How Dangerous are Airbags During Car Accidents in Pennsylvania?
Airbags are meant to keep people safe during car accidents by preventing their body from impacting the surfaces of the car too hard. However, airbags themselves can be a source of danger—they can cause burns, organ damages, hearing damage, and even suffocation. If you were injured by an airbag during a car accident, you might be able to file a lawsuit. Here, Philadelphia personal injury lawyers from The Reiff Law Firm will explain how airbags can be dangerous during car accidents and what to do if you suffer from an injury from an airbag during a car accident.
Injuries that Can Be Caused by Airbags During Car Accidents
Airbags are located in many different parts of a car. Most cars have rear knee airbags, curtain shield airbags, center airbags, side curtain airbags, head side-impact airbags, and seat-mounted curtain airbags. While airbags are meant to prevent injuries in car accidents, they have the potential to harm people during car accidents, making them relatively dangerous. The following are injuries that car accident victims may sustain from airbags.
Airbags can cause friction burns when they deploy. When they deflate, they can release chemicals that can cause chemical burns.
The force at which airbags are sometimes deployed can cause eye injuries, including abrasions, vitreous hemorrhages, hyphemia, and tears and detachment of the retina.
When it deploys, an airbag can generate a sound pressure of up to 178 decibels, which is loud enough to cause permanent hearing loss.
Bruises and Abrasions
Since they deploy quickly and with a great deal of force, airbags can cause bruises, abrasions, scrapes, and irritation on the surface of the skin, especially the arms, chest, neck, and face.
Internal Bleeding and Organ Damage
When an airbag is deployed, it can cause a sudden impact to the internal organs, especially the heart, spleen, and lungs, which can be deadly if not given immediate medical attention.
It is possible for concussions and traumatic brain injuries to result from the sudden impact of an airbag.
Why Airbags Are So Dangerous
The main reason that airbags are dangerous is that they deploy at an incredibly high speed. Since they open so quickly, they administer a large amount of force to the human body, resulting in injuries such as bone breaks and fractures, bruises and lacerations to the skin, and more. Another reason that airbags are so dangerous is that they require powerful chemicals to be able to open so quickly, which can burn human skin. And since airbags are very loud when they’re deployed, they can cause hearing damage to the people in the car, as well as innocent bystanders.
Filing a Product Liability Lawsuit in Philadelphia
If you were injured by an airbag during a car accident in Philadelphia, it’s possible that you’ll be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the party that was responsible for creating the airbag with the help of a Philadelphia product liability attorney. (If your injuries result from the car accident itself, speak with our Philadelphia car accident attorney.) There are three types of product liability lawsuits: defective design, manufacturing defect, and lack of adequate instructions or warning. To win a product liability lawsuit, you will have to prove that you were injured because of the defective design of an airbag. Courts analyze defective design product liability lawsuits based on two standards: the consumer expectation standard (whether the product was more dangerous than a reasonable person would expect) and the risk utility standard (whether the injuries stemming from the product outweigh the burden of taking precautions against that same injury happening again in the future).
In an airbag product liability case, the responsible party could be any of the following: the manufacturer of either the car or the airbag, the party that assembled or installed the airbag, the manufacturer of the airbag’s components, the wholesaler of the airbag, the retailer that sold the car to the customer, or anyone that was responsible for the car’s inspection, maintenance, or replacement.
If a victim of an airbag injury wins their product liability lawsuit, they’ll be able to recover compensation for the expenses associated with their injury. They can recover the cost of medical bills (for hospital stays, prescription medications, physical therapy, medical equipment, surgeries, and more), both past and future lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Airbag injury victims should note that the statute of limitations for filing product liability lawsuits in Pennsylvania is 2 years, so they should act quickly. Work with an experienced airbag injury attorney to ensure that your case is within the statute of limitations and to enter into all future litigation.
Takata Airbag Recalls and Car Accidents
For an example of how dangerous airbags can be, consider Takata exploding airbags. These airbags began appearing in Isuzu vehicles in 2001 and were later installed in vehicles manufactured by Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, and Chrysler. After injuring and killing many people, they were recalled. The head on accident lawyers from The Reiff Law Firm have been invested in examining Takata’s claims that they were not aware of the deadliness of their airbags until 2011, and have been looped into actions taken by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to investigate these airbags and issue consumer safety alerts about them. The Reiff Law Firm is committed to providing consumers with more information about Takata airbags as more information emerges.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers for Injuries Caused by Exploding and Defective Airbags
Airbags are meant to protect people, not injure them. If you were injured by an airbag during a car accident in Philadelphia, get in touch with the personal injury lawyers from The Reiff Law Firm today to learn more about filing a lawsuit. You can call (215) 246-9000 to speak with an attorney about getting compensation for the injuries you suffered because of an airbag during a car accident.