Airbag Injuries in Ocala, FL
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), airbags helped save more than 50,000 lives between 1987 and 2017.
Airbags are designed to slow your forward motion during a car accident to prevent you from slamming into your steering wheel or dashboard. But they also have a dark side.
Early airbags, some of which remain in cars driven today, inflate with such force they can kill children and small adults. And over 65 million defective airbags made it into cars, trucks, and SUVs built as recently as 2015.
How Our Ocala Car Accident Lawyers Can Help You Recover Compensation for Your Airbag Injuries
Allen Law Firm, P.A. was founded in 2007. The firm’s Ocala car accident attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience and have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients.
If you hire our Ocala personal injury attorneys for help recovering compensation for your airbag injuries, you can expect us to:
- Identify every party who may share liability for your injuries
- Help you calculate your financial and non-financial losses
- Negotiate a fair settlement that fully compensates you
- Advocate for you in court proceedings if necessary
Airbag injuries can cause permanent disfigurement and disabilities. They can even kill accident victims. Contact Allen Law Firm, P.A. to discuss your airbag injuries and your options for seeking compensation after a car accident in Ocala, FL.
How Common Are Airbag Injuries?
Airbags went through two phases in their evolution. The U.S. government first mandated airbags in all new vehicles in 1998, and airbag rules remained substantially unchanged until 2008.
During this time, regulators realized that airbags injured or killed children and smaller adults when the bag struck them with enormous force while inflating.
In 2008, regulators changed the rules for auto manufacturers, requiring them to use less powerful inflators. They also required manufacturers to add switches that manually or automatically disable a vehicle’s airbags.
Before the rules changed, airbag injuries and deaths were more common. But since 2008, airbag injuries and deaths have dropped significantly.
Overview of Airbag Injuries in Ocala, FL
Airbags were invented in the 1960s. By the time the government required all new cars to have airbags, most models already offered them as an optional feature.
Airbags work as intended most of the time. According to the NHTSA, airbags reduce the risk of death in a crash by about 30% for drivers and front-seat passengers. When combined with a seat belt, airbags reduce the risk of death by over 60%.
How Do Airbags Work?
Airbag systems include a sensor, inflator, and airbag. The sensor identifies when the front of the vehicle hits something.
When the sensor detects a collision, it signals the inflator. The inflator uses a chemical reaction to produce gas rapidly. The gas inflates the bag within 0.055 seconds.
The bag is not sealed. If it were sealed, it would bounce you away when you hit it. Instead, it has openings that release gas as you impact the bag. This allows the bag to catch you and slow your speed.
Frontal airbags only deploy in certain types of collisions, such as head-on and angle crashes. In most rear-end and side-impact accidents, they typically deploy in only one vehicle.
Common Airbag Injuries
Even when airbags work perfectly, you can still get injured by them. Some common airbag injuries include:
When airbags inflate, they explode from their enclosures in the dashboard and steering wheel. If you have hooked your thumbs around the steering wheel, you will probably not have time to move your hands before the airbag inflates. The explosive expansion of the airbag can sprain or even fracture your thumbs.
The airbag enclosure can break apart as the airbag inflates, sending shrapnel into your eyes. Additionally, the airbag is packed in powder to prevent it from sticking together. The airbag can throw this dust into your eyes when it deploys.
The airbag can throw debris into your face, but even worse injuries can happen when your face hits the airbag. You can suffer facial bruises or even fracture the small bones in your cheeks.
Neck injuries are rare. But children and small adults can suffer neck injuries when the airbag hits their foreheads and snaps their heads back.
Liability for Airbag Injuries in Florida
The liability for airbag injuries usually lies with the at-fault driver. When a driver negligently causes a crash, they must pay compensation for all the foreseeable losses.
Airbag and seat belt injuries are foreseeable. When a driver collides with another vehicle, injuries from the airbag are a natural and expected result of the crash.
The manufacturer of the airbag could also share in the liability for the losses. Product makers bear strict liability for defective products released into the stream of commerce.
This situation happened recently with a manufacturer called Takata. The company sold defective airbag units to 19 auto manufacturers. Over 67 million cars in the U.S. had these airbags installed at the factory. The faulty airbags could deploy prematurely and explode when inflated.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Ocala Airbag Injury Lawyers If You Were Hurt in a Car Accident
Airbag injuries can cause disfigurement, disabilities, and even death. Contact Allen Law Firm, P.A. to learn about the compensation you can seek for airbag injuries suffered in a car accident in Ocala, FL.