Airbag Injury Lawyer in Arkansas
When you are involved in a car accident, you trust that your vehicle’s protective devices will help you avoid injury. Unfortunately, sometimes the devices that are supposed to offer us protection actually result in significant personal injury. When a car’s airbag deploys during an accident, it does so at a very high speed. It is hot and covered in chemicals that help it deploy quickly. This can result in serious airbag injury to the driver and passengers, whether it’s an auto accident or big rig truck accident.
Airbags can cause significant injuries that may even result in permanent disability and impairment. If you or your loved one are injured by airbag deployment, you need an experienced Arkansas car accident lawyer fighting for you and your rights to compensation. Without a personal injury attorney on your side, you may not recover the money you need to pay all of your expenses. You may also have have a case if your airbags do not deploy.
How Do Airbags Work?
Airbags are located in the steering wheel and in the panel on the dashboard in front of the passenger. Some cars also have side-impact airbags that help protect passengers in T-bone collisions. These airbags are made of a light material that inflates quickly during certain types of accidents. The airbags themselves are connected to a crash sensor which determines when to deploy the airbag. Typically, head-on collisions or near head-on collisions will trigger this sensor, and the airbag will deploy. An airbag inflates in about 1/20th of a second.
Unfortunately, sometimes things go wrong when an airbag deploys. The crash sensor can malfunction, causing it to deploy at the wrong time or not at all. In some cases, the airbag might deploy, but deploy too late. The timing of an airbag is critical to offering protection from personal injury an accident. If the sensor malfunctions and the airbag deploys even a microsecond too late, it could cause serious and even fatal airbag injuries to the driver or passenger.
Common Airbag Injuries
When an airbag malfunctions, it can cause serious injury. The most common types of injuries include, but are not limited to:
How to Reduce Serious Airbag Injury
While you cannot prevent an airbag sensor from malfunctioning, there are things you can do to reduce your risk of suffering a serious airbag injury.
- Always wear your seat belt
- Children under 12 should never ride in the front seat
- Use appropriate car seats for children correctly
- Keep seats positioned at least 10 inches back from the airbag
The most important of those tips is to always wear your seat belt. Not wearing your seat belt can result in you being injured, or worse, by an airbag deployment. Between 1990 and 2008, 80 percent of airbag-related deaths were to victims who were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the accident.
When Airbags Kill
Sadly, some defective airbags can result in life-threatening injuries and death. Over the last several years, roughly 41.6 million vehicles equipped with Takata airbags were recalled. These defective airbags caused significant injury and death when they deployed suddenly. Over 19 different automakers were forced to recall some of their car models.
The problem was that the metal cartridge was loaded with propellant wafers. When ruptured in a crash, metal shards were being sprayed throughout the passenger cabin. The result was serious lacerations and death to passengers and drivers.
NHTSA determined that the problem was with airbags using an ammonium nitrate-based propellant. At high temperatures, this caused the airbags to inflate improperly and send dangerous metal shrapnel throughout the cabin. There have been at least 24 deaths and over 300 personal injuries due to this one recall alone.
Filing an Airbag Lawsuit
If you were injured by an airbag in the Little Rock area and beyond, it is important to speak to an experienced Arkansas car accident lawyer immediately. If a defective airbag led to your injury, your attorney will need to prove that some component of the airbag was defective. This is typically a product liability case. In some cases, your attorney may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver, as well as a product liability lawsuit against the airbag manufacturer or automobile manufacturer.
After a car accident that results in airbag injuries, it is important to take the following steps:
- Seek medical attention
- Fill out a police report
- Exchange information with at-fault driver
- Gather evidence
- Preserve the defective airbag and evidence related to it
- Preserve the crash sensor
- Call the insurance company
- Call an experienced attorney
It is important not to let the insurer take possession of your vehicle after your accident. Even if they declare your car to be a total loss, you must hold on to the evidence until you can speak to an experienced Little Rock attorney.
Our Experience Matters
At Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, our car accident injury lawyers have the experience and resources needed to tackle airbag injuries. These injuries can cause horrific facial injuries, brain damage, and a lifetime of suffering. We have helped many injured accident victims in Little Rock, Arkansas and throughout Tennessee rebuild their lives again after an airbag injury. Here are just a few of the injury settlements we have obtained for our clients.
- $1,215,000 – a car accident that caused head injuries and broken bones
- $700,000 – a car accident that caused brain injuries and a fractured back
- $550,000 – a car accident that caused brain injuries and broken bones
- $50,000 – a car accident that caused broken front teeth
Serving Little Rock and Surrounding Areas
If you’ve suffered an airbag injury in an accident you need a trusted law firm on your side. At Rainwater, Holt, & Sexton, our Arkansas car accident attorneys know that airbags can result in serious injuries that can lead to a lifetime of pain. When this happens, you need an experienced and skilled injury attorney and law firm fighting for you and your future.
With attorneys in six offices conveniently located throughout Arkansas and Tennessee—Little Rock, Fayetteville, Conway, Hot Springs, Bryant, and Memphis—our lawyers are there whenever you need us. Fill out a free contact request form or simply dial (800) 767-4815 and tell us your story.
Tell us how we can help.
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