at which an airbag fires makes this debris extremely dangerous. Severe lacerations and injuries to the internal organs, eyes and face are common results, often causing wrongful death.

Sometimes even functional airbags can cause injuries or wrongful death during a car crash, especially to children. Airbags are designed to protect adult drivers and passengers. If a passenger is too short and/or light, then the airbag may hit the face at a dangerous angle. This can cause severe neck and brain injuries. Therefore, children and even some teenagers should not sit in the front passenger seat. Infant car seats should also NEVER face an airbag in the front seat.

Who is Liable for My Airbag Injuries?

Vehicle manufacturers are legally responsible for providing crashworthy cars, trucks, and SUVs for their customers. When a defect causes a vehicle to be less than crashworthy, victims of car accident injuries may file a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer. You can file this type of case regardless of who is at fault for the car crash. Even if you are responsible for an accident, your airbags must still function properly and protect you to a reasonable degree. Otherwise, you likely have grounds for a product liability claim.

If defective airbags resulted in your car accident injuries, then you may be able to collect compensation from multiple parties. In many cases, the airbag manufacturer and the car manufacturer may be two separate companies. Often, you can name both companies in your product liability lawsuit. In some cases, the airbag manufacturer and/or car company may issue a product recall for defective airbags. However, a recall is not necessary for you to file a lawsuit for product defects.

The best way to know who is liable for your injuries and what legal options you may pursue is to speak to an airbag injury attorney. An attorney from our Pennsylvania and New Jersey law firm can examine the facts of your case and determine whether defective airbags or other crashworthiness issues caused or contributed to the wreck.

Questions About Defective Airbags? Contact a Philadelphia Auto Accident Attorney

If you sustained serious injuries or lost a loved one due to poor airbag design or construction, then contact our experienced crashworthiness attorneys. We have law offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as well as Cherry Hill, New Jersey, but we accept airbag defect cases nationwide. We offer free initial consultations as well as contingency fee arrangements, so you pay nothing unless your case is successful.