Do You Need a Wisconsin Airbag Accident Lawyer to Fight For You?
If you were injured due to defective airbag deployment during a car accident, you may need a qualified Wisconsin airbag accident lawyer to help you fight for compensation for losses due to injuries, pain and suffering, and more. A good lawyer can help you win your fight to get the money that you deserve.
Airbag Accidents and Injuries
Typically, airbag accidents and injuries are relatively rare. In general, airbags save lives every day, and help protect car accident victims from the often violent force that comes with being hit by another car. But, in some instances, auto manufacturers produce defective airbags that actually do more harm than good. When this happens, airbag injury victims have a right to seek compensation for their injuries.
Airbag accidents and injuries can be more common in older vehicles that do not have the latest airbag technology. Over the years, front airbags, side and roof airbags, and side air bag protection have all changed and evolved to keep up with changing National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) guidelines. The specific design that a vehicle manufacturer uses may be responsible for airbag injuries or an airbag accident.
How Airbags Work in Airbag Accidents
When and how an airbag deploys is determined by a chain of events that happens during an automobile accident. Understanding this chain of events and what governs how airbags work in car accidents can help you understand whether you may be a good candidate for an airbag accident lawsuit
What happens during an accident:
Vehicle sensors detect a sudden deceleration or crash. Typically these are at speeds between 8 to 18 mph but some sensors can detect sudden decelerations at speeds up to 25 mph.
How accurate sensors are to detecting sudden deceleration depends on how many sensors are used as well as the accuracy of any sensors in use. Some studies have suggested that single sensors can misread the need for deployment and cause airbags to malfunction (by either inflating too early, too late or not at all).
A good car accident lawyer will know what to look for when it comes to airbag accidents and injuries, and will be able to help you determine if sensor malfunction may have been a factor in your injuries.
The electronic control unit (ECU) reacts to sensor data and readies for airbag inflation.
The ECU is the “command and control center” of a vehicle. It receives information from the many sensors that are in a car and, based on the data it receives, sends out commands to vehicle components and systems.
In the case of a car accident, the ECU receives information from vehicle sensors that the car is decelerating very rapidly. In response to that information, it alerts an inflator within the airbag module to start the airbag inflation/deployment process. In advanced airbag systems, sensor information about occupant weight, seat position, seat belt status and other factors may affect airbag deployment and airbag injuries.
The airbag inflates (ideally). Listening to the ECU, an airbag igniter starts the inflation process by triggering an enhancer that ignites a propellant that starts the chemical reaction that produces the gas that inflates the airbag. While it may sound lengthy, this complex chain reaction happens in mere milliseconds.
The manner and speed at which an airbag inflates and deploys during an airbag accident can depend on a number of factors, and this is what can cause airbag injuries. Faulty sensor information, poor design, or even the chemical gases used to inflate the airbag can cause airbag injuries during an accident.
The airbag deflates (ideally). Within another second, the airbag deflates. This way the occupants are free to move and get away from the vehicle should they need to.
Airbag accident lawyers have the technical knowledge and experience to understand airbag functions and how sensor issues, vehicle age and vehicle type can all influence the likelihood of suffering airbag injuries during a car accident. A qualified airbag injury lawyer will also investigate airbag design, installation, potential defects and recall information to gather all the facts for a potential airbag injury case.
What Causes Airbag Injuries During Car Accidents?
As you can see, aiirbag safety is actually quite complicated because it involves not just design elements (like the materials that airbags are made from) but timing elements as well (like when an airbag should deploy). So, what causes an airbag injury or airbag deployment problem can involve one or more issues.
For instance, airbag injuries during auto accidents can happen due to faulty design, poor installation or defective parts. And, airbag accidents and injuries usually happen when an airbag deploys too early, too late, or does deploy at all. During a car accident, your airbags need to deploy at just the right time to protect you and your car’s occupants.
For instance, if an accident victim’s airbags deploy in a low-speed crash when they’re not really needed, they can cause injuries (because they deploy at such high speeds). Or, if airbags do not deploy soon enough during a high-speed accident, they will not do what they were meant to do — protect accident victims from injury.
Factors That Cause Airbag Injuries and Airbag Accidents
Here are just some factors that can affect airbag deployment and airbag injuries:
- Seat position. Because how an occupant is seated affects how well an airbag will work, cars are equipped with sensors to detect seat position. If there are not enough of those sensors to gather information or they do not work properly, airbags can deploy improperly and cause severe injuries.
- Occupant position and weight. Where an occupant is seated and how much they weight affects when and how they should come into contact with an airbag during a car crash. If sensors do not properly calculate these factors, accident victims can suffer additional airbag injuries during deployment.
- System failure. Airbag injuries, airbag accidents and deaths due to airbag failure can all result from inadequate system designs, faulty sensors or inadequate warning labeling from manufacturers. During a car crash, sensors need to detect and relay an incredible amount of information (speed, occupant position and weight, seat belt status, angle of the crash, and more). If sensors miscalculate anything, accident victims may suffer additional minor, severe or even fatal injuries.
- Airbag module design. Because how well an airbag deploys is influenced by the housing in which it sits, the module that airbags are packed in must meet standards set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). If an airbag module does not meet those design standards, it could lead to unnecessary airbag injuries or accidents.
- Inflation rate, volume and tethering. Did you know that some airbags deploy at over 200 mph? If airbags do not deploy when needed but instead deploy too early or too late, they can cause serious injuries as they explode in the faces of accident victims. In addition, if airbags are not tethered (attached) properly, they may not extend far enough to protect victims and, if airbags do not inflate properly, they will not provide sufficient protection during an accident. These factors are often influenced by vehicle sensors, so just one fault sensor can cause additional or unnecessary airbag injuries during accident.
- Improper airbag folding. How an airbag is folded and placed inside its housing can affect how it deploys. An improperly folded airbag may not expand or deploy properly, causing airbag injuries like facial cuts and bruises.
- Airbag material. What materials are used to make airbags affects how well they work. In general, lighter material is better.
- Angle of airbag deployment. Airbags are designed to deploy at particular angles so that they can provide maximum protection during different types of accidents. If they do not deploy at the right angle due to a sensor defect or some other issue, they will not properly protect accident victims from impact and may even cause additional damage.
- Airbag venting. After an accident, airbags should vent to release air and deflate. If an airbag vents too early, it will not properly protect victims from the impact of the accident.
- Sensor design. Due to the dynamic nature of modern vehicle safety features, car sensors must be properly designed and used to gather information about vehicle, occupant and crash status. If sensor design is substandard or faulty, airbags will not work properly and may even endanger a vehicle’s occupants. So, it’s not just airbag defects that can cause airbag accidents and injuries, but sensor defects as well.
- Limited purpose of design. Inadequate design may result in airbags that are not effective in particular types of car accidents (like rear-end or rollover accidents). In these cases, inadequate or improper warnings/labeling and additional faulty equipment can cause serious airbag injuries and accidents.
Common Airbag Injuries
Here are just some of the most common injuries caused by airbag accidents. Airbag injuries can range from mild to severe and may include:
Abrasions and Lacerations
Fractures (such as broken arms and broken legs)
Limb loss (such as finger amputation or thumb amputation)
Hearing loss (temporary or permanent)
Loss of sight or blindness (temporary or permanent)
Thoracic or internal trauma
Neck or head injury
Spinal cord injury (SCI)
Brain injury (including traumatic brain injury, or TBI)
Free Legal Consultations with Milwaukee Airbag Accident and Injury Lawyer
If you were involved in a car accident that involved airbag injuries or an airbag accident, you may be entitled to compensation for losses due to lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering and more. For a free legal consultation to understand your airbag accident and injury case, call Milwaukee personal injury lawyer Karl Gebhard. He will act swiftly to help you protect your rights and build your case. All services are offered on a contingency basis.
For your free consultation, call today at 414-873-6550.