What are my legal options if I sustained injuries due to airbag deployment?
Airbags are designed to reduce the likelihood of death or severe injuries during a car wreck. When a crash occurs, front seat occupants will make contact with a deployed airbag rather than a steering wheel or dashboard. Airbag deployment can occur in a collision at speeds between 8-14 mph, according to safercar.gov. During a collision, airbag burns and other injuries may occur.
In most cases, airbag injuries are relatively minor. Sometimes, injuries linked to airbag deployment can be serious. The South Carolina attorneys at Twenge + Twombley Law Firm address the types of injuries that can occur, some of which are life-threatening.
How airbag deployment can cause burns and lesions
According to research recently published in Medscape, the following types of burns and lesions can be caused by airbag deployment:
- Irritant dermatitis — Skin exposure to abrasive substances and gases found in airbags can lead to irritant dermatitis. This condition involves red spots on the skin, swelling, skin hemorrhages, itching, burning, and stinging. It usually affects the arms, face, and upper chest.
- Traumatic lesions — Traumatic lesions and lacerations can occur due to the force of an airbag deploying.
- Chemical burns — Burns to the skin and deep tissue can be caused by highly alkaline gases and chemicals responsible for airbag deployment.
- Thermal burns — High temperature combustion during airbag deployment can cause thermal burns on the hands, wrists, arms, face, neck, and chest.
- Eye and ear lesions — The eyes and ears can become easily damaged during airbag deployment due to exposure to harmful substances and the force of deployment.
Other types of trauma linked to airbag deployment
Other injuries that front seat occupants can sustain during collisions include:
- Bone fractures — Children and the elderly (especially those suffering from osteoporosis) are the most susceptible to bone fractures.
- Neck, back, and spine injuries — Spinal injuries such as whiplash can occur due to head-on impact with an airbag. This can cause violent shaking or a whip-like motion of the head, which damages the soft tissue in the neck.
- Respiratory issues — Those who suffer from asthma are at risk of respiratory issues by breathing in chemicals, gases, and powders emitted from airbags.
- Concussion — Head-on impact with an airbag during a high-speed car wreck could potentially result in a concussion. This occurs when the brain sloshes against the inner lining of the skull due to blunt force or violent shaking.
Should I hire an attorney if an airbag caused my injuries?
You may think that an airbag injury isn't a big deal, but it could be much worse than you think. On top of the burns and lesions you may have suffered, you could have also sustained another serious underlying injury that you may not be aware of. It's critical that you always see a doctor promptly after a car wreck and get a proper diagnosis.
Then, you should speak to the experienced South Carolina car accident attorneys at Twenge + Twombley Law Firm. Our attorneys will investigate the cause of your crash and deal with the other driver's insurance company on your behalf. We'll also advocate for a fair financial settlement so you don't have to pay a dime out of your own pocket for your recovery. Contact us online for your free case evaluation.