Car owners and drivers have the right to expect their vehicles to be safe. Airbags are supposed to protect us. However, there could be millions of cars on the road today with faulty airbags that could put drivers and passengers at risk of serious injury. While many car manufacturers issued recalls for potentially defective airbags in recent years, others have not recalled vehicles.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury due to a malfunctioning or airbag, you could file a personal injury claim and receive an auto airbag settlement. You could be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, loss of wages, and other damages. Morgan & Morgan is here to help. Contact us today for free and determine whether you qualify for a settlement.
The Dangers of Airbags
Airbags are designed to save lives and protect your body from severe injuries in car accidents. Figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that airbags save thousands of lives each year, with more than 50,000 lives saved by airbags from 1987 to 2017.
However, faulty airbags may not only fail to save individuals’ lives, but they can also cause significant injuries and even fatalities when they malfunction in an accident. According to the NHTSA, children are particularly at risk of suffering fatal injuries from airbags.
Auto Airbags Can Cause Serious Injuries
Airbags in vehicles can be located in various locations, such as the steering wheel, dashboard, and doors. When crash sensors detect an impact, inflation of the airbag is triggered, cushioning the blow of a collision. The whole process takes much less than a second. Airbags generally do not inflate in minor accidents at low speeds.
However, since airbags inflate rapidly, they can potentially cause serious injuries. In addition, escaping gasses and chemicals from inside the airbag can cause skin and eye irritation and respiratory problems.
Common Injuries From Airbags
Although airbags protect millions of drivers every day, they can cause injuries causing severe harm or even death. Common airbag injuries include:
Head and Brain Injuries
The head is particularly vulnerable during impact and can get violently pushed into an inflating airbag. As a result, injuries such as skull fractures, concussions, brain swelling, and others can occur. Head injuries from airbags can also include eye and dental injuries such as:
- Bleeding behind eyes
- Extensive bruising of the face
- Corneal abrasions
- Knocked-out or chipped teeth
- Eye injuries from shattered eyeglasses
Airbags deploy rapidly and forcefully at about 200 miles per hour. Any body part that comes into contact with a deploying airbag, such as the wrists, arms, or face, can be prone to bone fractures.
Internal Bleeding and Organ Injuries
Airbags, when inflating, can cause considerable pressure on the torso and abdomen during a crash. As a result, car occupants could experience damage to organs, such as the spleen, liver, heart, and lungs. Life-threatening internal bleeding can occur in severe collisions.
Car occupants could suffer from a range of other airbag-related injuries, such as:
- Asthma attacks
Defective airbags or crash sensors can be ticking time bombs in your car and cause significant injuries. Airbags inflating after a crash, for example, can complicate the rescue of victims or cause additional injuries. Examples of airbag defects include:
- Crash sensors failing to activate airbags
- Airbags deploying randomly
- Airbags inflating after an accident
If you suffered injuries from a defective airbag, whether as a vehicle driver or passenger, you could have a product liability case and file a lawsuit. You could be entitled to an auto airbags settlement covering your losses and damages. An experienced and dedicated personal injury attorney at Morgan & Morgan can help you navigate the legal process and hold the liable party to account on your behalf.
What You Could Receive in an Airbag Settlement
Knowing exactly how much victims of defective airbags can receive can be challenging, as each case is unique. The final settlement amount can depend on many factors, including the severity of the injury, medical costs, and others. However, if you or a loved one suffered significant injuries from an airbag, you could be entitled to a variety of damages, including:
- Lost wages and future lost wages
- Past, present, and future medical costs
- Modifications to your vehicle and home
- Physical pain and anguish
- Emotional distress
- Permanent disability
- Loss of life quality
Damages for Wrongful Death
If your loved one died due to a defective auto airbag, you could be entitled to an auto airbags settlement. Damages can include, among others:
- Loss of income from the deceased
- Loss of benefits such as health insurance
- Loss of companionship
- Funeral expenses
- Medical expenses
Losing a loved one in an accident is shocking and heartbreaking. Morgan & Morgan knows that compensation could never make up for your loss and grief. However, we could help you receive the compensation you need to pay your bills and move forward after your loved one’s death.
Takata Airbag Recall
Airbags made by the company Takata got recalled from 2013 onwards due to defective inflator units. According to Reuters, more than 400 injuries and at least 19 deaths occurred from defective Takata airbags in the US. In 2014, several well-known car manufacturers, including Chrysler, BMW, Toyota, and Honda announced the recall of more than three million vehicles. Takata airbags were found to rupture or explode and cause flying debris inside vehicles, potentially causing severe injuries.
After the mass recall, Takata filed for bankruptcy in 2017 and established three compensation funds for those suffering personal injuries due to its defective airbags. Anyone who suffered injuries or lost a loved one due to a faulty Takata airbag could have a claim and recover compensation from the trust funds. However, you could also be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit against a car manufacturer.
At Morgan & Morgan, we see every day what happens when companies neglect the health and safety of consumers. We understand the struggle of injured individuals and their families, trying to rebuild their lives after suffering an injury or death in the family. We are here to help people like you get justice. Consider speaking to an attorney if you or a loved one experienced harm due to a defective airbag. We can discuss your legal options and help you file a claim for compensation if you are eligible.
Liability in Your Auto Airbag Case
Various parties can potentially be liable for your injuries and expenses if you suffered harm from a defective airbag, including:
- The airbag manufacturer
- The manufacturer of airbag parts
- A car manufacturer
- A car dealership
A personal injury attorney at Morgan & Morgan can assess your case and identify all potentially liable parties. You could have multiple avenues for recovering compensation.