The Airbag Didn’t Deploy


What should you do if your airbag didn’t deploy in an accident? If this happened to you and you suffered injuries, you might have a valid case against the airbag manufacturer, car manufacturer, or another liable party. 

Airbags are an important aspect of your car’s safety system and consist of stretchable fabrics packed throughout the vehicle. They’re compressed when inactive and fill up with air to provide cushioning in the event of a car accident. We’ll go over some information on how airbags may fail to work and what to do if they don’t work properly in the event of an accident.

Can You Sue for an Airbag Not Deploying? 

Airbags must activate within milliseconds of a crash in order to function as they’re meant to. When airbags deploy properly, they can ensure that the driver and passengers survive serious injuries from a crash. While they aren’t guaranteed to work, they do save thousands of lives. 

If you’ve suffered financial, emotional, or physical damages due to an airbag failing to deploy when it should have, you might be able to sue. To go through with this successfully, you’ll have to prove that the airbag didn’t work when it should have or that it’s defective. Most likely, you’ll also need to show that the airbag error either caused or worsened your injuries. 

This process may require expert testimony to show how the accident happened, why the airbag failed, and how this led to your injuries. Credible experts for this may include medical staff, survey teams, or engineers.

What Triggers Airbag Deployment?

In order for airbags to deploy when necessary, the crash sensors in the system must be working correctly. These small electronic pieces can tell when a car has been damaged due to a crash. The sensors respond to multiple sets of stimuli like a sudden stop, increased pressure, parts of the car moving due to a collision, and more.

The airbag control system in the front of the car monitors different sensors that measure seat occupant status, wheel speed, brake impact, and pressure. These sensors send signals to the control system, which can use the data to facilitate safety features like automatic door locks, seat belt lock, and airbag deployment.

When do Airbags Deploy?

The front airbag will usually go off in moderate or severe accidents within milliseconds of the impact. Can airbags deploy after an accident, or will they fail to work after the car is in a collision that doesn’t trigger them? As long as the airbag system is still properly functioning after the initial accident, it should work in case a moderate to severe crash occurs later on.

Can airbags deploy when car is not moving? If your car is off and in a parked position when a crash occurs, the airbags won’t activate. Airbags inflate with considerable force which can be dangerous. So, if a passenger isn’t wearing their seatbelt or the car is driving slowly, they may not deploy because this could lead to more serious injuries. 

What Causes Airbag Failure?

There are a few different defects that may lead to an airbag failing to deploy during a crash. The airbag module itself could cause a problem, along with defects in the manufacturing, design, or quality control testing process. Here are a couple of the most common causes for airbag deployment failure:

Defective Sensors

As mentioned, crash sensors in a vehicle can detect an impact and send signals to cause airbag deployment. But when the sensor has a defect like a design error, installation mistake, or improper calibration, it might not do its job correctly. 

Airbag sensors must register the force of impact before it can trigger the airbags. So, if you want to prove that the bags didn’t work properly, you’ll need to show that the nature of your crash should have caused them to deploy. Finding proof of this can be tricky, so consulting with a legal expert during the process is helpful.

Electrical Defects

When a car accident activates the airbag sensors, they send a signal that triggers sudden inflation. However, if the electrical components have a defect, the crash sensor’s message may not go through. This can involve damaged wiring that prevents the crash sensor signal from transmitting properly.

How do Airbags Cause Injury?

Even items that are specifically designed to protect you can malfunction. You can get hurt from an airbag because they exert a powerful force once they deploy. Airbags have led to bruises, broken noses, and other physical issues due to their explosive nature. 

If you have an object between you and the bag when it goes off, this can lead to an injury. Sitting too close to the bag when it deploys can also lead to injuries or burns. In some cases, the tethers that help the bag deploy properly fail and cause the bag to inflate too far. This can cause serious injuries in the chest, head, or face.

If You Suffered Injuries from an Airbag

If you were in an accident where the airbag deployed and you were injured from the force, the at-fault driver may be responsible for the damages. In this case, the court or insurance company would first have to find that the airbag did its job and wasn’t faulty.

Need Help with an Airbag Deployment Failure?

Airbags should protect you from injuries in a car accident, and when everything goes smoothly, they do. However, when the bag is defective, goes off at the wrong time, or injures you due to another driver causing the crash, it can be dangerous. 

In this case, you may be able to hold the other driver or the manufacturer of the vehicle or airbags accountable for your medical bills, lost wages, and more. If you’ve suffered injuries because of airbag failure or simply have questions about accident-related damages, contact our personal injury attorney today.

Call our Personal Injury team at (480) 467-4392 to discuss your case today.

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