As an Investigator for Law firms in years past, I have seen many clients who had airbag injuries. Some of these injuries were minor, some were more severe. The very things that were designed to save us during a car accident, injuries us in the process. I will never forget seeing a young woman who was struck head-on.
The airbag deployed, but in doing so, burned her face. The airbag did limit her injuries from the accident, but deployment injured her for life. I had personal friend who was driving with her hand across the steering wheel, a car pulled out in front her and the assuming damage caused the airbag to deploy. When the airbag deployed, it slammed her arm into her head, breaking her arm.
Because an airbag is so close to your body during an accident, you can suffer mild to severe injuries from it deploying to no injuries at all. Some common airbag deployment injuries are
- Broken bones
- Abrasion to the face, chest, hands
- Burns to the face, hands, or chest
- Concussion injuries
- Eye injury
- Hearing loss
- Trauma to a fetus
- Internal bleeding
- Irritation in the throat
- Irritation of the skin
minor car accidents may not cause airbag deployment
Some people are under the impression that any car accident should cause the airbags to deploy, this simply is not true. In some car accidents, you do not want the airbags deploying. The airbag deploying may cause more injury than the car accident. You want airbags to deploy when the injury caused by the car accident would be more severe.
The cost of replacing airbags is not cheap. the drivers side, is part of the steering wheel and modules have to be replaced. One air bag might cost as much as 1000.00. Airbag deployment is not economical from an injury and auto damage standpoint unless significant damage would result to a person if they did not deploy. In most cases, severe damage to the car, but the occupants walk away or come away with less severe injuries.
Trying to sue for airbags not deploying in minor car wrecks
In my years as an investigator I have seen some clients who wanted to sue the manufacturer for the airbags not deploying. I might add, if they would have deployed, the injuries would have been more severe and the car possibly would have been totaled. A car totaled for airbag deployment? YES. If more than two airbags go off , you may be looking at over 3k in damages. If the car is over 5 years old, combined with the other damages, it might be a total loss.
Is there anyway to prevent Airbag deployment injuries?
There a couple of things one might do to try and prevent airbag injuries, these might be
- drive with your hands on the steering wheel, not across it.
- Do not allow children to sit were an airbag is present unless you can turn it off ( unless they are of age )
- Always wear your seatbelt
- Adjust your seat so your body is at-least 10 inches away from the steering wheel- I can tell you how many times I have seen elderly people driving with there chest almost touching the steering wheel.
These are just a few things you can do to try and prevent air bag injuries. Airbags save a lot of lives every year. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen someone walk away from a crash that looked devastating.