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Airbag Injuries Caused by Unnecessary Deployment

By: Anapol Weiss

Airbags save lives every day. However, motorists can be killed or severely injured when an airbag malfunctions and unnecessarily deploys. In addition to severe abrasions and burns, a person can sustain permanent eye damage, neck injuries and more. Further, a driver-side airbag that deploys while the vehicle is in motion endangers vehicle occupants as well as the people nearby on the road.

Some of the most deadly airbag injuries are not immediately visible. A study published in 2014 found that certain “hidden” cardiac and pulmonary injuries can result from airbag deployment – even if there are no visible injuries upon presentation at to the hospital. The study found that the main types of cardiovascular-related airbag injuries following airbag deployment are:

  • Heart attack
  • Aortic transection
  • Tricuspid-valve injury
  • Right atrial rupture
  • Cardiac contusion
  • Aortic-valve avulsion
  • Cardiac tamponade
  • Hemopericardium

The study’s authors note that young children, short people, and those who sit closer than ten inches to an airbag’s location can sustain greater injuries.

Certain defective airbags come with dangers all their own. The potentially explosive Takata airbags, for example, were reported to have shot shrapnel at people during deployment. The defect led to a massive recall of vehicles made by 14 different automakers in what the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) called “the largest, most complex safety recall in history.” The explosive airbag deployment has been linked to seven deaths and more than 100 injuries.

Manufacturers are expected to produce airbags that effectively protect people from harm – anything less is unacceptable. For decades, Anapol Weiss has represented victims injured and the loved ones of those killed by malfunctioning airbags. Contact our firm for assistance if you or a family member sustained airbag deployment injuries. We can help.