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How much compensation can I claim for an airbag injury?

By Daniel Archer. Last Updated 31st May 2022. The use of airbags are recommended by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents to be used alongside seatbelts as an effective secondary safety measure for the protection of drivers and their passengers. However, although airbags can reduce the chances of serious injury, they can potentially be the cause of injuries sometimes as well.

If you have suffered such an injury, you may be able to launch an airbag injuries claim for the side effects of airbag deployment that you have suffered. This could be possible even if the airbag may have prevented you from suffering more severe injuries. Please read on for more information on airbag injury claims.

If you have any queries about claiming for airbag injuries, then you’re welcome to contact our advisors for help. If our advisors find you have grounds to start a claim for airbag injuries, such as airbag burns or airbag skin irritation, then they may even be able to connect you with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors. To contact us, you can use our online contact page or our live chat service which is available 24/7. Or you can call us instead on 0800 073 8804

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A guide to accident claims for airbag injury claims

Although airbags are installed in vehicles to help save lives and prevent serious injuries, there are risks of injuries being sustained due to the deployment of the airbag.

If you have had an accident that has resulted in you suffering from airbag injuries to arms or perhaps airbag injuries to the sternum or any other airbag-related injury, you may have incurred financial losses due to extra expenses such as medical bills, or due to income or benefit loss, in which case you might want to claim for airbag injury compensation. This guide will help you to gain lots of information about how to start airbag injury claims, what it involves, eligibility and much more. Carry on reading for more answers to your questions and feel free to contact us to discuss your case if you are still uncertain about making an airbag injury compensation.

What is an airbag injury?

All modern vehicles are fitted with airbags as a mandatory safety feature. Airbags are there to protect car drivers and passengers from serious injury in the event of a collision, i.e being thrown through the windscreen or impaled on the shaft. These were common injuries, usually fatal, before the introduction of mandatory airbags. In order to prevent someone from being badly injured in a collision, airbags are designed to deploy in the blink of an eye when triggered by the force of an impact. The speed of an airbag inflating also allows it to counter the forward momentum of the person being thrown by a collision.

Contrary to popular assumptions, airbags are not intended to prevent the occupant from suffering any injuries, nor are they designed to provide as soft a landing as they appear. They restrain the occupant and prevent them from suffering worse injuries than they would otherwise. There is no intention of a guarantee of preventing all injuries. Older models of airbags, in particular, are known to inflict injuries.

Airbag injury claims

Airbag injury claims

Nevertheless, car manufacturers can be held accountable for injuries stemming from airbags that should not have occurred. If your injury was caused by a faulty airbag you could be entitled to make a compensation claim. If you are wondering whether or not your injury could be classed as grounds for a claim, please contact us and speak to our team of expert legal advisors today.

What to do if you are involved in an accident causing an airbag injury

When involved in an accident resulting from injury, there are a number of things you should do that can help you if and when you decide to claim for compensation. Gaining as much evidence as you can if it was not your fault will help to strengthen your case. Things you should try to do are:

  • Photos – If you can, take photos of the scene of the accident, vehicle positioning, damage caused etc. Also, take photos of your injuries to give visual proof of your suffering.
  • Medical Report – Have your injuries checked by a doctor. For health reasons, this should automatically be the obvious thing to do, but also, by doing so, a medical report will be made and this will be used to help determine the amount of compensation owed to you.
  • Witnesses – Obtain any witnesses details so that they may be contacted to make a statement. Witness statements are really good for strengthening your case.
  • Proof of Expenses – Keep a record and the receipts of any extra costs incurred as a direct result of your injuries such as prescription fees, counselling costs etc. These will be included in your claim.
  • Write everything down – Write everything down about the accident that you can remember including the time running up to when it occurred.

How to begin an airbag injury claim

Making a compensation claim can often be a lengthy process that is full of complications. Unless you are personally experienced in this field, to have the best chance of a successful claim, it is a good idea to seek legal help or even better, to instruct an experienced legal team to take control of your airbag injury claim. We are a legal firm that have years of experience in personal injury claims with a brilliant track record of getting our clients the payout amount that they deserve and would be happy to help you to get the airbag injury compensation amount you are entitled to.

All you would need to do to get the ball rolling is to ring us on 0800 073 8804. When we receive your call, we will offer you a free consultation. During this consultation, you can ask as many questions as you need to regarding your claim and we will also use the session to gather all the information from you that we can to determine the facts of your case.

When you are ready, we will launch your airbag lawsuit for you to begin the process of claiming the compensation you deserve. You’ll be pleased to know that all of our specialist solicitors work on a No Win No Fee basis so there is no financial outlay for you to worry about. Sometimes a local medical needs to be arranged. We would arrange this for you at a local clinic that is convenient to you but don’t worry, there is no cost involved for you to have this done. We can discuss this in more detail during your free consultation if you have any questions regarding this.

What can be claimed for after an accident causing an airbag injury?

There are a number of items that should be considered and included when making your airbag injury claims, such as:

  • General Damages – The pain and suffering you have experienced will be reflected in the amount of compensation that you receive.
  • Care Claim – If you have had to have assistance around the house while you recover, the person who has cared for you can file a claim.
  • Medical Expenses – Any extra costs that you have incurred as a direct result of your accident such as prescription fees, counselling costs, private medical care etc, can be included in your claim.
  • Loss of Earnings – If your airbag injuries, such as injury to hands or perhaps airbag injury chest pain and so on, have prevented you from working, then you should include loss of income and future loss of potential income in your claim.
  • Travel Expenses – If you have had to pay for extra travel expenses or for any vehicle adaptions due to the injuries you have sustained, then you can claim for these too.

How does an airbag work?

Airbags are actually designed to deploy on the second impact in an accident and are based on a frontal collision of the vehicle. The airbag is fitted within the steering wheel or front dashboard and looks like a deflated balloon. When a collision occurs, it inflates at tremendous speed and under high pressure to protect the driver or passenger from colliding with the interior of the car.

When the vehicle is in a collision, there is a deceleration sensor that makes a small charge. This charge makes a temperature change which goes from normal to 700 o/c and back in 0.1 seconds. When this happens, the airbag is deployed in a fraction of a second. Immediately after the airbag has inflated, it then deflates via vents within the material that permit it to do so. The deceleration sensor needs to be set accurately because if set too high, the airbag may not be deployed if in a lower energy crash when it should’ve been. Also, if set too low, minor shunts could set the airbag off when it wasn’t really needed.

The timing of the deployment of the airbag also needs to be correct. If it is too late, the driver/passenger may already be in the ‘inflation zone’ when it deploys which would increase the risk of a serious injury from the airbag. Also, if the airbag deploys too soon, due to the immediate deflation after deployment, the airbag may already be defeated by the time the occupant hits into the steering wheel or dashboard, rendering it useless and therefore serious injuries could result from this.

The most common types of airbag injuries

There are so many different body parts exposed to airbags that the injuries sustained can vary a great deal. The difference in the types of designs of airbags available can also have an impact on the type or severity of injuries a victim can have. Some of the reasons that commonly cause people to get an airbag injury are the speed at which the airbag is released, the materials used in the airbags and also whether or not a seatbelt was being used as well.

Some of the injuries due to the airbag that can occur are:

  • Bruises to the upper extremities, face, chest, knees and contusion to the internal organs.
  • Grazes to the face, upper extremities and chest.
  • The cervical spine may suffer from fracture, blunt trauma or sprain.
  • Burns on the hands, upper extremities or chest.
  • The skull or rib cage can be fractured.
  • A fracture or break can occur to the wrists, face or upper extremities.
  • Swelling or bruising injuries of the brain.
  • Concussion injuries or loss of consciousness.
  • Tears to the spleen or liver.
  • Tears to the brain stem, lungs, heart, arteries or veins.
  • The heart muscle can rupture inside.
  • Traumatic brain injury or compression of the brain.
  • Trauma to the ear or hearing loss may occur
  • Eye injuries such as retinal tears, corneal abrasions and globe rupturing and conjunctivitis can occur.
  • A pregnant lady’s fetus may suffer from trauma or the placenta could be punctured.
    Bleeding internally.
  • The throat may have irritation, coughing or asthma attack may happen.
  • Fingers may be sprained and trauma to the wrists.
  • Airbag dermatitis may appear which is an irritation of the skin.

Some of these injuries can be very serious and even lead to a disability of some kind, ongoing chronic health issues, or potentially premature death. Unfortunately, accidents can’t always be avoided but precautions can be taken such as driving with defensive driving skills and taking note of the things you can do to lessen or avoid injury if ever an airbag is deployed.

Assessing the severity of an airbag injury

The severity of an airbag injury and the potential ongoing effect it may have on the life of the claimant in the future is often difficult to assess.

It is best for the claimant to have a medical examination so that the injury can be assessed thoroughly and any treatment that may be necessary can be decided upon and recommended.
The medical examination is just a simple and quick routine check over that does not cost the claimant anything and is held at a local medical centre that is convenient for the claimant.

Compensation Payouts For Airbag Injuries

Compensation can be made up of various figures. Because of this, different aspects of your claim need to be individually assessed by the legal professionals responsible for valuing your claim.

For instance, you could potentially receive special damages, which reimburse you for certain costs and losses of a financial nature associated with your injuries. You must have evidence of the loss and be able to prove that the expenses occurred only due to your injuries. For instance, you could provide a prescription slip if you have had to pay for medication to aid in your recovery.

The matter of general damages is different. This is the figure that’s awarded to you for the level of pain and suffering you experience due to your injuries. When legal professionals are arriving at an appropriate value for this figure, they use a few different resources. One of these is the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) which contains a list of bracket compensation amounts relating to different injuries. This publication was last updated in April 2022.

General damages may also be evaluated using any relevant evidence you have gathered for your case. This may include medical reports or pictures of your airbag injuries. Generally, the more serious your injuries are, the higher the compensation you may receive for the pain and suffering experienced. For example, if you suffered severe airbag burns, that were permanently disfiguring or disabling in some way, you may receive more compensation than for minor injuries such as a minor scratch or bruise that heals fully.

We’ve included some excerpts in the table below. This way, you can see some of the example figures for different injuries. However, these figures are not guaranteed for your claim.

Le Fort fractures of facial bones£23,810 to £36,740
Multiple fractures of facial bones£14,900 to £23,950
Fractures of nose or nasal complex£1,710 to £23,130
Fractures of cheekbones£2,990 to £15,780
Fracture of Jawbones£8,730 to £45,540
Loss of several front teeth£8,730 to £11,410
Loss of back teeth (per tooth)£1,090 to £1,710

No Win No Fee airbag injury claims

No Win No Fee quite simply means that there are no legal fees to pay unless your claim is successful. All of our solicitors work on this basis. If your case is a success, we would take a small percentage of the compensation amount.

This way there is no financial outlay for you at all. If the airbag accident claim is unsuccessful, however, we swallow the costs of our legal fees and you don’t have to pay a thing. For people who have cost concerns, this is ideal as it takes away the worry of not being able to pay the legal bills, a bit different to if you were to employ the services of a solicitor who is paid by the hour regardless of the outcome of your case. With our No Win No Fee approach there are no risks for you and you can only gain from our service.

Why choose us as your claims service for an airbag injury claim?

If you want a professional service that will strive to get you the maximum compensation payout you are entitled to, then look no further than us.

We are a team of highly experienced personal injury claims solicitors that have years and years of experience and have a fantastic track record of successful claims. We really work hard to get the best result for our clients that we possibly can.

We work quickly and efficiently to make the claiming process run as smooth as we can for you so that you can concentrate on your recovery and not have to worry. We are a caring and compassionate team that understand you are suffering and will work on your behalf to the best of our ability to get the compensation amount that you deserve.

Call for free advice on claiming for airbag injuries

Have you have been involved in an accident that caused an airbag injury and want to make a claim? You can seek legal advice from us by calling 0800 073 8804. Or you can contact Legal Expert online through our contact page or our 24/7 live chat service. Our professional team will then help you in any way that they can.

We will answer any questions you have regarding making airbag injury claims as accurately as possible and we will also go through the claiming process with you so that you are fully aware of what is involved.

We are a friendly and professional team and you can rest assure that your recovery and compensation claim will be our main priority.

Useful links related to airbag injuries

In this final section of our airbag injury guide, we’ve included some links to resources which you may find useful:

Government safety guidance on airbags

This link leads to government recommendations on staying safe when in a vehicle fitted with airbags.

ROSPA airbag facts

This Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents factsheet has information about airbags such as why they are used, how they work, reasons as to how and why injuries from an airbag deployment may occur and how to lower the risks.

Legal Expert guide to car accident compensation

This link takes you to another of our guides about car accident claims that may be of use to you.

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