Craig Rosenbaum | January 17, 2023 | Car Accidents
Airbags undoubtedly have helped save many lives since they were invented. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that airbags have saved over 50,000 lives since they were invented. For this reason, front-end airbags are standard in passenger vehicles. Many models also feature side airbags.
However, some situations interfere with how effective airbags are. There are also times when airbags themselves can injure the occupants of a vehicle involved in a crash. Below we explain the role of airbags in a collision and how they may impact your NYC car accident claim.
How Do Airbags Work?
Airbags create a cushion between vehicle occupants and hard surfaces in the vehicle in case of a collision. Airbags inflate when a sensor detects a crash. Nitrogen gas inflates the airbag, which then begins to deflate once the occupant makes contact with the airbag.
How Airbag Deployment Can Affect a Car Accident Claim
An airbag going off during a crash often indicates to car insurance companies that the accident was serious. Airbags do not go off in every accident. Certain conditions must typically be present to cause the deployment of an airbag.
Factors that can affect whether an airbag deploys or not include:
- The speed of the vehicles
- The driver’s weight
- Whether the occupants are wearing seat belts
- The direction of impact
- Whether other vehicles are involved
- The location of the crash sensors
- The airbag system’s design strategy
Other conditions may affect airbag deployment, depending on the circumstances of the collision.
If My Airbags Deployed, Is My Car Totaled?
Not necessarily. Airbag deployment is based on the severity of the accident. However, it is possible for airbags to deploy without the car being considered “totaled,” which occurs when the cost to repair a vehicle exceeds the cost to replace it with a comparable make and model.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration warns that an airbag must be replaced as soon as possible after it has been deployed.
Do Airbags Hurt?
While airbags are designed to save lives and prevent more serious injuries, airbags can hurt. CarsDirect says that airbags can be deployed at speeds between 100 and 220 mph. It also reports that damage can be significant when a person is not at least six inches away from the airbag.
Airbags can minimize possible injury to vehicle occupants. However, car accident victims may still suffer serious injuries, such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal fractures
- Internal organ damage
- Facial injuries
- Eye injuries
- Cardiac or pulmonary injuries
- Broken bones
- Musculoskeletal damage
- Soft tissue injuries
Because of the potential for such serious injuries, it is important that you promptly seek medical treatment.
Why Didn’t My Airbags Deploy?
Airbags do not always deploy during a crash. Sometimes, this is intentional because the airbag makers have determined that in certain situations, airbags may be more dangerous than protective. However, there are other times when airbags should have deployed but failed to do so.
Potential issues that can cause airbag deployment failure can include:
- The airbag sensor did not work or suffered a failure
- The airbag system did not detect an occupant in the seat
- A manufacturer’s defect in the airbag design or software caused the airbag deployment failure
An experienced NYC personal injury lawyer can review the circumstances surrounding your crash and identify all parties responsible for your injuries.
Potential Compensation in an NYC Car Accident Claim
If you were involved in a serious car accident in NYC, you may be able to recover compensation for the losses you suffered, such as:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
- Physical and mental pain and suffering
Reach out to an experienced NYC car accident lawyer to find out how much your claim may be worth.