Suing for a Head Injury Caused by an Airbag in California
Airbags are designed to save lives – but sometimes they cause an incredible amount of damage to victims in the process. Your airbag may have saved your life – but it might have also left you with a serious, life-altering head injury. You should not have to choose between surviving a car crash and suffering a traumatic brain injury. If your airbag has caused you to suffer serious head injuries, you do not need to sit back and accept a future of discomfort, memory loss, motor control issues, and a range of other side-effects. Instead, you can file a personal injury claim against the negligent parties that caused you to suffer such hardships. Doing so can provide you with the compensation you need to pay for treatment, cover missed wages, and continue with your life as best as possible in the face of serious emotional distress and trauma.
What Kind of Head Injuries Can Airbags Cause?
Airbags can cause a wide range of head injuries, and almost 50% of all airbag-related injuries affect the face and head area. Here are a few examples:
- Bag Slap Injuries: These are minor abrasions and bruises to the face and neck area. While they are considered minor, they can also cause a range of additional issues, such as scarring and chemical burns.
- Eye Injuries: Eye injuries are among the most serious head injuries related to airbags. The most severe examples include retinal detachments and orbital blowout fractures. Lens fractures are also common. One thing that has become very clear is that these injuries become exponentially worse if victims are wearing glasses at the time of the injury – presumably because this causes shards of broken glass to enter the eye area. This can potentially cause blindness. Once again, the chemical component of airbags can make eye injuries much worse.
- Hearing Damage: Hearing impairment and tinnitus have also been reported with some frequency after airbag injuries, although these issues are usually only temporary.
- Fatal Head Injuries: The worst possible head injuries caused by airbags are fatal. In some cases, people can be struck with such force that they are literally decapitated. In other situations, the brain injury is so severe that it causes bleeding, severe head injury, skull fractures, and other issues that can easily be fatal.
- Facial Trauma: Facial trauma is a blanket term used to describe a range of potential injuries to the face. This may include jaw fractures, cheek fractures, nose fractures, and much more. The face features a very complex and often delicate bone structure. Even a relatively minor knock can cause a range of issues – including disfigurement. It is also worth mentioning that the chemical components in airbags can cause additional scarring and burns.
- Temporomandibular Joint Injury: Also known simply as the “TMB,” the temporomandibular joint is associated with the jaw. An injury to this area can cause a range of issues, including the misalignment of the jaw, overbite, underbite, and so on. This may require corrective dental treatment. Other dental issues include broken or knocked-out teeth. All of these issues are both painful and incredibly expensive to fix.
- Cervical Spine Fractures: Hyperextension of the neck is another common issue caused by airbag injuries. This is often associated with sitting too close to the airbag and being within the “deployment zone” – although sometimes these injuries are truly unavoidable because the design of these airbags is negligent.
An Example of a Fatal Head Injury Caused by an Airbag
One notable example of an airbag fatality was outlined in a paper published by The British Medical Journal. The report involved a collision between two vehicles – one equipped with airbags and the other equipped only with seatbelts. The person in the vehicle without airbags walked away from the crash with nothing but a cut lip. The person in the vehicle with airbags suffered a head injury and lost consciousness. First responders arrived at the scene and immediately realized that this victim was seriously injured. She was unresponsive and later underwent advanced cardiac life support while being transported to a nearby hospital.
When she arrived, it was clear that the victim had succumbed to her injuries. Upon closer examination, the victim showed signs of bruising to the sternum and bleeding from the ears. During a postmortem, doctors discovered a large ring fracture to the skull – complete with swelling and bleeding of the brain. Based on this information, the hospital determined that the cause of death was a severe head injury. It was later suggested that she might have been sitting too far forward when the airbag deployed, and this might have caused severe, fatal injuries.
This account is important because it shows that in some situations, cars with airbags can be more dangerous than those that are without this safety feature. The occupant of the vehicle without airbags walked away with a very minor injury, while the occupant of the vehicle with airbags lost their life. This is a clear example of how airbags can cause much more damage than they prevent in some situations.
Children are Especially at Risk
It’s also worth mentioning that children are especially at risk for airbag injuries. This is because they tend to sit low in the vehicle and are more likely to lean forward into the “deployment zone.”
Where Can I Find a Qualified, Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in California?
If you have been searching for a qualified brain injury attorney in California, look no further than Mary Alexander & Associates, P.C. Over the years, we have helped numerous car crash victims – including those who have suffered head injuries due to airbags. We know that the days and weeks after a head injury can be incredibly distressing, confusing, and painful. All you need to do is call us, book a consultation, and let us determine the best legal option for your unique situation. From there, you can focus all of your energy on the healing process while we seek justice and compensation on your behalf. Reach out today to get started.