How To Make An Airbag Injury Compensation Claim

airbag injury compensation claim

Airbag injury claims guide

By Fern Easton. Last Updated 18th February  2021. Welcome to our guide on making an airbag injury compensation claim. When people think of an airbag, they think of a soft inflatable cushion that helps to prevent injuries in a car accident. This may be true, but although they are known to reduce injury statistics, an airbag can cause injuries itself. While it may sometimes help prevent serious injuries in an accident, an airbag can cause injuries to hands, the face, the chest, as well as internal injuries. They can vary in severity, and treatment for an airbag injury may also greatly vary according to what type it is and how serious it is.

It is possible to make an airbag injury claim if you have been injured by an airbag in an accident. Your airbag injury symptoms may have been caused by a failed deployment of an airbag, a defective airbag, or they may even have been caused by a normal operating airbag as a result of an accident that was not your fault. These cases can vary greatly in establishing who is liable to cover your compensation for an airbag injury, but even if there is split liability, it may still be possible for you to make a claim.

This guide outlines the basics of making a no win no fee personal injury claim for an airbag injury. It contains information on the common causes, the types, and the process of claiming for an injury caused by an airbag in an accident that was not your fault. If you can’t find what you’re looking for here, or you have any further questions about making a claim, our team is always happy to oblige and provide free, no-obligation legal advice. You can contact us today on 0800 073 8801, or if you prefer, you can have us call you back at a time you choose by filling out our online contact form.

Select A Section

  1. A Guide To Making An Airbag Injury Claim
  2. What Are Airbag Injuries?
  3. How Do Airbags Work?
  4. What Injuries Could Be Caused By An Airbag?
  5. Preventing Airbag Injuries
  6. Injuries Caused By Defective Airbags
  7. Airbag Manufacturers Duty Of Care To Car Drivers And Passengers
  8. How Do I Prove My Airbag Injury Claim?
  9. What Should I Do If I Have Suffered An Airbag Injury?
  10. Airbag Injury Claims Calculator
  11. Special Damages Which Victims Of Airbag Injury Could Claim
  12. No Win No Fee Airbag Injury Claim
  13. How Our Team Could Help You Claim For An Airbag Injury
  14. Start Your Airbag Injury Claim Today
  15. Essential References

A Guide To Making An Airbag Injury Claim

This guide has been designed to discuss the topic of making an airbag injury claim. It is common for people to ask, “Can airbags cause injuries?” They ask this because many people may not realise that even though airbags are designed to help prevent injury, they can sometimes be the cause themselves.

Airbag injury symptoms could be caused by a faulty airbag, through the incorrect deployment of an airbag, or by a normally working airbag that deployed because of an accident. The injuries resulting from this can vary from minor to severe, and in some cases, treatment for an airbag injury could include hospitalisation. It is no surprise to us then that people may seek compensation for an airbag injury that was caused by an accident or issue that was not their fault.

Throughout this guide, we have included sections that explain how airbags work, possible injuries they may cause, who may have a duty of care to drivers and passengers, and advice on what to do if you have suffered from an airbag injury. This guide also contains information on how no win no fee claims work, as well as a personal injury claims calculator that may help to give you an idea of the typical amounts awarded for airbag injuries in the UK. Read on for more information, and if you ever need further information, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly advisors.

What Are Airbag Injuries?

When trying to understand how an airbag can cause an injury, people may ask, “What is an airbag injury?” or “How do you treat an airbag injury?”

Essentially, an airbag can cause an injury even in normal deployment due to the fact that it deploys and inflates rapidly, coming into contact with a person’s body at high speed. If a bag deploys incorrectly because of a faulty installation or because it has a manufacturing fault, it can either fail to prevent injuries from a crash or cause further injury because it threw out debris as it deployed.

Airbag injury claims can include injuries to different parts of the body depending on a person’s height and how close their seat is positioned to the steering wheel or airbag itself. Airbag injury symptoms can vary depending on the type, and they have been known to occur mainly in the upper body. You can:

  • Develop airbag injuries to your arms
  • Airbag injury to the chest
  • Traumatic brain injury from an airbag
  • A fractured skull
  •  Fractured ribs

There are many other possible injuries, and they can range from minor to very severe. Due to the variable nature of these injuries, airbag injury treatment is also greatly varying and depends purely on the type, location, and severity. We have included more detailed information on the possible types below.

How Do Airbags Work?

As mentioned, airbags are designed to help prevent and reduce serious injuries caused by a collision. They are positioned at different points all over a vehicle but are primarily found in the steering wheel and dashboard in front of the front passenger seat. They are deployed during a collision by crash sensors that notice a sharp reduction in speed and then triggers the release of the airbags. Essentially an airbag is a large nylon sack that is quickly filled with a gas that helps to absorb the impact of a sudden stop of the person sitting in the seat. It also creates a cushion between the person and the wheel or dashboard, helping to prevent them from coming into contact with either in the event of a crash.

They deploy at about 200mph from their housing, and the reason for this is to have the bag fully inflated before a person can come into contact with it or something else in the event of a crash. While this may help to prevent injuries, it can also be the main cause of airbag injuries, either in normal deployment, if there is a fault, or if it fails to deploy at all.

To find out what injuries you might make an airbag injury compensation claim for, read on.

What Injuries Could Be Caused By An Airbag?

When someone pictures airbag injuries, they might think of neck or head injuries. However, there is a wide range of possible injuries a person might develop after an accident involving an airbag.  You may ask, “Do airbag burns scar?” or “What are common airbag injuries?” We have added a list below to give you a little more information on the common injuries caused by an airbag, which can include but are not limited to:

  • An abrasion, contusion, or burns on the skin
  • A wrist injury like a sprain or strain
  • A spinal injury
  • A fracture or break in certain bones in the upper body as a result of blunt force trauma
  • A skull fracture
  • A rib cage injury
  • An internal injury such as a ruptured heart muscle, or damage to other organs, and internal bleeding
  • Head injuries such as a concussion or brain damage
  • Eye injuries
  • In pregnant women, it is also possible for damage to be caused to the baby or other injuries

It might be possible to claim for any of the above injuries if they were caused by an accident or issue with an airbag that was not your fault. It may be possible to claim compensation for airbag burns, fractures, head injuries, etc. If you believe your airbag injuries have been caused by something that was not your fault, like a car accident, or fault in the bag itself, contact us today for advice on making a claim.

Preventing Airbag Injuries

There are steps you can take to help prevent an injury from an airbag, and these can include:

  • Avoid positioning seats too close to the steering wheel or dashboard, and try to keep them at least 10 inches away.
  • Avoid allowing children younger than 12 to sit on the front passenger seat, and always ensure that you have used the correct car seat for their height and weight. Children should also be sat in the correct position and securely restrained at all times.
  • Ensure everyone wears their seat-belt, as not wearing one increases the chances of being injured by the airbag as they are designed to work in conjunction with each other.

Injuries Caused By Defective Airbags

An airbag injury claim can be made for injuries caused by defective airbags. These claims are different because they fall under the law of strict liability, as the injuries they caused would not have happened if the bag was not defective. In these cases, to claim compensation for an airbag injury, you may need to collect evidence that there was unreasonable danger caused by a defective bag, incorrect installation, assembly issues, etc., which caused your airbag injury symptoms and subsequent need for treatment.

If you can collect this evidence, then you could have valid grounds to pursue a case against an airbag or car manufacturer, or in certain cases, a garage that was responsible for checking the airbags but failed to notice a fault or issue.

Airbag Manufacturers Duty Of Care To Car Drivers And Passengers

An airbag manufacturer has a duty of care to ensure that they follow expected standards and reduce the chances of an injury occurring as a result of a defect or fault on their part. In the event that an injury is caused because of a faulty airbag, or an airbag that failed to operate correctly because of a manufacturing error, they could be liable to pay compensation for an airbag injury if that person pursues a claim against them.

How Do I Prove My Airbag Injury Claim?

If you’ve decided you would like to start an airbag injury compensation claim but aren’t sure where to begin, this section can help. A personal injury solicitor could help guide you through the process of collecting all the necessary information, facts and evidence needed to support your claim. As we will outline in the next section, there are multiple things you should keep a record of and steps you should take in gathering evidence that could make a vital difference to making your claim a successful one. This can include; medical reports, witness details; photographs of the accident and your injuries; video evidence of the accident; the other driver’s details; evidence that there was a manufacturing fault; as well as details of anyone else that may have been involved.

What Should I Do If I Have Suffered An Airbag Injury

If you suffer from an airbag injury and wish to make a claim, there are some important things you could do that could help to greatly strengthen your case. These can include collecting important information relating directly to your injury and the accident that caused it.

  • Although you might automatically seek medical attention for your airbag injury symptoms, it is important to keep any medical reports given by the medical professional who gave you treatment for your airbag injury. This helps to provide evidence of the extent of the damage later on, which may be used in calculating your overall compensation for an airbag injury.
  • Photographic evidence is very helpful in showing the extent of your injuries, in analysing the scene of an accident, or in assisting in proving liability in some cases, and it is always highly recommended to take photos yourself or have someone take photos on your behalf.
  • If there were any witnesses for what happened, you might want to take their details, as your solicitor could ask them to make an official statement about what they saw during your accident. Their statements could be used in support of your case, and proving that what you said happened, actually happened.
  • Evidence of financial costs should also be gathered and kept track of. This includes travel costs, medical costs, care costs, etc., all of which may be included as part of your claim.
  • Keep a log of everything that happens and write down everything you remember about the accident. This includes the time leading up to it, the accident itself, and events that have happened since then. This can help you keep track of everything, as memory can fade or become confused over time.

Airbag Injury Claims Calculator

Injuries caused by airbags can vary significantly, and any amounts awarded for said injuries will vary according to the severity and overall impact on a person’s life. You might want to contact us directly so we can give you more accurate estimated figures relating to your personal injuries. Despite this, we have included a personal injury claims calculator to help give you an idea of the typical amounts awarded for airbag injuries in the UK.

InjuryAmountComments on severity
Very Severe Brain Damage £264,650 to £379,100This bracket is for head injuries resulting the person being in a non-responsive to very little response state, requiring full time care.
Moderate Brain Damage (iii) £40,410 to £85,150In these cases, the person has experienced a change in memory and concentration, their work ability has been reduced and there is a small risk of epilepsy.
Severe Neck Injuries In the region of £139,210This bracket is for cases resulting in incomplete paraplegia or permanent spastic quadriparesis.
Moderate Neck Injuries £23,460 to £36,120This bracket is for cases where severe fractures and symptoms may require spinal fusion to treat and experience symptoms that affect other parts of the body.
Severe Shoulder Injuries £18,020 to £45,070This bracket is for injuries that commonly accompany neck injuries resulting in significant disability.
Moderate Shoulder Injuries £7,410 to £11,980This includes cases of frozen shoulder, soft tissue damage and limited mobility with symptoms lasting two years.
Chest Injury (a) £94,470 to £140,870Resulting in the removal of one lung, damage to the heart, a permanent significant scarring.
Chest Injury (c) £29,380 to £51,460Continuing disability caused by damage to the lungs and chest.
Severe Arm Injury £90,250 to £122,860This bracket is for injuries just below amputation but are severe enough that the arm is still of no use.
Serious Damage To Both Hands £52,310 to £79,360This bracket is for injuries resulting significant loss of function, and permanent cosmetic disability.

The above figures are only indicative, and we always recommend getting in touch with us to discuss more accurate estimations that are directly related to your individual situation.

Special Damages Which Victims Of Airbag Injury Could Claim

As with any personal injury, calculating compensation for an airbag injury will usually be based on how serious the injury was and the effect it had on your quality of life. This is known as claiming general damages for the pain and suffering endured as a result of your injury. There are, however, other special damages that can be included as part of your airbag injury compensation claim. Every claim is different, and not all of these may be a part of your claim, but we have included some of them below to help you understand what could be claimed.

  • Medical expenses accrued for treatment of your airbag injury symptoms, for prescription costs, physiotherapy sessions, or counselling sessions could be included as part of your claim.
  • Loss of earnings can be claimed for if your injury prevents you from working, forces you to seek other employment, or affects your ability to work in the future.
  • A care claim could be filed if you required care while recovering from your injuries. In this case, the claim would be made by the person who cares for you.
  • Costs of travel could also be included if they built up while attending medical appointments for your injury. You can also include travel costs incurred while attending legal appointments directly related to your case.

No Win No Fee Airbag Injury Claim

No win no fee is defined by its name. Essentially with a no win no fee claim, if it is not successful, you will not have to pay the personal legal fees of the solicitor who handled your case. This is because no win no fee cases are handled via a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), which also states that in the event that the claim is won, the fees for the solicitor are deducted from the overall amount awarded.

A solicitor’s personal legal fees are limited to a maximum of 25% of the overall award, and these fees, plus any additional costs, should always be agreed upon by you and your solicitor before you proceed with making a claim. Here at Accident Claims UK, our solicitors handle all of our personal injury claims on a no win no fee basis.

How Our Team Could Help You Claim For An Airbag Injury

If you choose to proceed with making a claim, our advisors will use all the facts you give them about your situation to match you with the right solicitor for your case. Having a solicitor with experience in handling cases similar to yours is one of the ways we try to secure the best possible outcome for your claim. Your personal injury lawyer will keep you informed during every step of your case, keeping you up to date on its progress and ensuring you understand the stages and actions required during the process. We are dedicated to trying to secure you the best possible amount to compensate you for your injuries and the hardship you have suffered.

Start Your Airbag Injury Claim Today

If you think you might have grounds to make a claim, try to contact us sooner rather than later. This is because the personal injury claims time limit is generally 3 years for most claims and can vary depending on the circumstances. Contact us today to find out about making a claim on 0800 073 8801, and our friendly advisors can answer all of your questions. Alternatively, you can use our online contact form to arrange a time for us to call you back.

Airbag injury FAQs

How long does it take airbag injuries to heal? 

The amount of time it takes an airbag injury to heal will depend on the kind of injuries sustained in the accident. As these are wide-ranging, there’s no one answer to the question “how long will my airbag injuries take to heal?”.

For minor scrapes and bruises, you should be back to normal within a week or two. Fractures to bones in your upper body can take around 6 to 8 weeks to heal, and this can be even longer if the fracture was complicated. Some injuries caused by airbags, like spinal injuries or head injuries, might have a permanent effect.

How quickly should my airbag deploy? 

Airbags are extremely quick at deploying and can fill with 30 litres of gas within 25 and 40 milliseconds. Once they inflate, the air immediately starts to leave the bag through vents.

The timing of the airbag’s deployment is really important in its effectiveness at keeping you safe. If the airbag deploys too quickly, then by the time you hit it it will have already begun to deflate. This would mean the cushioning effect of the airbag would be reduced. And if the airbag deploys too late, then you may have already made an impact with your steering wheel or dashboard.

Essential References

Whiplash – See our online guide to making a claim for whiplash injuries

Road Traffic Accident Claims – See our online guide to making a claim for a road traffic accident.

Claiming As A Passenger In A Car Accident – See our online guide to making a claim as a passenger involved in a car accident.

Airbag And Vehicle Passenger Safety

Road Safety Fact Sheet – See this factsheet from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA).

Child Car Seats – See this article from ROSPA for more information on airbags and child car seats.

How To Check If A Vehicle, Part Or Accessory Has Been Recalled – See this government page on how to check if there has been a recall on your car or any parts of it.

When to visit A&E– An NHS guide to visiting A&E

Thank you for reading our guide on pursuing an airbag injury compensation claim.

Article by JF.

Edited by CK.