Airbag Injuries In New York Car Accidents
Today, there are many more airbags in cars, and many car-makers offer airbags not just in the front, but also on the sides and the back seat. Many lives are saved every year as a result of these safety devices.
But airbags aren’t perfect. In some cases, they can actually cause injuries or make them worse. One major issue is that in a car accident, airbags deploy with significant force. If the airbag does not deploy at the right time or if the occupant is not appropriately positioned, an occupant could be seriously hurt.
Airbags may also fail to deploy and result in a person being injured more severely than if the airbag had worked properly. Injuries are possible even if an airbag works as it should.
How Common are Airbag Injuries?
The National Center for Statistics & Analysis released a report revealing information about the number of fatalities and serious injuries that occur as a result of airbags.
According to their data, from 1990 to 2007:
- 36 children received a life-threatening injury as a result of a passenger airbag.
- 172 children were killed as a result of the passenger airbag.
- Eight children were killed as a result of the driver’s airbag.
- One child suffered a life-threatening injury because of the driver’s airbag.
- 91 adult drivers were killed as a result of an airbag.
- Seven drivers received a life-threatening injury because of an airbag.
- 13 adult passengers were killed due to airbags.
- Eight adult passengers were seriously injured as a result of airbags.
Factors Affecting Airbag Injuries
Airbag deployment is triggered by an impact. Airbags go off as a result of one or more sensors intended to detect a crash. Sensors are typically located in the vehicle’s front, in the passenger compartment, in doors, door sills or pillars. The sensors must be carefully calibrated to measure deceleration from multiple angles to ensure that an airbag does not deploy when someone only slams on the brakes, hits a pothole or goes over railroad tracks, for example.
Unfortunately, sensors can sometimes malfunction, missing the need to deploy the airbag if a crash occurs at a particular angle or causing an airbag to inflate at the wrong time. An airbag that goes off unexpectedly could actually cause the driver to lose control and crash.
The inflated airbag is intended to cushion the blow of an impact.
Its effectiveness, however, will depend upon:
- The position of the seat
- The person’s seating position
- The person’s weight and height
- The airbag’s design
- How the airbag is tethered
- How much the airbag inflates
- How the airbag is folded
- The material that the airbag is made of
- The angle at which the airbag deploys
- The rate at which the airbag deploys
- The types of vents in the fabric of the airbag
- The design of the airbag sensor.
When any of these things are amiss, a driver or passenger could be injured. The type and extent of the injury depends on the type of problem.
Some of the common car accident airbag injuries include:
- Soft tissue injuries to the head and neck
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal bleeding or trauma
- Chest injuries
Compensation for Airbag Injuries
When an airbag injury occurs, you may be able to obtain compensation. You could be entitled to file a claim against the driver who was responsible for causing the accident. Under New York’s no-fault rules, such a suit can be filed only if your injuries were serious. More minor injuries would qualify for no-fault benefits.
Another option could be to file a claim against the car manufacturer as a result of a defective airbag. Companies are responsible for the products they produce. If a car manufacturer sells a car with a faulty or badly designed airbag that hurts someone, the manufacturer could be sued in a product liability lawsuit.
The personal injury lawyers at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., have the experience necessary to help you get the compensation you deserve from all responsible parties after an airbag injury in a car accident.
We work hard to see that you obtain the resources you need to recover fully if you’ve been injured by someone else’s negligence.
- National Center for Statistics & Analysis