Personal Injury Lawyers Serving Clients Injured By Defective Air Bags in Columbia, Clinton, Myrtle Beach, and North Charleston

For many South Carolina residents who follow the news and stay up-to-date on product recalls, the risk of getting seriously injured from air bags is a very real concern.

For instance, a recent article in The Post and Courier reminded readers about a former pharmacist in the Charleston area who was seriously injured by defective air bags in a car accident. The accident and injury involved a Ford vehicle in which the air bag deployed late. To be sure, the “black box” from the automobile proved that the air bag did not properly deploy on time, and as a result the injury victim was able to “move dangerously close to the steering wheel at the time it deployed.” As a result of the defective air bag, the victim suffered severe and permanent injuries to the face, and he ultimately took his own life following several surgeries. Court documents in his wife’s wrongful death case explained that the victim “felt like he looked like a monster and was very self-conscious about his disfigurement as a result of the accident.”

Just a little over a year ago, an article in The State also reminded South Carolinians about the continued hazards of defective air bags. That article cited a car accident in which a 21-year-old woman from South Carolina sustained serious injuries from flying shrapnel after the airbag in her Honda Civic exploded. That case was the first in a long line of injuries caused by Takata Corp. air bags in South Carolina, and it emphasizes that drivers in Charleston, Columbia, and surrounding areas can be at risk of serious injuries from defective auto parts.

Defective air bags can result in many different causes of air bag injuries, since defects can show themselves in many different ways. What are the main causes of air bag injuries in South Carolina?

Main Causes of Air Bag Injuries in Charleston, Columbia, Myrtle Beach, and Clinton

Whether you are driving at slow speeds on neighborhood roads in Columbia or are traveling at higher speeds along the I-26 around Charleston, you should be able to expect that the air bags in your automobile will work properly in the event that you are involved in a traffic collision. However, air bags do not always work as they are supposed to. According to a peer-reviewed article in the Emergency Medicine Journal, air bags can be defective in a number of different ways, including but not limited to:

  • Defective deceleration sensors that fail to trigger an air bag in time (delayed air bag response);
  • Defective deceleration sensors that trigger an air bag too soon (air bag deploys when there is no immediate risk of harm in an auto accident);
  • Defective air bag inflation, involving the air bag inflating too much and causing serious injuries to the face and upper body, or not inflating sufficiently and thus failing to prevent harm from the collision;
  • Defective inflating zone, meaning that the air bag improperly targeted the occupant; and/or
  • Defective air bags that can explode, as evidenced by the recent and massive Takata air bag recall.

You should also keep in mind that you can sustain injuries from an air bag that has no defects, given the strength of these safety devices, when you are involved in a car accident in South Carolina. In such a case, you may be able to file a claim against the negligent party who caused the crash.

Common Types of Air Bag Injuries in South Carolina

Were you involved in a car accident while looking for a parking space in Myrtle Beach that resulted in air bag injuries? Or, perhaps, were you harmed by shrapnel expelled by an exploding Takata air bag while driving to work along I-77 around Columbia? Regardless of where your accident occurred, you likely experienced serious injuries from the defective air bags in your vehicle. According to an article in Medscape, common air bag injuries in South Carolina include but are not limited to:

  • Traumatic brain injuries and other injuries to the head and neck;
  • Cardiac injuries, including aortic transection, cardiac contusions, and atrial ruptures;
  • Blindness;
  • Deafness;
  • Spinal cord injuries;
  • Amputations and other disfiguring injuries to the body;
  • Lacerations, bone fractures, and other disfiguring injuries to the face;
  • Permanent scarring;
  • Broken bones;
  • Burns; and
  • Severe bruising.

The article emphasizes that “sitting closer than 10 inches to where an airbag would deploy can cause greater injury,” and if there is a young person or a small person in the front passenger seat, it may make sense to turn off the passenger air bag in order to prevent the risk of serious injury.

Contact an Experienced Products Liability Lawyer in South Carolina

Whether you sustained serious injuries resulting in disfigurement or lost a loved one to fatal injuries caused by a defective air bag, you should consider filing a claim for financial compensation. Air bags are designed to prevent serious accidents and injuries in car accidents, but when they are defective, they can lead to severe and sometimes deadly harms. An experienced South Carolina products liability attorney can assist with your case today. Contact the Joye Law Firm for more information about getting started on your claim.

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

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