Airbags can be Dangerous to Children
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer. Many years ago, the fatality rates in car accidents were significantly different than they are today. Now, cars are filled with airbags and most people wouldn’t think about purchasing a car that didn’t have multiple airbags in various locations to ensure that everyone in the vehicle is protected. On the other hand, airbags can also be dangerous due to the materials that they contain and the rate at which they fill with air in the event of an accident. Airbags are particularly dangerous for children and can cause significant injuries.
Airbags can Cause Injuries
Few people think about the airbag in their car before it actually deploys in the event of an accident. This is a safety feature that everyone relies upon to keep them safe yet, sometimes, the airbags can do just the opposite. For example, a significant product liability case is going on involving the Takata company and an airbag recall. Because airbags must deploy at such high speeds, people are prone to suffering injuries at the hands of these safety devices. For example, some of the traumatic injuries and bone fractures that people might suffer include:
Facial Fractures: If someone is involved in a head-on collision, their face could impact the airbag as it inflates at high speed. Even though their face is saved from striking the dashboard or steering wheel, they could still suffer facial fractures.
Mandible Fracture: Depending on the height of the individual and the level of the airbag, the individual’s mouth could strike the airbag as well. When this happens, their jaw could be separated from their maxilla, leading to a mandible fracture that could require numerous weeks to heal properly.
Orbital Fractures: It is possible for someone to break their eye socket when their face strikes the airbag. This could lead to significant comorbidities, such as blindness in one or both eyes, if the retina is damaged in the accident.
While these are significant injuries that anyone can suffer, the risks skyrocket when the patient is a child. If a child is involved in an accident and collides with an airbag, the result can be a catastrophic personal injury. If this happens, contact Ed Smith, an experienced Sacramento car accident lawyer for free, friendly advice.
An Atlanto-Occipital Dislocation in Children
Among the possible injuries that someone can suffer, this is one of the most severe. Also called orthopedic decapitation, this injury separates the spinal column from the base of the skull. While it is possible for someone to survive this gruesome injury, only about a third of people suffering this dislocation will live. Unfortunately, there is a limited amount of literature regarding this injury because so few people survive. In this injury, the ligaments that connect the occiput (the base of the skull) to the first cervical vertebrae (C1, called the atlas) are disrupted. When this happens, the spinal column detaches from the skull, leading to serious injuries and, usually, death. While this injury is typically suspected from the clinical history, it is later confirmed using imaging scans. The most common mechanism of injury is a motor vehicle accident, highlighted in a recent research publication. The researchers looked at the limited literature on this injury and realized that the injury was more likely to occur in children. Because of the larger size of their heads and the orientation of their vertebrae relative to their heads, they are at a significantly higher risk of suffering this dislocation. If they sit in the front seat where they could be impacted by an airbag, this shortens the distance between the children and the point of impact with the airbag. This is what leads to an atlanto-occipital dislocation in children.
Watch Youtube Video – Occipitocervical Dislocation – Everything You Need To Know – Dr. Nabil Ebraheim:
Airbags and the Significance of the Study
This study highlights several important points that everyone should remember. The first is that kids should be seated in the back seat of their vehicle until they are fully grown. Kids should follow the recommendations of their pediatrician and remain in a car seat or booster seat until they are old enough to use an adult seat belt properly. The shoulder strap should be over their shoulder, not their neck, in order to both protect the child from harm and prevent a serious neck injury. In addition, kids should also sit in the back seat of their vehicle until at their adult height because of the risks of an airbag injury. Because kids are lower in the seat when compared to their parents, the airbag has a higher chance of striking their face at an acute angle. This increases the risk of injury can lead to serious damage, such as in the example highlighted in this case. Finally, everyone should remember that not every airbag will work properly. It is the responsibility of the company to make sure that their safety devices, including airbags, function as they are supposed to. When they fall short of these expectations, they should be held accountable. This is where a lawyer can help fight for justice on behalf of the person injured in the accident.
Contact an Experienced Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer. If you’ve suffered a serious injury in a car accident, please call me for some free, friendly and compassionate legal advice at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. The call is free and I take cases on a contingency basis. You pay nothing up front. I get paid at the end of your case and only if you win.
I have been invited to join the Million Dollar Advocates Forum of California state. Numerous lists of some of the country’s top attorneys have included members of our forum. The trial lawyers who are involved in our group have both won verdicts and earned settlements of more than $1 Million Dollars.
Please pause for a moment to review my earlier verdicts and settlements here.
Image Source: This image was released into the public domain by its original author and was originally found on Wikimedia Commons
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