Airbags are meant to deploy during a car accident in an attempt to keep you safe, however sometimes the air bag does more damage to the driver than the accident itself. And what’s worse, if the airbag deploys and doesn’t hurt you directly it could make your insurance company view your accident as more serious than it actually was, which in turn can cause your insurance costs to skyrocket unnecessarily.
Neither the accident nor the incorrect deployment are your fault.
It would be unfair for the financial burden to fall on you. So, let’s discuss the ins and outs of what goes on when an airbag deploys during an accident and how you can protect yourself from damages.
Usually, there needs to be a significant amount of force applied to the vehicle for the airbags to deploy which is why the insurance company may perceive the deployment of airbags in an accident as signification that it was a serious crash. Sometimes however due to malfunction the airbags deploy during less severe accidents with scenarios such as getting rear ended, which could be very misleading as to the actual damages and leave you with more expensive car insurance.
This is unfair and not indicative of your standing as a driver, so it would be wise to consult with a personal injury attorney and ensure that you are able to present your side of the story. The deployment of airbags can lead to more complicated scenarios as well.
During an accident the airbags deploy from many sides.
Airbag will deploy directly in front of you or from your side with enough force to cause serious injury. This is why it is recommended to keep small children in the back seats until they are developed enough to absorb the impact of a deploying airbag. It might be sounding a little crazy that we have airbags in our vehicles at all but they do provide important safety measures when functioning properly.
This works in a fairly sensible way; if you are in an accident severe enough where the airbag is necessary, it does it’s job by prevent your face from slamming into the hard plastic and glass of the dashboard and window which could minimize the damage received to your head during the crash. These have been proven to greatly reduce the injuries sustained in violent car wrecks but if for a variety of reasons, most of which involve manufacturing and production, the airbag deploys during a minor accident then it could actually add to your injuries instead of helping protect you.
Let us review how this happens, if due to product malfunction, the airbag deploys it collides against your face sending your head reeling into the seat back behind you with enough force that it may bounce off of the head rest and back into the airbag. Depending on your height and size this can also inflict damage to your jaw, chest, break your nose, etc. These can all impact your ability to work, cause significant discomfort, and cost you a pretty penny in medical bills.
Also, the violent jerking motion the airbag forces your head into can lead to a severe case of whiplash that may limit the range of motion of your neck for an extended period of time. Not only is this a medical expense you wouldn’t have needed had the airbag not deployed during the accident, but it could also affect your main mode of income which would lead to an even larger overall cost. In this case you have every right to sue the product manufacturer for damages because the airbag did not do the job it was intended for.
Injuries of this nature fall under personal injury, not automobile accidents even though the events were sparked by a car accident, because the thing that actually caused the injuries is an airbag which is a product that if incorrectly manufactured or improperly positioned put the victim in the hurt condition. This is an important distinction to make, especially if the accident was not severe enough to warrant any other injuries and the airbag was entirely at fault for the damages to your person.
The manufacturer needs to be held accountable for the physical damages the passengers sustain
If per say one of the side airbags also damages property that was within the vehicle at the time of the accident that otherwise would have gone unharmed, it could also be included in the damages demanded. The insurance companies may also be liable to pay for some damages if they have withhold payment for injuries that you received due to a product malfunction or if, as mentioned earlier, they decide to add aspects of risk and liability to your policy solely based on the fact that the airbag deployed during the crash.
The airbag related injuries can also be as significant as a concussion with the possibility of long-term implications that go as far debilitating brain injuries. These are especially relevant if you were involved in a car accident where your vehicle rolled over and the airbag deployed. Air bags are not properly designed to protect the passengers from a roll over accident because there is usually more than one location of impact when a car rolls and the air bag would need to remain inflated for an extended period of time to be of any use.
Since, for the most part, in this nature of car accidents the airbag deflates during the accident which is counterproductive since it can lead to more severe injuries than would have been obtained had the airbag never deployed. Now, not only could the airbag hit you from an unsafe angle causing additional damage but after its deflation you can have those injuries worsened due to collision with the interior of your vehicle as it rolls.
In situations like these, legal representation is important to be able to receive proper compensation from the damages received due to the malfunctions of the airbag product.