7 Common Car Accident Airbag Injuries 

Airbags serve a vital safety purpose and have saved countless lives since their invention. However, there’s also a risk that you could sustain some injuries from them during an accident, such as facial and abdominal injuries. But can an airbag kill you?

While fatal injuries are not common airbag injuries, people have died from complications before, though the cause tends to be defective airbags or the failure to wear a seatbelt. In some situations, you might have a claim against the vehicle or airbag manufacturer.

If you have questions about airbag injuries or who is liable for your damages, please speak with an Ohio car accident lawyer at Bensinger Legal Services for a personalized consultation—simply call (419) 455-1410 or fill out the online form to schedule your free session.

In the meantime, here’s a look at seven of the most common airbag injuries. 

1. Facial Injuries

One of the most common scenarios involves facial injuries. Sudden deployment can cause airbag injuries to the face. Examples include lacerations, abrasions, and even facial fractures. Common signs and symptoms of airbag deployment injuries include redness, bruising, swelling, and facial abrasions. In severe cases, you may experience more serious conditions like orbital fractures or retinal damage. In rare instances, you might experience temporary or permanent blindness. 

If you were hit in the face by an airbag, seeking immediate medical attention is crucial—especially if you have any visible injuries or facial discomfort after the accident. 

2. Chest Injuries

Chest injuries are another common result of airbag deployment, especially if you sit close to the steering wheel. The force exerted by the airbag can cause bruising and internal injuries. Airbags can break bones, too, such as rib fractures. 

Symptoms to watch for include tenderness or pain in the chest and difficulty breathing. If you have any of these symptoms, especially when accompanied by pain during coughing or deep breathing, seek medical treatment immediately. 

3. Neck and Spinal Injuries

The rapid inflation of an airbag can cause significant neck and spine injuries, including whiplash. Whiplash is a common injury in car accidents, especially rear-end accidents. It occurs when accident forces cause your neck to jerk back and forth. This jerking motion results in soft tissue damage. In some instances, this type of airbag injury can be more severe, involving a spinal fracture or other spinal trauma. 

Symptoms can range from headaches, neck pain, and stiffness to more severe concerns, such as paralysis. These injuries can have long-lasting effects, requiring ongoing medical treatment and therapy. Get a thorough medical evaluation if you experience neck or back pain, stiffness, or dizziness following an accident​​​​.

4. Soft Tissue Injuries

Airbags can also cause soft tissue injuries affecting tendons, muscles, and ligaments. The force from the airbag deployment can strain or cause a tear in these tissues, leading to pain and a reduced range of motion. 

Symptoms of soft tissue injuries include bruising, tenderness, and swelling in the affected areas. Be mindful of any changes or discomfort post-accident. Not all soft tissue injuries manifest right away. It can sometimes take days or even weeks before you experience significant symptoms. 

5. Traumatic Brain Injuries

Airbags should protect your head during an accident. However, there is still a risk of concussion or other types of brain injury. A violent jolt or impact can cause your head to strike other vehicle parts. This motion can lead to potential head trauma. Symptoms of traumatic brain injuries will vary depending on severity. They can include dizziness, confusion, persistent headaches, and, in some cases, changes in vision or behavior. Early detection and medical treatment are crucial for any head injury. 

6. Internal Injuries

Internal injuries can happen when the airbag exerts extreme pressure on the abdomen. Examples of internal injuries include lacerations to organs like the lungs, liver, heart, or spleen. Internal bruising or bleeding may be present. 

Signs of internal injuries are often severe, including vomiting, abdominal pain, or a rigid abdomen. Symptoms indicative of early shock may also be present. Internal injuries can be life-threatening, which is why it’s crucial to seek medical treatment right away. 

7. Burn Injuries

The chemicals released and the speed at which an airbag deploys can cause abrasions or burns, particularly on the face and arms. Although they are typically less severe than other burns, they can still be very painful and require medical evaluation. Watch for swelling, redness, or other signs of skin irritation following an accident with airbag deployment. Make an appointment with a medical provider if you notice any symptoms. 

Contact an Ohio Airbag Injury Lawyer 

If you suffered injuries due to airbag deployment, you could have several avenues for recovery, especially if there’s a chance of airbag malfunction or defect. Whether or not you have a claim for a defective airbag, it’s crucial to seek timely medical treatment for your injuries.

Follow all advice from your medical provider and then contact a skilled Ohio airbag injury lawyer. Attorney Aaron Bensinger has years of experience helping victims recover compensation after suffering these common airbag injuries. 

Please get in touch with our office today to schedule a consultation or call us at (419) 455-1410. Let us review your case and help you identify all liable parties. 

Author Photo Aaron L. Bensinger

Aaron L. Bensinger is an Ohio attorney serving personal injury and civil litigation clients. He has extensive trial experience and makes client service is his primary focus. As a partner at Balyeat, Leahy, Daley, Miller & Bensinger, LLC, Aaron happily works in Lima, OH, and serves the entire Northwest region of the state and beyond.

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