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Can I Sue if My Airbag Injured Me?

Can I Sue if My Airbag Injured Me?
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Airbags are designed to save lives and mitigate injuries during car accidents. However, there are instances when these safety devices can cause harm rather than prevent it. If you find yourself injured by an airbag, you might wonder about your legal options.

At Patterson Law Group, our experienced injury lawyer in Fort Worth is prepared to guide you through the complexities of such cases and help you determine whether you can pursue legal action.

Understanding Problems with Airbags

Airbags deploy with immense speed and force, often within milliseconds of a collision, to cushion occupants from impact. While they significantly reduce the risk of severe injuries or fatalities, their deployment can sometimes result in injuries due to various factors such as:

  • Defective Airbags: Manufacturing defects can lead to airbags deploying improperly or with excessive force, causing injuries such as burns, fractures, or even more severe damage.
  • Improper Installation: Incorrect installation of airbags can hinder their proper functioning. For example, an airbag might fail to deploy when needed or deploy unexpectedly, leading to potential injuries.
  • Sensor Malfunctions: Faulty sensors can cause airbags to deploy without a collision or fail to deploy during an accident, resulting in injuries that could have been prevented.
  • Inadequate Design: Design flaws, such as using substandard materials or insufficient testing, can compromise airbag performance and safety.

Common Airbag Injuries and Their Severity

Airbags are crucial safety features designed to deploy rapidly during a collision to cushion the impact for passengers. While they save countless lives, the force and speed they deploy can sometimes result in various injuries. Understanding these potential injuries can help better prepare for and mitigate their effects. Common airbag-related injuries include:

  • Facial Injuries: The force of airbag deployment can cause bruising, burns, and even fractures to the facial bones. These injuries occur due to the direct impact and the high-speed inflation of the airbag fabric against the face.
  • Chest Injuries: The chest area is particularly vulnerable during airbag deployment. Injuries can range from rib fractures to serious heart and lung damage. The powerful force can cause the ribcage to break, potentially leading to punctures in the lungs or heart.
  • Upper Extremity Injuries: Fractures and dislocations of the arms and hands are common due to their positioning on the steering wheel or dashboard at the time of collision. The sudden deployment can twist or forcefully hit the limbs, causing significant damage.
  • Eye Injuries: The high-speed impact can cause sensitive eyes to suffer from corneal abrasions or even retinal detachments. The chemicals used to inflate the airbag can also irritate or burn the eyes.

Recognizing these potential injuries emphasizes the importance of proper seating positions and the use of seat belts, as they can significantly influence the severity of airbag-related injuries.

Legal Grounds for Suing

You might have grounds to sue if you sustained injuries due to an airbag. Here are some possible legal avenues to explore with the assistance of an injury lawyer in Fort Worth:

Product Liability Claims

Manufacturers are responsible for ensuring that their products are safe for use. If a defective airbag caused your injury, you could file a product liability claim against the manufacturer. This claim can be based on:

  • Design Defects: When the design of the airbag is inherently unsafe.
  • Manufacturing Defects: When errors during the manufacturing process result in dangerous airbags.
  • Failure to Warn: When the manufacturer fails to provide adequate warnings or instructions regarding the airbag’s use and potential risks.

Negligence Claims

If the injury resulted from negligence, such as improper installation or maintenance of the airbag by a third party (e.g., a mechanic), you could file a negligence claim. This requires proving that the defendant owed you a duty of care, breached that duty, and caused your injury due to their actions or omissions.

Breach of Warranty Claims

Airbag manufacturers provide warranties that guarantee the safety and functionality of their products. If an airbag fails to perform as warranted and causes injury, you may have grounds for a breach of warranty claim.

Steps to Take After an Airbag Injury

If you believe that an airbag has injured you, taking the following steps can strengthen your case and improve your chances of receiving fair compensation:

  • Seek Medical Attention: Seek immediate medical attention for your injuries, regardless of severity. Medical records will also serve as crucial evidence in your case.
  • Document the Incident: Gather as much evidence as possible, including photographs of the accident scene, your injuries, and the deployed airbag. Obtain contact information from witnesses and keep all relevant documents, such as police reports and medical records.
  • Preserve the Evidence: Do not tamper with the vehicle or the airbag. Preserve the vehicle in its post-accident condition, as it serves as vital evidence for your case. Your injury attorney in Fort Worth will advise you on how to maintain the integrity of this evidence.
  • Consult an Experienced Injury Lawyer: Navigating the legal landscape of airbag injury claims can be complex. An experienced injury lawyer in Fort Worth, Texas, can evaluate your case, identify the liable parties, and guide you through filing a lawsuit.

Compensation You May Be Entitled To

If you successfully prove that an airbag defect or malfunction caused your injury, you may be entitled to various forms of compensation, including:

  • Medical Expenses: Reimbursement for current and future medical bills related to the injury, including hospital stays, surgeries, medications, and rehabilitation.
  • Lost Wages: Compensation for lost wages due to time off work for recovery and diminished earning capacity if the injury affects your ability to work in the future.
  • Pain and Suffering: Damages for emotional distress, physical pain, and loss of enjoyment of life resulting from the injury.

In some cases, you may be entitled to punitive damages. To ensure you have the best chance of securing the maximum possible compensation, you should immediately seek legal guidance from an injury lawyer in Fort Worth.

Contact Our Texas Injury Attorney 

An injury from an airbag—a device meant to protect you—can be a disconcerting and challenging experience. Understanding your legal rights and options is crucial in pursuing justice and rightful compensation.

At Patterson Law Group, our injury lawyer in Fort Worth is committed to helping you navigate complex airbag injury claims. By seeking our guidance early on, you can ensure that your case is handled with the utmost care and diligence, ultimately working toward securing the compensation you deserve.

If an airbag has injured you, do not hesitate to contact our Texas injury attorney for a comprehensive consultation and reliable legal representation.

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