Airbags have been shown to save lives and reduce the risk of some injuries in car crashes. Therefore, the government made airbags standard equipment on all new passenger vehicles beginning in 1998. The law was expanded to include SUVs, vans, and passenger trucks in 1999.
When an airbag deploys or fails to deploy in a car accident, it is crucial to understand why. The effects of airbag deployment could impact the outcome of a personal injury claim.
How Can Airbag Deployment Help You With Your Los Angeles Car Accident Claim?
Generally, airbags deploy in car accidents that are considered moderate to severe collisions. They are not designed to deploy in minor car accidents. Therefore, if your airbags deploy, it indicates that you were in a relatively severe car crash.
Insurance companies consider whether airbags are deployed when they evaluate car accident claims. When the airbags fail to deploy, the insurance company might downplay the seriousness of the car accident. Likewise, the insurance adjuster will downplay your car accident injuries.
However, an airbag might not deploy because it is defective. Other conditions could have caused the deployment. Therefore, do not allow an insurance company to pressure you to accept a low settlement offer based on whether the airbag was deployed during your car accident.
On the other hand, if your airbag deploys, you can argue that you were involved in a serious car accident. Therefore, you will likely have sustained traumatic injuries from the collision. The airbag deployment is another factor a Los Angeles car accident lawyer can use to argue for increased compensation for damages.
Airbags Can Cause Injuries When They Deploy During a Car Accident
Airbags inflate in less than 1/20 of a second. Because the airbag deploys with such force, it can cause injuries during a car accident. Common airbag injuries include:
- Neck injuries and whiplash
- Chest injuries
- Lung injuries
- Eye injuries and vision loss
- Hearing loss and ear injuries
- Cardiac injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Fractures and broken bones
- Facial injuries
- Broken or fractured ribs
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
- Abrasions and lacerations
Airbag injuries can be caused by defects. However, the injuries could be caused if the person is too close to the airbag when it deploys. In other cases, the injuries are merely a consequence of the car crash and not because of a defect or other problem.
For the most part, airbags provide more protection during a car accident compared to the risks they pose during deployment. Accident victims should seek immediate medical treatment after a car accident, especially when the airbag deploys. A doctor can perform a series of diagnostic tests to determine the type and severity of injuries.
Common Causes of Airbag Injuries During a Los Angeles Car Accident
One or more factors could cause an airbag to deploy in such a way that it causes injuries during a car crash. Causes of airbag injuries include, but are not limited to:
- The airbag deployed when it should not have deployed
- Failed airbag deployment in a car accident
- Defective airbags
- The person was not wearing a seatbelt
- Sitting too close to the airbags
- Children and vulnerable adults sitting in the front passenger seat
- The sensor in the airbag caused it to malfunction
- A manufacturing defect or mistake during installation caused the airbag to deploy incorrectly
Who Is Liable for Damages When Airbags Cause Injuries During a Car Accident?
The party or parties responsible for damages caused by airbag deployment depend on the facts of the situation. Airbag injuries are often a natural consequence of a car accident. If so, the party who caused the car crash could be liable for damages.
However, if the airbag was defective, the manufacturer or another party could be liable for damages. Likewise, if the automobile maker installed the airbag incorrectly, it could be liable for damages caused by the airbag.
What Is the Deadline for Filing Airbag Injury Claims?
The type of claim determines the statute of limitations for filing lawsuits for airbag injuries.
The statute of limitations for most car accident claims is two years from the accident date. Therefore, if the airbag injury was the natural consequence of the car crash, the party who caused the crash is liable. Likewise, most product liability claims have a two-year filing deadline for lawsuits.
However, the deadline could be different in some cases. It is best to seek legal advice from a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after a car accident.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA
If you were injured in an accident in Los Angeles, CA or you lost a loved one and you need legal assistance, please contact us to schedule a free consultation. One of our Los Angeles car accident lawyers at M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers will get in touch with you soon.