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Automotive Airbag Injuries

The airbag is passive restraint created to protect drivers and passengers during a collision. Airbags have saved many lives since its invention but there have been some who have been injured or killed as a result of them. Let’s take a moment to understand how the airbag works. The vehicle is equipped with airbags with a control unit that consists of a computer and sensors which help determine if the threshold has been met to deploy the airbag. These sensors can measure the change in the vehicle’s velocity, the pressure encountered by body panels, the speed of the wheels, and how many people are in the vehicle. Upon collision, the airbag deploys at speeds over one hundred miles per hour and the airbag may be hot and covered in dust and chemicals that help in deployment. At times, there can be a malfunction of the crash sensor leading the airbag to deploy at the wrong time, late, or not at all. The timing of the airbag deploying is critical so even a fraction of a second too late can cause serious injury.

The most common injury from airbags are burns. The combustion caused by the propellant can cause burns on the neck, chest, face, and arms of the driver and/or passenger. The dust resulting from the deployment can irritate the eyes and skin. The chemicals could cause respiratory irritation as well and may cause an asthma attack in some passengers. The speed of deployment can bruise and even break bones depending on the impact and if the passenger braces themselves for impact. Some other injuries that may result in death include rib fractures, bruising of the chest cavity, and punctures of the heart. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration issues guidelines to prevent injuries. Occupants should sit at least ten inches back from the steering wheel or dashboard. If you believe the airbag malfunctioned it is important to preserve the evidence related to the airbag and to contact an experienced attorney who can help in that process.

To arrange a free consultation about your case, please contact The Horwitz Law Group by e-mailing our car accident lawyers or call 312-641-9200. There is no cost and no obligation to learn if we can help. If you retain us as your legal representative, you will pay no upfront fees or costs. Our fees come as a percentage of whatever compensation we obtain for you. In the unlikely event that we do not win compensation, you will pay no attorney fees whatsoever.

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