Few events are more traumatic for a person than being involved in a catastrophic car accident. When automobiles were first being invented, getting into a serious car accident was, in so few words, a death sentence. There were no seatbelts, airbags, or other safeguards to protect you in a collision. Science and technology have come a long way since the first cars were made, and vehicles today have plenty of safeguards and protection to keep people safe. One of the biggest forms of protection that motor vehicles have are airbags. Airbags act as a form of restraint during a crash to keep passengers in their seats without being thrown around a vehicle. Unfortunately, there have been accidents where airbags have done more harm than good for passengers. Airbag malfunctions can result in serious bodily harm for car accident victims. If you or a loved one have been injured by an airbag that malfunctioned, you may be entitled to damages for your injuries. Call a Miami exploding airbag lawyer at the Law Offices of Prosper Shaked.
How do Airbags Work?
According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), between 1987 and 2012, frontal airbags saved 39,976 lives. Frontal and side airbags are designed to deploy in moderate to severe crashes in order to reduce the chances that a passenger’s head or body will strike the interior of the vehicle during a collision. In 1998, frontal airbags became a mandatory feature in passenger cars. The same requirement took effect for vans in 1999.
When they function correctly, airbags act as supplemental restraints to keep passengers as stationary as possible during a moderate to severe car crash. The following is a step-by-step description of how airbags deploy during collisions:
- The air bag system’s electronic control unit sends a signal to the inflator within the air bag model.
- A chemical reaction is started by an igniter in the inflator and a harmless gas is produced.
- The gas inflates the airbag in 1/20th of a second.
Common Injuries From Airbag Explosions
When airbags malfunction, serious injuries are likely to occur. Some of the most common injuries caused by airbag explosions are:
- Broken bones
- Severe head trauma
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Facial injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Internal organ damage
- Ear and hearing injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
The force of impact during the collision and the way the air bag exploded are determinants in the types of injuries a person can suffer from when an airbag explodes. Some injuries are mild and treatable, while others are life changing and can potentially end in death. Medical expenses for air bag explosion injuries can quickly add up and can cost victims thousands of dollars. It is imperative that victims of air bag explosions consult an experienced Miami product liability attorney who can give an honest assessment of your claim for damages.
Compensation for Airbag Injury Claims
In the last few years, millions of vehicles were under recall for having defective airbags. This effected many different types of vehicles that included both foreign and domestic cars. As a result, many of these companies were forced to spend millions of dollars compensating victims of faulty airbags. There are two types of damages that a victim can collect in a product liability claim: compensatory and punitive. Compensatory damages are awarded to make the plaintiff “whole” and are divided into 2 subcategories: monetary and nonmonetary. Monetary recovery includes the following damages:
- Present and future medical expenses
- Present and future lost wages
- Household services
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Wrongful death damages
Nonmonetary damages can be more difficult to calculate but they are still recoverable in these causes of action. Nonmonetary recovery includes the following damages:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment
Punitive damages are awarded in cases where a defendant’s behavior is found to be so egregious or outrageous that it shocks the conscience or it was intentional. These damages are awarded for the purpose of making an example out of the defendant in an effort to deter people from engaging in similar acts in the future. In the State of Florida, there is a cap on the amount of punitive damages that a plaintiff can collect. A plaintiff may collect 3 times the amount of compensatory damages that were awarded or $500,000, whichever is greater.
Miami Exploding Airbag Lawyer
If you or someone you love have been injured by an airbag explosion, do not wait any longer to contact a Miami personal injury attorney. Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA provide aggressive representation to victims of airbag malfunction, and fight tirelessly so that their clients may receive just compensation for their injuries. Call the Law Offices of Prosper Shaked today at (305) 694-2676 and schedule a free and confidential consultation.