Determining Liability for Airbag Injuries

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Airbags save lives. However, they can also cause injuries, sometimes even fatalities. These injuries can occur in the normal course of airbag deployment, or they can occur as a result of some sort of defect or failure to properly deploy. In either event, though, it will be helpful to get the advice of legal counsel to know how to proceed. Be sure to talk to a car accident lawyer at Max Meyers Law PLLC.

What kinds of injuries can airbags cause?

Manufacturers design airbags with the sole purpose of protecting the occupants of a motor vehicle from devastating injury in the case of a car accident. When they deploy properly, even if they are working correctly, airbags can cause injuries because, in part, manufacturers designed airbags to protect the "average" car occupant who may be much taller and larger than other occupants. The “average” car occupant may be able to take the impact of an airbag, but for a smaller, lighter driver, who sits closer to the steering wheel, the force can be so powerful that it can cause injuries such as:

  • Burns or other skin abrasions from the impact
  • Reaction to the chemicals  in the bag which are released upon deployment and deflation (can cause asthma attacks)
  • Injuries to the face, chest, or other body parts on impact
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Significant eye injuries
  • Fatal injuries


Moreover, these are just the injuries that occur when the device does function properly. Airbags that fail to deploy properly can also cause tremendous harm.

Who is responsible for airbag injuries?

Depending on the facts and circumstances of the accident, there may be a number of potential liable parties.

  • The manufacturer, seller, or repairer of the vehicle may be liable if the airbag did not deploy, deployed late, or deployed at random under a theory of product liability.
  • If the airbag functioned properly and you sustained injuries from deployment, you may be able to sue the at-fault driver for damages under the theory of negligence.


If you believe your defective airbag caused your injuries, you can check if there was a recall on the airbag. If there was, you can use this to establish liability.

Proving liability in airbag-injury cases can be difficult; be sure to discuss the complex legal issues arising in a situation with airbag-related injuries with an attorney. Contact Max Meyers Law PLLC at 425-399-7000.

Max Meyers
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Max is a Kirkland personal injury attorney handling cases in Seattle, King County & surrounding in WA State.