Have you recently suffered an airbag injury in an accident in Houston? You might be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and suffering. Contact the experienced Houston airbag injury lawyers at Attorney Brian White & Associates to discuss your case and learn about your legal rights. If you have a case, we will help you fight to get every last dollar you deserve.
We offer a free case evaluation. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our Houston auto accident lawyers today.
How Do Airbags Work?
Airbags are safety devices that are designed to inflate when a car is involved in a traffic accident. Today, many cars have front airbags in the dashboard and steering wheel, as well as side-impact airbags in the vehicle’s door. Some vehicles even have airbags in the seats themselves.
The airbag is made of thin nylon. It’s folded neatly and doesn’t take up much space. It’s attached to a crash sensor. This sensor contains an accelerometer that’s built into a microchip. Basically, the accelerometer sends a signal to the sensor when it detects a force of impact roughly equal to running into a brick wall at 10 or 15 MPH.
The sensor activates the airbag inflation process. The process involves an ignitor and a propellant. The propellant burns rapidly to create a large volume of nitrogen gas, which fills the bag. The bag expands rapidly (up to 200 MPH) and extends outward into the vehicle. Moments later, the airbag deflates as the gas leaves through incredibly small holes. You might notice a powder on the bag and in the car after this occurs. Most times, it’s talc powder or cornstarch.
All of this happens incredibly fast – it only takes one-twenty-fifth of a second.
How Do Airbags Cause Injuries?
Airbags are incredibly important safety devices. They save lives and protect vehicle occupants from sustaining catastrophic injuries. However, airbags can also do quite a bit of damage. That’s not surprising, given the fact that a large nylon bag fills with gas and explodes out of a compartment at upwards of 200 MPH. The force of that deployment can – and do – cause injuries.
Keep in mind that certain people are more susceptible to airbag injuries than others. Risk factors for airbag injuries include:
Elderly Passengers: The elderly are more likely to suffer injuries due to airbags when sitting in the front seat. Older passengers are more likely to suffer from underlying health conditions and have prior injuries. At the same time, as we age, our muscles become weaker and our bones more susceptible to breaking.
Child Passengers: Airbags are designed to protect adults. That’s why it’s normally recommended that kids under the age of 13 always sit in the backseat. When an airbag deploys and a child is in the front passenger seat, they’re more likely than adults to suffocate, sustain face and head injuries, and die. It’s simply due to the fact that children are smaller and still developing.
Location in the Vehicle: Where you sit in the car influences the likelihood of sustaining an airbag injury. Studies show that front-seat passengers get hurt because of airbags most often. They’re followed by drivers and then rear-seat occupants, respectively.
Type of Collision: There are many different types of car accidents. Frontal impact, side-impact, and rollover crashes are associated with the highest number of airbag injuries. This is likely due to the fact that these tend to be the most violent crashes. The more aggressive and destructive an accident, the greater the chance of injury.
Airbag Failure: Sometimes airbags fail to deploy. When this happens, occupants aren’t cushioned and restrained. As a result, they can be susceptible to the injuries that airbags are specifically designed to prevent.
Airbags can also be problematic when the devices themselves are defective. If you own a car, you might have received a notice about an airbag recall. That’s because Takata airbags, in particular, have been known to spontaneously explode. This can cause shrapnel and debris to expel into the vehicle cabin, resulting in serious burns, eye injuries, and puncture wounds. When defective airbags cause injuries, it’s important to discuss a product liability lawsuit with a lawyer. The manufacturer could be liable.
We Handle All Airbag Injury Cases
At Brian White & Associates, our attorneys have been advocating on behalf of car accident victims in Houston for decades. With more than 45 years of combined experience, we’ve seen just how devastating a crash can be. We’ve also witnessed what a tremendous impact a financial settlement or jury award can have. Many times, a substantial recovery can make a difference in a crash victim’s life for years to come.
That’s why we are prepared to do whatever we can to help you recover the compensation you need and deserve for your airbag injuries. We represent clients who have sustained airbag trauma including:
- Chest injury, including broken ribs and internal organ damage
- Eye and face injuries
- Head injury
- Brain injury
- Neck injury
- Back injury
- Spinal cord damage
- Wrongful death, and more.
Our firm is always here to take your call. So, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today to set up a free consultation. If you can’t make it into our law office in Houston, we’ll come to you. Home, work, and hospital visits can be arranged at a time that’s convenient for you.
Who’s Responsible For the Costs of My Airbag Injury After a Wreck?
Following a motor vehicle accident in Texas, anyone who played a role in causing the collision can be financially liable for the consequences. In other words, anyone who was negligent or strictly liable under the law can be on the hook for your injuries and damages. This might include:
- The driver of your vehicle
- Drivers of other passenger cars on the road
- Truck drivers
- Trucking companies
- Lyft drivers
- Uber drivers
- Employers of at-fault parties
- Government agencies responsible for road design or maintenance, or
There’s incredible value in knowing precisely why an accident or injury occurred. That’s the key to determining who is financially responsible for the consequences. The legal team at Brian White & Associates will leave no stone unturned as we investigate your airbag injury case. When we know who’s to blame, we can fight to hold them accountable.
What Damages Can I Get If I’ve Suffered an Airbag Injury?
Whether the driver of your car or another party is to blame, you could be entitled to compensation for your airbag injuries. This could include money for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Medical bills
- Lost wages and income
- Disability, and
- Reduced earning capacity.
These damages will likely be contested. So, it’s important to make sure that you have facts and evidence to support your claim. Brian White & Associates won’t hesitate to enlist the help of experts – including medical doctors, therapists, vocational rehabilitation specialists, accident reconstructionists, and engineers – as we investigate and value your case. With their help, we can prepare a strong and dynamic argument with a solid foundation. That’s the best way to make sure that you have the best opportunity to secure all of the compensation you deserve.
Not Wearing a Seatbelt Can Make Airbag Injuries Worse
It’s important to note that while most people wear seatbelts in the car, not everyone does. Some people believe that airbags will keep them safe in an accident. However, that’s not necessarily true. In fact, not wearing a seatbelt can make you more vulnerable to serious and deadly airbag injuries.
To make matters worse, not wearing a seatbelt can hurt your ability to get compensation, or even prohibit a recovery altogether. That’s because (a) Texas has modified comparative negligence rules and (b) you have a duty to mitigate your injuries. Not wearing a seatbelt is negligent. It’s also a failure to keep yourself safe and mitigate harm. So, if you’re hurt in an accident and any degree of fault is apportioned to you, your damages will be reduced. If you share most of the blame, you won’t be able to recover any damages.
You’ll Have a Limited Time to File an Airbag Injury Lawsuit in Texas
Texas limits the amount of time you will have to assert your rights and file a lawsuit against a negligent party. The statute of limitations for most car accident cases is two years. If you don’t file your civil claim on time, you’ll lose the right to recover the compensation you need and deserve.
Schedule a Call With Our Houston Airbag Injury Lawyers
Were you recently injured by the airbags in a car in Houston, Texas? If the airbags were defective or if someone else is responsible for the crash, you could be entitled to compensation. Contact Brian White & Associates to discuss your legal rights and the options for recovery that might be available to you.
Our lawyers offer a free initial case evaluation. Give our law office a call today or connect with us online to schedule yours today.