What are my legal options if I sustain airbag injuries?
If you were involved in a collision, your airbag may have saved your life or prevented a severe injury from occurring. Airbag injuries are still very common in head-on or frontal collisions. It only takes a collision at a speed of 8-14 mph to cause an airbag to deploy.
Most airbag injuries are minor. Sometimes, they can be widespread or severe. The legal team at Burns, Bryant, Cox, Rockefeller & Durkin, P.A. discusses the most common types of injuries that can occur from airbag deployment. Speak to our experienced New Hampshire car accident attorneys if you were injured in a crash.
Burns caused by airbags
According to a study published in Medscape, airbag deployment often causes irritant dermatitis. This condition is a burn to the skin that occurs when someone is exposed to sodium hydroxide (a combination of carbon dioxide and nitrogen) and abrasive powders. Irritant dermatitis causes red patches, burning, stinging and swelling of the skin. It takes minutes or hours for this condition to develop and it can last for up to four weeks.
Chemical burns can be caused by exposure to alkaline gasses and hazardous chemicals that are emitted from airbags. Minor chemical burns can cause blisters, swelling and damage to tissue beneath the skin. High-temperature gases can also cause thermal burns to the hands, arms, chest and face. The eyes and ears are especially vulnerable to burns caused by airbag deployment.
Traumatic airbag injuries
In addition to airbag burns, drivers and passengers can sustain traumatic injuries, according to the study. These often include:
- Broken bones. Children and the elderly are at risk of sustaining bone fractures to the sternum, ribs and clavicle.
- Spinal injuries. Injuries to the neck and spine can occur due to impact with an airbag.
- Respiratory complications. People who suffer from asthma are at risk of developing respiratory complications from breathing in chemicals, gases and powders emitted from airbags.
- Concussion. Impact with an airbag during a high-speed collision can result in a concussion. Symptoms can take several days to develop and include disorientation, memory loss, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, and mood changes.
- Lacerations and abrasions. The impact of airbag deployment can cause lacerations and abrasions to the hands, wrists, arms, chest or face.
See a doctor and hire an attorney promptly after your crash
An injury caused by airbag deployment may not seem like a big deal. In addition, you could have sustained broken bones or cuts from glass or contact with other car parts. What's important is that you get prompt medical attention and seek legal help from an experienced attorney.
Recovering from your injuries can be costly. The attorneys at Burns, Bryant, Cox, Rockefeller & Durkin, P.A. will fight for a fair financial settlement so you don't have to pay out-of-pocket. Our law offices are located in Dover and Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Contact us online to find out how we can help you.