airbags deploy in car accident

We count on airbags in our cars to help keep us safe, and they have saved many thousands of lives. However, if you’re in a car accident, the airbag in your car could hurt you instead of protecting you. If you were injured by an airbag, you may be able to file a lawsuit and recover substantial compensation.

How Airbags Help

When an airbag functions the way it should, it helps prevent injuries and deaths. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, front airbags have saved the lives of more than 50,000 people for over 30 years. During a car accident, airbags in a car quickly inflate. They provide a cushion that helps prevent the heads and bodies of the driver and front-seat passenger from striking a hard surface in the car’s interior.

How Airbags Hurt

Unfortunately, airbags sometimes injure or even kill people. This can happen for several reasons, including:

Not Wearing Seatbelts

Airbags are meant to work together with seat belts. Airbags inflate with tremendous speed – in less than 1/20th of a second. If a driver or passenger is sitting too close to an airbag when it first begins to inflate, they can be severely or fatally injured. Seat belts help keep people in a safe position.

Defective Airbags

Defective airbags may not operate the way they should in a car crash. There are several ways that an airbag’s deployment can go wrong:

Deploying with excessive force

One brand of airbags is now being urgently recalled. These airbags have an extremely high probability of exploding during a crash, spewing metal fragments toward the driver’s face with tremendous force, potentially causing severe injury or death. This recall affects tens of millions of vehicles.

These are not the only airbags that may rupture and eject dangerous metal fragments. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration may force a recall of 52 million airbag inflators against the objections of the car and airbag makers involved. These airbags, from two different manufacturers, may pose a danger similar to the brand already under recall.

Not deploying when needed

Approximately one million sedans, SUVs, and minivans are currently being recalled. Due to a faulty sensor, their passenger-side airbags may not deploy in an accident.

Defective airbags may also deploy too slowly or deploy at the wrong time. 

What Are Your Legal Rights If You Were Injured by an Airbag?

If a defective airbag hurts you, you can file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries. These lawsuits are complex and highly technical, and you should refrain from trying to pursue one on your own. Consult an experienced products liability lawyer for help and learn more about your legal options. 

If you work with a lawyer, they will investigate the airbag malfunction to determine who was at fault for the defect. Depending on what the investigation turns up, you may be able to sue one or more of these companies:

  • The manufacturer of the airbag
  • The manufacturer of the airbag’s sensor
  • The manufacturer of the airbag’s parts
  • The airbag installer
  • The manufacturer of the car
  • The car’s distributor
  • The car’s dealership

How Garmey Law Can Help

At Garmey Law, we believe that companies that make and sell defective products should be held responsible for the harm that the defect causes. We have been taking on tough cases for decades. Our product liability lawyers have won verdicts and settlements as high as several million dollars for our clients.  If you were seriously injured or a loved one was killed by a defective airbag, contact us for a free consultation.