Airbag Burn Injuries
Last updated Monday, October 16th, 2023
Let’s Get You Fully Compensated For Your Airbag Burn Injuries
Over 400,000 Americans are hospitalized for burn injuries every year. Most of their suffering could’ve been avoided by taking some preventative measures.
The National Burn Awareness Week (February 5-11) aims to minimize this gap of awareness and maximize your safety. It’s meant to empower you with practical tips to handle burn safety, prevention, and treatment.
One of the most unpredictable causes of burn injuries is a tool that’s meant to save lives – airbags.
Yes, airbags are the only cushion against the brutal impact of the crash. At the same time, they’ve increased the risk of burning drivers and passengers.
Airbags in Car Accidents
Airbags have brought down driver fatalities by nearly 30 percent. So it’s not surprising that dual-front airbags have become a permanent feature in all vehicles since 1997.
Your car has collision detectors that trigger the airbag inflation instantly when you crash. Airbags are rapidly inflating cushions that create a soft barrier between the vehicle occupants and its hard interiors. However, they can sometimes lead to severe burn injuries.
Causes of Airbag Burns
Hot airbag gasses are released to inflate the airbag rapidly. This high-velocity deployment can expose you to these heated gasses causing mechanical, thermal, and chemical burns.
It’s possible that an airbag malfunction can cause it to deploy incorrectly.
This high-velocity deployment causes a burning sensation on the skin of drivers and passengers due to the extreme temperatures reached as the airbag explodes from its container. Also, when an improper installation or malfunction occurs in an airbag system, it can cause further damage by deploying incorrectly.
You may also suffer ballistic burns caused by physical pressure from particles in the airbag.
Types of Trauma from Airbag Deployment
Thermal burns and ballistic burns are just a few issues caused by airbag deployment.
It can lead to various forms of trauma, including:
- Facial bruising
- Orbital bone fractures
- Blunt force trauma to the head and chest causing concussions and heart injuries
- Hearing loss
- Eye injuries caused by airbag chemicals
- Internal bleeding
- Fetus injuries in pregnant women
- Respiratory issues caused by airbag chemicals
It’s important to remember that airbags are life-saving devices, but it doesn’t mean they’re harm-free. Most people are able to escape with minor airbag injuries like first-degree burns, bruises, and cuts.
However, anyone with a developing or weakened musculoskeletal system is at higher risk. That means infants, children, and the elderly are more likely to suffer greater burn injuries. Their skin is more delicate and susceptible to lacerations and burns too.
People with pre-existing medical conditions like asthma are more likely to get triggered by the airbag chemicals. It’s important for these vulnerable people to be seated upright and ensure they’re strapped in properly.
Preventing Airbag Burns
Here are some easy tips to follow to avoid airbag-related burns if you get into a crash:
- Sit in an upright position without leaning too far back or to the side
- Proper seat belt use
- Let vulnerable friends and family members use the back seats
- Conduct regular airbag system checks
- Buy some airbag safety cushions
- Stay informed about vehicle recalls to track any airbag-related defects
Responding to Airbag-Related Burn Injuries
Airbag burns can be the grounds for a product liability claim. You’ll need evidence to prove that the product defect caused your burn injuries. So ensure you preserve the collision sensor and parts of the deployed airbag after the accident. It’s better to retain your vehicle till you’ve secured the evidence you need. Also, try to take photos and videos of your burn injuries and the accident site.
Report the accident to the police authorities. They’ll arrive at the scene to create a detailed accident report.
However, your health should be your first priority. Seek medical attention immediately after your accident. You need to document your injuries and medical expenses tied to your accident. And the only way to do that effectively is to begin treatment as early as possible. This will rule out the possibility of the liable parties blaming you for neglecting your condition.
Let our skillful team of personal injury and product liability lawyers take the lead while you recover peacefully. We’ll coordinate with expert witnesses and investigators to identify all liable parties and prove their share of liability.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of National Burn Awareness Week?
The National Burn Awareness Week aims to educate citizens about simple precautions and steps they can take to prevent and treat burn injuries.
How do airbags in car accidents lead to severe burn injuries?
Hot gasses and caustic chemicals are released during the rapid inflation of the airbag. When your body collides with it with high impact, it can cause thermal or ballistic burns.
Are airbag burns the only type of injury during airbag deployment?
No. You can also suffer from bruises, lacerations, fractures, hearing loss, eye irritation, heart injuries, fetus injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and respiratory issues.
Who is most vulnerable to airbag-related burn injuries?
Pregnant women, infants, children, and the elderly are most vulnerable to airbag-related burn injuries.
What can individuals do to protect themselves from airbag burns?
Here are a few simple steps you can take to avoid airbag burns in a crash:
- Sit in an upright position
- Ensure everyone is wearing a seatbelt
- Get your airbag mechanism checked when your car goes for maintenance work
- Use airbag safety cushions
- Avoid letting vulnerable friends and family members use the front seat
What immediate actions should be taken if someone experiences airbag-related burn injuries?
Here are a few critical steps you need to take right after getting airbag-related burn injuries in an accident:
- Report the accident to the local police
- Maintain physical evidence of the collision sensor and deployed airbag in your vehicle
- Gather visual evidence of your injuries and the accident scene
- Seek medical attention immediately to get an official diagnosis and begin treatment
- Document all your accident-related expenses
- Hire a skillful airbag burn injury lawyer
Why is it important to consult a car accident lawyer after such an incident?
Airbag burn injury cases can be complicated. It could be caused by a product defect, which means multiple parties could share liability for your damages. On the bright side, it opens up more avenues of compensation for you. But the downside is it takes a lot of effort to identify all liable parties and hold them accountable.
A reputed car accident lawyer knows how to use the right legal resources to build an effective claim. They’ll relieve you of all legal burdens and ensure you get a settlement that truly takes care of your needs.