Why Do Airbags Hurt?

Why Do Airbags Hurt?

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Why Do Airbags Hurt?

Unless you are driving a vehicle produced before 1998, you have airbags installed in your automobile. Front-facing airbags were made mandatory in 1998, and side airbags became compulsory in 2009. Airbags were created to protect drivers and passengers from serious injury during a car crash.

While airbags can’t prevent every type of injury, they’ve likely saved millions of people from head injuries and fractures caused by the impact of hitting your head on a steering wheel, windshield, or other hard objects.

Why do airbags hurt? Despite their many benefits, airbags can hurt when activated. Many individuals complain of bruises or facial pain after an airbag deploys. However, the government believes that the benefits of airbags outweigh their risks, and they remain an essential part of every new automobile.

Have you been injured in a car crash? If so, you may need assistance recovering monetary damages for medical expenses and wage loss. Use our simple contact form to schedule a free consultation today with the attorneys at Morgan and Morgan.

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Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

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  • How Do Airbags Work?

    Why do airbags hurt? In order to understand why car accident victims complain of pain from exploding airbags, it’s good to know how they work.

    An airbag system consists of three different components: the airbag, a crash sensor, and an inflator. Whenever the collision sensor determines that the vehicle has hit something, it triggers the inflation system. Most cars have crash sensors that are triggered whenever the vehicle hits a solid object while traveling 10-15 miles per hour.

    Once the collision sensor is triggered, it instantly activates the inflator. The inflator combines sodium azide with potassium nitrate to create nitrogen gas. The nitrogen gas inflates the airbag.

    The entire process occurs in under a second — enough time to protect passengers from slamming into the vehicle’s steering wheel, windshield, or dashboard.

  • Are Airbags Safe?

    Government regulators and the public have debated the safety of airbags for years. However, regulators contend that airbags are entirely safe and help prevent serious injury when used according to recommendations.

    Some people erroneously believe that airbags take the place of seat belts. This belief is entirely untrue. Passengers benefit from airbag safety features only when used along with seat belts.

    There are special rules for children. The government recommends that children 12 and under ride in the back seat of a vehicle. Younger children should have a car seat that’s appropriate for their age. Regulators recommend that children less than one year use rear-facing child seats.

    These rules are designed to protect children from serious car crashes and prevent airbag-related injuries.

  • What If the Airbag Malfunctions?

    There have been instances when airbags have malfunctioned, resulting in severe injuries to drivers and passengers. For example, a sensor can detect a crash in error, resulting in an unexpected airbag explosion. Other common airbag malfunctions include:

    • No release of the airbag during a collision
    • Delayed airbag deployment in a crash
    • Faulty inflation system, wherein the airbag doesn’t fill with gas
    • Side and front airbags explode at different times, increasing the risk of injury

    Car manufacturers regularly test airbag systems for quality control purposes. However, manufacturers don’t catch every malfunction in testing. In addition, older cars may be susceptible to deterioration of their airbag system over time.

  • What Kinds of Injuries Are Possible From Airbag Deployment?

    Why do airbags hurt? The sheer force of an airbag’s inflation system may lead to injuries, especially if the passenger is seated closer than 10 inches from the airbag’s location when it deploys.

    Typical injuries sustained from airbag deployment include:

    • Sprained or broken wrist or fingers
    • Burns or cuts to the face or arms
    • Bruises on the face, arms, or chest
    • Head injuries, including concussions or brain injuries
    • Soft tissue damage

    In some cases, injuries sustained from airbag deployment are severe. Examples of severe injuries from airbags include:

    • Internal bleeding to the organs, including lungs or liver
    • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
    • Eye damage, including blindness
    • Fainting or loss of consciousness
    • Fractures to the collarbone, ribs, or neck
    • Hearing damage or loss
    • Asthma attacks from the chemicals used in the airbag’s inflation system
    • Spinal cord damage, including sprains or fractures

    Individuals who suspect a faulty airbag system caused their injuries should immediately seek legal counsel. A car accident lawyer can work with experts to recreate the crash and determine whether a damaged airbag system caused the injuries.

  • Are Airbag Injuries Preventable?

    Airbag injuries aren’t always preventable. In some cases, an airbag malfunctions due to factors that the driver and passenger can’t control. However, vehicle occupants can limit their risk of injury by following the guidelines of the airbag and automobile manufacturers.

    Above all, vehicle passengers must wear their seat belts. An airbag is not intended to replace a seat belt. Instead, airbags are an additional safety feature to protect occupants in a collision.

    Passengers should ensure that they are seated at least 10 inches from an airbag whenever they are in a vehicle. Vehicle occupants who sit closer to the airbag are at risk of force injuries if the airbag deploys in a collision.

    The elderly and children are more at risk of airbag injuries than others. Some vehicles have a switch that allows vehicle operators to turn off airbags where an older adult or child sits. These mechanisms help prevent airbag injuries, but drivers should weigh the benefits and risks carefully before deciding to turn off airbags.

    Finally, ensuring that children younger than 12 use appropriate restraints and sit in the rear of a vehicle is essential.

  • What Should I Do After an Accident?

    Automobile accidents are frightening and often occur unexpectedly. Following an accident, it’s not unusual to feel dazed or confused for a few hours. Certain bodily functions, including changes in adrenaline levels, affect the ability of a car crash victim to think clearly and may mask injuries sustained in a wreck.

    Most importantly, drivers must check themselves and passengers for visible injuries from the collision. If serious injuries are evident, such as severe bleeding or fractured limbs, immediate medical assistance is required.

    Victims can call 911 for ambulance services. When calling 911, also ask for police assistance. Every state requires police to document a wreck in cases where property damage or injuries occurred.

    You’ll need to provide police officers with your license and car insurance details. The police will examine the scene of the wreck and speak with all drivers involved in the accident. If witnesses observed the accident, they might also provide a statement and contact information.

    Why do airbags hurt? If you suspect a faulty airbag has caused you to be hurt in an accident, it’s essential to gather evidence. Take pictures of the airbag and keep any loose parts from the airbag system.

    You should also photograph damage to the exterior of your vehicle and other vehicles involved in the wreck. If external factors contributed to the collision, such as snow, ice, or potholes, take pictures of those as well.

    Not everyone feels the effects of injuries immediately after a collision. Some injuries, such as internal bleeding and traumatic brain injury, don’t appear for several days following an accident.

    Even if you feel relatively normal following an accident, you should still visit an urgent care center or your regular physician. Doctors are familiar with the injuries typically seen with auto collisions and will examine you for wounds you may not realize you have.

  • Should I Seek Legal Counsel After an Auto Accident?

    The decision to seek legal counsel in the aftermath of a vehicle collision is personal. Not every accident is severe or results in injuries. Some accidents only involve minor property damage to the vehicle and can be resolved through insurance coverage.

    Several circumstances warrant consideration of legal counsel. They include:

    • Moderate or severe injuries from a vehicle accident
    • Injuries that require recovery time
    • Individuals involved in a car accident who don’t have insurance
    • Accidents that result in injuries to a pedestrian
    • Faulty airbags that led to injuries of a vehicle occupant
    • Insurance claim disputes regarding the accident
    • Drivers who won’t admit liability for the collision
    • Severe damage to your vehicle
    • Negotiating a settlement with an insurance agency

    Morgan & Morgan offers free consultations for individuals involved in car accidents. There’s no cost to seek legal advice and determine your next steps after an automobile collision.

  • Why Do Airbags Hurt?

    Airbags cause physical injuries when the driver or passenger sits close enough to them to feel the impact of their inflation. The quick deployment of an airbag causes the bag to fill with nitrogen gas. If the passenger’s head or body connects with the airbag during deployment, it may result in facial bruising or severe injuries.

  • Can I Sue an Airbag Manufacturer?

    In some cases, yes. You may file a claim against the airbag or vehicle manufacturer if the airbag is faulty and contributes to severe injuries. An attorney at Morgan and Morgan can review your case to determine whether legal action against a vehicle or airbag manufacturer is warranted.

  • What Type of Damages Can I Collect in a Physical Injury Lawsuit?

    There are three main types of damages involved in car accident cases. They include economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. Economic damages include past and future medical expenses and wage losses. A court verdict or insurance settlement may award non-economic damages for mental anguish, disability, or disfigurement.

    Punitive damages are awarded in a court verdict if the defendant’s actions were especially negligent. Lawyers at Morgan & Morgan can help determine the appropriate damages for your case.


  • How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Car Accident?

    Each state has a statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits. Statute of limitations regulations limit an individual’s time to pursue a claim. If you are considering a lawsuit, it’s best to seek legal counsel as soon as possible to comply with your state’s rules.

  • Get Help From Car Accident Lawyers at Morgan and Morgan

    The days following a car accident are often turbulent. You may be battling many issues, including recovering from injuries, filing an insurance claim, and dealing with a vehicle needing significant repairs. Fortunately, Morgan & Morgan is here to help.

    The attorneys at Morgan and Morgan help car accident victims recover monetary damages that arise from collisions. We can assist you in navigating an insurance settlement and obtaining the compensation you need for medical expenses and lost wages.

    To speak with one of our experienced attorneys, schedule a free consultation using our online form today.

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