Marasco&Nesselbush personal injury lawyers

Airbag Safety

The airbag has been one of the most innovative and important safety features to come along in the automotive industry in decades. Used in conjunction with the seat belt, the airbag has saved nearly 50,000 lives since its introduction in 1988 and has been required in all new passenger vehicle models from 1999.

While there’s no argument about the airbag’s effectiveness, we can’t ignore the potential injuries that can be and have been caused by airbags, whether from the force of the deployment or due to malfunctions or design flaws. 

Some of the most common airbag injuries include:

● Facial bruising and abrasions
● Chest injuries
● Broken bones
● Internal bleeding
● Eye injuries
● Burns 
● Brain trauma
With deployment speeds from 100-200 mph, injuries are often caused due to the passenger or driver being too close to the steering wheel or the dashboard where the airbag is released. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA recommends keeping a safe distance of 10 to 12 inches between your chest and the airbag compartment. 

Airbag injuries are also common when it comes to children and infants. You should never seat a child where the airbag deployment can reach them. Placing an infant in a rear-facing car seat on the front passenger seat can lead to severe brain injuries and even death. 

With just a few adjustments, airbags can become a whole lot safer. However, in the cases where the injuries were caused due to an airbag malfunction or incorrect installation, there is not much, if anything, you can do to prepare for it. 

The Largest Recall in U.S. History

In what the NHTSA has called “the largest and most complex safety recall in U.S. history,” tens of millions of vehicles made by 19 different automakers have been recalled due to malfunctioning airbags. The airbags, manufactured by Takata Corporation, an automotive parts company, have been responsible for hundreds of injuries and a reported 32 deaths worldwide. 

Due to long-term exposure to high heat and humidity, some Takata airbags have been known to explode on impact, thus initiating the nationwide recall of hundreds of thousands of vehicles with potentially faulty airbags. 

So what steps should you take if you believe you are a victim of an injury due to malfunctioning or incorrectly installed airbags?

To determine whether or not the airbag in question is faulty, you will want to preserve the deployed airbag and all of its parts. Also, you want to ensure that the vehicle’s computer system stays intact and does not get wiped clean. Keep in mind that if the insurer declares that the car is a complete loss, they will likely want to take possession of the car. It is in your best interest to hold on to it, if possible. 

If you or a loved one has sustained injuries caused by a deployed or malfunctioning airbag, call Marasco & Nesselbush today.    

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