Motor Vehicle Accidents

Can a Lawyer Help if Airbags Didn’t Deploy in an Accident?

When you get into a car accident, you trust that your car’s safety features will protect you from harm. Features like seat belts and airbags are designed to protect drivers and passengers from extreme forces, and while they don’t prevent all injuries, they usually reduce the severity.

But what happens if your car’s safety features don’t work as they are intended to? What if you’re involved in a severe car accident that leads to serious injury due to your airbags failing to deploy?

In this blog, we’ll discuss varying circumstances surrounding why airbags may not deploy and what legal options are available to you if they don’t.

When Are Airbags Supposed to Deploy?

Airbags have three main parts: the bag, the sensor, and the inflation system. When your car is involved in a collision, the sensor tells the bag (a thin nylon fabric folded into your steering wheel) to inflate. The sensor is calibrated to detect a force equal to running into a brick wall at 10 to 15 miles per hour. When the sensor goes off, a mixture of gases, sodium azide and potassium nitrate, reacts quickly to produce a blast of hot nitrogen, which inflates the bag.

As the bag inflates, it instantly bursts out of the steering wheel or the dashboard of your car to keep you and any passengers from colliding with the steering wheel, dashboard, or windshield. Almost instantly, after inflating to cushion you and your passenger, the airbag deflates so that it’s out of your way. This is how airbags are designed to work; however, they don’t always work the way they’re intended.

Possible Reasons Your Airbags Didn’t Deploy

If your airbag didn’t deploy during your car accident, you’re probably wondering why. What could have happened to cause your airbag not to function as it was designed to? Here are some of the main reasons why airbags don’t deploy when they’re supposed to:

Defective Crash Sensors

A defective sensor might prevent your airbag from working correctly due to poor calibration, improper installation, or a design defect.

Defective Design or Manufacturing

We often hear about defective products causing harm to consumers. If there is a defect in the design or manufacturing of your car’s airbag system, it could result in the airbag not inflating when it’s supposed to. You can check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Check for Recalls tool to search for any recalls relating to your vehicle.

Electrical or Wiring Problems

The sensor is supposed to detect a crash and electronically tell the airbag to inflate and light the igniter for the gases mentioned previously. However, electrical components are known to malfunction, and if the components of your car’s airbag system fail, they could prevent the airbag from inflating.

The Airbag Should Have Been Replaced

If your vehicle was in a prior accident where the airbags were deployed, those airbags should have been replaced with new ones. If they weren’t ever replaced, they would not activate again.

Size of the Person in the Front Seat

Some vehicles have a safety system in place that shuts off airbag sensors to protect children or adults of smaller stature. So, if a smaller adult or a child was sitting in a seat where an airbag didn’t deploy, it could be for this reason.

Impact of Your Accident

If your vehicle collision was mild to moderate (i.e., a fender bender), then your car might not have detected a need for airbag inflation.

Even if it’s not immediately clear why your airbags didn’t deploy, your attorney will ensure that your car is inspected for the correct cause of non-deployment.

What Happens When Your Airbags Don’t Deploy?

Your vehicle’s airbags are intended to keep you safe from harm, so when they don’t work the way they’re supposed to, the results can be devastating. People in car accidents where airbags don’t deploy can suffer severe injuries such as:

  • Broken bones
  • Soft tissue damage
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Sprains and strains
  • Internal bleeding
  • Organ damage
  • Head injuries (such as a TBI)
  • Scarring
  • Vision damage

These injuries listed are the most common airbag injuries our office has seen but are by no means the only injuries car crash victims can sustain. If you or your passenger has suffered injuries from a faulty airbag, you could receive compensation for your injuries with the help of a lawyer.

Who Can Be Held Liable When Airbags Don’t Deploy?

When airbags don’t deploy during a car accident, people get hurt. In these situations, someone should be held responsible. Circling back to our main question from the beginning of this post “Can a lawyer help if airbags didn’t deploy?” The answer is yes.

Having an experienced legal professional on your case ensures that a thorough investigation will be done into why your vehicle’s airbags malfunctioned. It could be a problem from the airbag manufacturer, or someone in the assembly line installed it incorrectly, or perhaps you were sold a used vehicle and were never told it was in a prior collision where the airbags were deployed. Also, you may have taken your vehicle after it was recalled, and the mechanic may not have completed the installation correctly.

Our legal team at Prochaska, Howell & Prochaska LLC can take a look at the details of your case during your free consultation and help determine why your airbags didn’t deploy and who can be held liable for your injuries. We want you to receive the compensation owed to you just as much as you do.

We Want to Help

Our highly qualified and compassionate team is available to listen and evaluate your case. We do not charge any fees unless we win. Call us at (800) 266-0036 to get started!

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