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You can be injured by your airbag

Airbags are life savers, to be sure. Thousands of lives are saved every year because of airbags. However, they have been known to malfunction, causing serious and even fatal injuries to drivers and others in a vehicle.

The Takata airbag recall received a lot of notoriety because there were instances of their airbags exploding -- sending pieces of metal into occupants.

To understand how airbags can cause such serious injuries, it's necessary to know how they work. If the vehicle's speed at an impact it high enough, the airbag mechanism is triggered. A chemical reaction causes the airbag to fill with gas in just milliseconds. Once it inflates to protect the occupant has he or she jolts forward because of the impact of the crash, it then begins to deflate.

Aside from the flying shrapnel incidents that have occurred because of defective airbags, there are other types of malfunctions that can cause injury. These include:

-- Failure to deflate-- Malfunctioning sensors that cause them to inflate when the shouldn't or to inflate too late in a crash-- Exposure to chemicals in the airbag

If you're injured in a crash, there are a lot of things to sort out. Of course, the at-fault driver bears responsibility. However, if you suffered further injuries because your airbag didn't operate properly, the automaker and/or the airbag manufacturer may be liable as well. An experienced Tennessee personal injury attorney can advise you of your legal options so that you can seek the compensation that you need for medical care, physical therapy and other treatment that you need to recover from your injuries.

Source: FindLaw, "Car Accident Airbag Injuries," accessed March 17, 2017

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