Airbags and Heart Valve

Airbags and Heart Valves

I’m Ed Smith, a Personal Injury Attorney in Sacramento. Over the past few decades, the safety advancements in motor vehicles have come a long way. Now, almost every car has multiple airbags that are around to protect the driver and the passengers in the event of a car accident. Sometimes, these airbags can harm people instead of protecting them. A recent case report demonstrated exactly this.

The Role of the Airbag: Safety in Cars

Since the invention of the car, safety advances have come a long way. Cars now have seatbelts to restrain drivers and passengers in the event of an auto accident, airbags that deploy to prevent people from colliding with the dashboard on impact, and numerous other advanced technological features. Newer vehicles often have backup cameras, parking assist devices, and blind spot monitoring cameras to keep everyone safe. When it comes to airbags, they can provide valuable protection against traumatic injuries. When someone impacts another vehicle or object, the airbag is supposed to inflate and deploy quickly. It is coated with numerous advanced chemicals and solutions that allow it to inflate before someone is able to strike the dashboard or steering wheel. These are valuable safety devices for not only the driver but also everyone else in the car as well. Almost every car also has airbags to protect the front passenger and some cars and trucks even have airbags that will protect someone from injuring their knees. Many cars also have side curtain airbags that will protect people from the glass of a shattered window. Unfortunately, sometimes, these devices can backfire. If this happens, people can wind up with unnecessary injuries that might land them in the hospital.

Unexpected Injuries Can Result

While airbags operate properly the vast majority of the time and have saved a massive number of lives, they do have the potential to misfire. Recently, a case report was published that details the story of a child who was sitting in the front seat of the car. The car impacted a guardrail on the right side of the vehicle. This impact caused the airbag on the boy's side of the car to deploy and struck him in the chest with incredible force. The child stated that he "felt funny" and passed out shortly before the paramedics arrived. They realized that his heart was suffering a serious arrhythmia and had to shock him back into proper rhythm. He was transported to a local hospital where it was discovered that one of his heart valves had ruptured. This constitutes a significant injury to the heart that could be life-threatening. The heart valves are responsible for making sure that the heart fills and pumps properly. The boy underwent emergent surgery to replace his damaged heart valve.

Proper Testing is Vital

This case report serves to highlight an exampled of a safety device going horribly wrong. While the child probably should not have been seated in the front seat of the car, the airbag company should have warned people of the dangers of these devices. If airbags aren't tested properly, this can result in catastrophic personal injuries which could leave families with chronic medical problems to deal with. This case report is only one example and there have been numerous recalls over the years due to safety issues related to motor vehicles. Some of these have even involved airbags, the very devices designed to keep people safe from harm in the event of an accident.

Legal Help for Unusual Events and Accidents

Airbags are meant to protect people and when they go wrong, major class action lawsuits can result, including the events of the Takata recall; however, this is little solace for the individual who has landed in the hospital because of an airbag misfire. When someone has their heart valve damaged by an airbag that goes off inappropriately, they can be impacted for the rest of their life. This can lead to costly bills that families may have trouble paying. This, among many other sources of stress, is why it is important to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer to review all of the options available. An experienced personal injury attorney can walk a family through a stressful situation by:

  • Ensuring that an accident is investigated fully
  • Speaking with both car and health insurance companies to make sure claims are handled appropriately
  • Assisting with legal action if this is deemed appropriate
  • Helping to fill out the extreme amounts of paperwork that can sometimes result

Most importantly, a caring injury lawyer can make sure that a family never feels like they have been left alone to fend for themselves. This can be a scary situation and individuals and families should never hesitate to ask for help when it is needed.

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, a Personal Injury Attorney in Sacramento. When a safety device that is intended to protect people from harm misfires and leads to significant injuries, it is important to investigate the circumstances with the guidance of a legal advocate. We serve this purpose for our clients. I can be reached by calling (916) 921-6400 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400. Our firm provides free, friendly and no-obligation advice.

I am privileged to be a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum of California. Our forum has produced many of the country's top lawyers. The members of our group have both been granted verdicts and negotiated valuable case settlements worth more than $1 Million Dollars.

Please pause for a moment to take a glance at my verdicts and settlements which are stored here.

Every guest should read over some of the summaries and reviews authored by our past clients and stored on Avvo, Yelp, and Google Plus.

Image Source: The heart valve from the top of this page was originally found on Wikimedia Commons and has been shown here with the permission of the CC License, version 3.0.

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Ed Smith and his office team took on a difficult personal injury case on my behalf and for the passenger in my car. Ed is a top- notch attorney. His staff couldn't have been more helpful and kind. No need to look elsewhere. I give Ed Smith my highest recommendation. Beverly
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