What kinds of injuries are linked to airbags?
Airbag burns are very common during frontal collisions. It doesn't take much impact for an airbag to deploy. This often happens when the sensor at the front of the car detects a collision at speeds as low as 8-14 mph. This can lead to airbag injuries.
In many cases, burns caused by airbags are minor. Sometimes the burns and other injuries caused by airbag deployment can be serious.
How do airbags cause injuries?
Making contact with an airbag is better than slamming head-first into the steering wheel or dashboard. But that doesn't always mean that you won't sustain injuries. A study published in Medscape discussed the reasons why burns and other injuries happen when airbags deploy.
Gasses and chemicals that ignite when an airbag deploys often cause burns and lesions. Nitrogen and carbon dioxide often emit from airbags during deployment. This, then, forms sodium hydroxide, which is a highly alkaline substance that can damage the skin.
The most common injuries associated with these gasses and chemicals include:
- Irritant dermatitis — This is the most common type of injury linked to airbag deployment. Irritant dermatitis is a burn caused by the gasses and abrasive powders that are emitted from airbags. It can result in red patches, swelling, skin hemorrhages, burning, and stinging on the hands, arms, face, and chest.
- Traumatic lesions — This type of injury is often linked to airbag deployment. Traumatic lesions can include abrasions, lacerations and friction burns.
- Chemical burns — The alkaline gasses and chemicals emitted from airbags can cause chemical burns. In some cases, highly alkaline substances can penetrate the skin and cause injuries to deep tissue.
- Thermal burns — Some chemicals and gasses that cause combustion during deployment can lead to high temperature thermal burns.
- Eye and ear lesions — Highly alkaline aerosol vapors from airbags can cause serious lesions on the eyes and ears.
Other types of airbag injuries
Other injuries that can occur during airbag deployment include:
- Broken bones — Bone fractures linked to airbag deployment are mostly common in older people who suffer from osteoporosis, but can also happen to children. This usually affects the sternum, ribs and clavicle.
- Spinal injuries: It's possible that contact with an airbag can cause whiplash, or injuries to the neck and spine.
- Traumatic brain injuries: Contact with an airbag during a high-speed collision can cause a concussion or more severe traumatic brain injury. This may occur when the brain slams against the inside the of the skull due to the impact.
Why get medical attention after a crash?
An injury linked to airbag deployment may not sound like a big deal. In fact, you may not feel any pain after a crash due to the adrenaline and shock. Always see a doctor after you've been involved in a crash so you can get a full medical evaluation and diagnosis of your injuries. You may find that your injuries are more serious than you think.
Recovering from a crash-related injury can be costly. If you're worried about being able to afford medical expenses and being able to make ends meet while out of work, speak to an experienced West Palm Beach car accident attorney as soon as possible. Attorney David J. Glatthorn has more than 25 years of experience helping crash victims get the compensation they deserve. He can go over your legal options with you and help you devise an effective legal strategy to recover every dollar in damages you're entitled to.
To learn more, contact David J. Glatthorn, P.A. online and schedule your free case review.