Did Your Airbag Fail to Do Its Job?

On Behalf of | Jun 21, 2018 | Car Accidents

Safety advocates dedicate their time to researching new ways to protect you when you drive. Lawmakers frequently join in crusades for traffic safety, legislating more safety features in vehicles and mandating their use by drivers. You may instinctively buckle your seat belt before you drive and take for granted the anti-lock brakes that allow your vehicle to stop more efficiently.

Perhaps the most welcome and beneficial addition to the safety features in motor vehicles is the inclusion of airbags. Once limited to the steering wheel, airbags now surround both passengers and driver, including those riding in the back seats. When airbags deploy properly, they prevent serious injuries associated with impact during an accident. When they fail, the results can be catastrophic.

How airbags are supposed to work

Airbags are manufactured to sense whether the impact to the vehicle is sufficient to warrant deployment. Within a fraction of a second, the airbag system makes its assessment, inflates with chemicals and gasses, and slowly deflates, restraining your body from striking hard surfaces within the vehicle.

If an airbag fails to inflate, your face, head, chest or knees may strike parts of the car’s interior, leading to serious injuries. If it fails to deflate, you risk injury from rebounding. Then you may have cause to seek redress from the manufacturer of the product or its components. In some cases, a defect in the airbag prevents it from deploying to prevent injuries in an accident. However, recent recalls and reports indicate airbag injuries can have other causes too.

Airbag injuries

Some of the more recent defects in airbags occur in the inflation system. This can be devastating because the bags inflate using combustible chemicals. When the trigger system malfunctions, it may send caustic chemicals, debris and metal shrapnel into the faces and bodies of you or your passengers. Drivers may suffer injuries to their eyes, burns on their skin or fatal impact from shards of metal. In some cases, the airbags can deploy or explode when there is no impact, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle and crash.

After suffering injuries in a Colorado car crash, you have several options for seeking compensation. In addition to pursuing a fair settlement from insurance, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit if the other driver was negligent. You may also consider the option of bringing a products liability claim against the manufacturer of the airbag. Your attorney can evaluate your case and guide you in making the appropriate decisions.

Attorney Chadwick P. McGrady at his desk