Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers - 450 7th Ave Suite 1605, New York, NY 10123 - Personal Injury Lawyers in NYC

New York’s personal injury law firm

Click For Your Free Consulation

The Effects of Airbag Deployment in Your New York City Car Accident Claim

Posted in Car Accidents on April 28, 2023

The Effects of Airbag Deployment in Your New York City Car Accident Claim

Airbags save lives. This is the message the statistics published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proclaim repeatedly. More than 50,000 people have been saved by airbags as of 2017, according to NHTSA and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

However, airbag deployment does more than make it more likely you will survive a crash. Whether your airbags go off in an accident can impact how an insurance company will approach your claim and the amount you will be offered to settle your case.

Causes of Airbag Deployments

When they work correctly, airbags only deploy when certain parameters are met.

Airbags will not deploy in every crash; instead, whether your airbag will inflate will depend on factors such as:

  • Whether you are hit head-on, from the side, or rear-ended
  • How fast you are traveling at the time of impact
  • Where your car’s crash sensors are located
  • The tolerances programmed into your car by the manufacturer

In a typical crash, your car’s sensors detect the force of the impact by measuring the speed with which your car decelerates. When this exceeds the limits set by the manufacturer, the airbag will deploy. The factors mentioned above impact how accurately your car’s sensors are able to measure this deceleration.

How Insurance Companies View Airbag Deployments

Because airbags do not go off every time you are involved in a wreck, many insurers will look at whether your airbags deployed to gauge the severity of the crash and your injuries. When your airbags inflate, the insurance companies are more likely to view the crash as a serious matter and compensate you for your injuries.

In addition, insurers are well aware of the potential injuries airbags can cause, especially to unrestrained vehicle occupants.

Thus, if your claim involves compensation for the following injuries and your airbags went off, insurers are more likely to approve claims for:

  • Whiplash, concussion, and neck injuries
  • Injuries to your face and head
  • Cuts to exposed skin, such as on your face, neck, hands, and arms
  • Bruising and injuries to internal organs

The converse is also true; insurers tend to be more skeptical of your injury claims if your airbags do not inflate in a crash. In the case of a serious wreck, the insurer may need considerably more evidence to support your claim if your airbag was defective and did not deploy.

What to Do if Your Airbag Did Not Inflate Properly

There are several reasons that could explain why your airbag did not inflate properly in a crash. A sensor malfunction could lead to the airbag not deploying, as could an airbag defect in the inflation mechanism itself. Whatever the reason, it is important that you and your attorney uncover it.

For any crash, try to record the details in a journal or other written form as soon as you can after the wreck. Include information about the approximate speed you were traveling and where the other vehicle hit your car.

Combined with other evidence and, in some cases, an accident reconstruction, you and your lawyer can often discover why your airbags did not deploy as expected.

Without an adequate explanation as to why your airbag did not inflate, the insurer may assume that the damages and injuries you reported are exaggerated. This erroneous assumption can lead to an unnecessary delay in or denial of your claim.

Airbag Deployment Can Help or Complicate Your NYC Car Accident Claim

When your airbag deploys after a crash as designed, not only can it help prevent severe or fatal injuries, but the deployment lets insurance companies know your wreck was more than a minor fender bender.

When it does not deploy as expected, make sure you share the details of your crash with your lawyer. Doing so allows your attorney to investigate why they did not inflate and seek other evidence to support your claim.

Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in New York, NY

If you need legal assistance, contact the New York City car accident lawyers at Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation.

We have two convenient locations in New York:

Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers – New York City Office
450 7th Ave #1605
New York, NY 10123
(212) 564-2800

Law Offices of Jay S. Knispel Personal Injury Lawyers – Brooklyn Office
26 Court St Suite 2511
Brooklyn, NY 11242
(718) 802-1600

Call Now Button