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An deployed airbag hangs from a steeing wheel
Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp
(833) 997-1774

According to a report published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, front airbags have saved roughly 30,000 lives since they began being included as standard safety features in all passenger vehicles in 1998. Airbags are designed to protect vehicle occupants during accidents but that is not always the case. Although, when properly used, they provide clear protection, airbags can also cause serious injuries and wrongful deaths. In the event that an airbag defectively deploys, or fails to deploy, injured victims could be entitled to pursue financial compensation. If you sustained airbag injuries during a car accident, the experienced Virginia Beach car accident attorneys at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp can help. Call us today to schedule your free consultation to discuss your potential claim. 

What Injuries Can Be Caused by Airbag Deployment?

Despite saving several thousand lives each year, there are circumstances under which airbags can wind up causing the very injuries they are intended to prevent. When airbags deploy, they are supposed to stop a victim’s body and face from making contact with the vehicle’s dashboard and steering wheel. Unfortunately, the force of a deploying airbag can be strong enough to cause facial injuries such as lacerations, a broken nose, a broken or dislocated jaw, and even eye injuries that can result in a temporary or permanent loss of sight. The force with which an airbag deploys can also lead to concussions and other brain injuries.

Injuries to a victim’s chest, such as fractured or broken ribs, can also occur if the upper portion of their body is struck by the airbag due to sitting close to the steering wheel, as can severe internal injuries. When deployed, airbags release chemicals capable of causing burns to a victim’s skin. If a side-impact airbag makes contact with a victim’s head, it can lead to severe musculoskeletal injuries such as a herniated disc or whiplash. 

Who Is Liable for My Airbag Injuries?

Virginia is an at-fault state, which means drivers and passengers who are injured by airbags during a collision are entitled to pursue financial compensation from the at-fault driver. The first step toward collecting compensation is to file an insurance claim. If the insurer refuses to offer fair compensation or offer any compensation at all, then you could be eligible to bring a lawsuit. 

Am I At Fault for My Own Airbag Injuries if I Was Not Wearing a Seat Belt?

The purpose of a seatbelt is to prevent drivers and passengers from slamming into the steering wheel, dashboard, and airbag. This means that choosing not to buckle up makes you more prone to sustaining airbag injuries since the restraining force of the seat belt is unable to stop you from being hit by the airbag.

Besides being incredibly dangerous, failing to buckle up is against the law in Virginia. Although this will make the process much more difficult, you might still be able to recover your damages by working with a skilled Virginia Beach car accident attorney.  

What if My Vehicle’s Airbag Failed to Deploy During an Accident?

Not every car accident will cause a vehicle’s airbags to deploy. In most cases, if the sensor located in the front of the vehicle is not tripped, the airbag is unlikely to inflate. A good example of this is a rear-end collision. If, however, your accident involved a front or side impact and your airbags failed to deploy, you may have grounds to bring a defective product lawsuit against the manufacturer.

Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

If you plan on filing a lawsuit for your airbag injuries, you must be able to prove that you did not cause or contribute to the accident or mechanical defect that caused them. If you can prove that no negligence occurred on your part, you are likely entitled to sue the at-fault party for compensation. Meeting with an experienced Virginia Beach car accident attorney from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp can help you determine your rights by reviewing the circumstances of your car accident and offering you reliable advice on the best way to pursue a personal injury case. In one recent case, we secured a $1.5 million settlement for two motorcyclists who were struck head-on by a sheriff’s deputy who nodded off at the wheel and drifted over the centerline. To schedule your free legal consultation, call (833) 997-1774 or fill out our online contact form. We have offices in Virginia Beach, Hampton, Portsmouth, and Norfolk. 

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