Airbags have been required in passenger vehicles for nearly 25 years. In that time, experts calculate that airbags have saved tens of thousands of lives. This thoroughly debunks the myth that airbags are more harmful than helpful in car accidents by proving that they prevent severe head, face, and neck injuries when used properly.
The goal of the airbag is to slow down your head and body rather than bounce you away. Be that as it may, airbags can still pose some level of risk. They inflate with immense force that can injure children and short adults, and defective airbags can deploy unexpectedly or with too much force altogether.
If you’ve suffered from airbag injuries in Phoenix, AZ, an attorney from Curiel & Runion Personal Injury Lawyers can review your case and help you identify all sources of compensation. Call our law firm at (602) 595-5559 or contact us online for a free consultation with an experienced Phoenix car accident attorney.
How Our Phoenix Car Accident Lawyers Can Help If You’ve Sustained Airbag Injuries
Curiel & Runion Personal Injury Lawyers was founded in 2011 by two personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona. Today, the firm’s attorneys have over 55 years of combined legal experience and a 98% success rate in recovering compensation through settlements and damage awards.
After being injured in a collision, our Phoenix car accident lawyers will provide you with the following:
- A complimentary case evaluation to advise you of your legal rights and options
- A law firm with a track record of recovering millions for clients like you
- Contingency fee representation so you only pay after we win or settle your case
Airbag injuries can range from minor bumps and bruises to fatal injuries. Contact Curiel & Runion Personal Injury Lawyers to discuss the airbag injuries you or a loved one may have suffered and the financial compensation you can seek for them.
How Many Airbag Injuries Happen in Arizona?
Between 1990 and 2008, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recorded 290 deaths that were the direct result of airbag deployment.
Of these, roughly 230 occurred when the occupant failed to wear a seat belt. Airbags can only properly function when you wear a seat belt, as they hold you in place while the airbag inflates. If you ride unbuckled, the force of the airbag’s inflation can severely injure your head, neck, or chest.
In addition, roughly 280 of the 290 deaths occurred before airbag regulations reduced the power of the inflators in 1998. With depowered inflators and sensors in place to detect smaller seat occupants, the number of injuries and deaths has fallen and not picked up since.
That does not mean, however, that airbags are entirely safe. When an airbag catches you, the impact can injure your face, head, and neck. Officials around the world have ordered an ongoing recall of millions of defective airbags due to dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries that resulted from exploding airbags.
Airbag Injury Causes
Airbags inflate in less than one-twentieth of a second, deploying from their enclosures at over 200 miles per hour.
If you get hit by the inflating airbag, you can withstand any of the following:
- Facial and dental fractures
- Neck strain
In a way, these minor injuries are by design, as the airbag needs to be able to quickly stop you from being flung around. But smaller riders, particularly children and adults under four feet, six inches tall, risk being hit in the forehead when the airbag deploys. The resulting force can whip their head back and place potentially fatal stresses on their necks.
Airbags also need about ten inches of clearance to fully inflate. So if you sit closer, typically as a result of being shorter, an inflating airbag can strike you in the chest, causing you to suffer broken ribs, torn cartilage, and strained muscles from the impact. The airbag might even hit your chest so hard that you suffer life-threatening heart or lung damage.
Another injury risk, however, comes from defective airbags. Airbag manufacturer Takata supplied airbag modules to most of the world’s major car manufacturers. Hundreds of millions of vehicles around the world, therefore, contain dangerously defective airbag modules.
These defective airbags contain chemicals that degrade over time, particularly in hot, humid climates. When the bags deploy, the airbag inflators can explode, sending metal shards into the face and neck of the driver and front-seat passenger.
Under product liability principles, both Takata (which has entered bankruptcy) and the auto manufacturers may bear liability for these injuries.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Phoenix Airbag Injury Lawyers
An airbag deployment can leave you with serious or even life-threatening injuries. Contact Curiel & Runion Personal Injury Lawyers to discuss the compensation you can pursue for these injuries on a case evaluation. We handle all Phoenix car accident claims.