Skip to Main Content
Call for a free Consultation 503-546-3167
banner background

Oregon Airbag
Injury Attorney

Start your free case review

We Represent Victims of Injuries Caused by Vehicle Airbags Throughout Oregon

Airbags have been mandatory in cars and light trucks since 1998. While they are undoubtedly a beneficial safety feature, reportedly saving over 50,000 lives within a 30-year period, they can also cause catastrophic injuries. The most recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic

Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that over 290 fatalities were attributed to airbags between 1990 and 2008.

Although most serious airbag injuries are caused by malfunctions, even properly working airbags can be deadly. However you acquired your airbag injuries, it is crucial to speak to an experienced Oregon car accident attorney to understand your legal rights. If negligence or a product failure was the cause of your injuries, you could be entitled to compensation that helps you rebuild your life.

The tenacious yet compassionate car accident attorneys at Johnston Law Firm are ready to hear your story and advise you on your route to justice. Schedule a free case evaluation today. Call us or fill out our online contact form, and we will get in touch very soon.


Why Airbag Injuries Happen

There are two main reasons for airbag injuries: (1) the driver or passenger being too close to the airbag, or (2) the airbag malfunctioning. Both issues can cause severe injuries and even death.

Airbag deployment injuries

Airbags deploy when vehicle crash sensors detect a car accident. They are usually set to deploy when the force of the crash is the equivalent of hitting a rigid wall at 10-12 mph if the person is unbelted – or 16 mph if the person is belted. Therefore, even relatively low-speed crashes can lead to airbag deployment.

Upon impact, the airbag’s electronic control unit sends a signal to an inflator in the airbag module. In less than 1/20th of a second, a chemical reaction causes the airbag to inflate.

According to the NHTSA, severe injuries or even death can occur if the driver or passenger is too close to properly working airbags or comes in direct contact with them when the airbag first starts to deploy. The organization’s advice is to sit as far back as possible from frontal airbags to prevent these injuries. Wearing a seatbelt is also crucial. 

Additionally, rear-facing car seats should not be used in front of active frontal airbags, and children aged 13 or under should not be allowed to sit in the passenger seat.

Airbag malfunctions

Tragically, defective airbags have caused serious injuries and driver fatalities in recent years. Takata, the airbag manufacturer, is currently recalling tens of millions of products installed in cars between 2002 and 2015. It was discovered that being exposed to heat and humidity over an extended period could cause airbags to explode during deployment. 

As of May 2024, these airbags had reportedly caused 27 deaths and over 400 injuries in the United States. While 88 percent of affected airbags have now been fixed, millions still remain on the road. You can check if your vehicle is affected on the NHTSA website.

Common Airbag Injuries

Airbag injuries can happen for a number of reasons, including:

  • Faulty airbag: When airbag crash sensors malfunction, they can deploy at the wrong time with serious consequences
  • Gas injuries: Inhaling the gas released during airbag deployment can cause respiratory conditions, such as pneumonitis
  • Shrapnel: Flying components from the propellant canister can strike drivers and front-seat passengers, causing injuries

Defective airbags generally cause the most severe injuries. However, even when they work correctly, and the vehicle occupants wear seatbelts, airbags have the potential to cause serious damage. 

Some common airbag injuries include:

  • Chest injuries, when the airbag impacts the chest during the collision
  • Fractures, especially to the skull, ribs, and wrists
  • Internal bleeding from the pressure of the airbag against the body
  • Facial injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Broken neck and whiplash injuries
  • Eye and ear injuries
  • Injuries to the fetus in a pregnant woman

Each accident is unique, so it is vital to seek qualified legal advice from a law firm that understands the complexities of this kind of personal injury lawsuit. At a free consultation, a Johnston Law Firm airbag injury attorney can listen to your story and may be able to pursue compensation for your losses.

What to Do After an Airbag Injury

After an accident, you must always seek immediate medical assistance. Even if you feel fine or think you have escaped with only minor injuries, always get yourself checked out. Some injuries have no immediate symptoms but can have devastating consequences later.

Immediately seeking medical attention could also help you establish a clear link between your car accident and your injuries. If you put off getting checked out, the insurance adjuster may argue your injuries were not caused by your car accident.

Before talking to an insurance company, talk to a car accident lawyer at Johnston Law Firm. If we take on your case, our personal injury lawyers can handle all aspects of your case, including all communications with insurance companies.

Crucial evidence in airbag injury cases

If you suspect that faulty airbags may have caused your injuries, make sure that valuable evidence is retained. Ideally, you will need to retain the vehicle, along with the airbag parts, to prove that airbag defects were the cause of your injuries.

This may be difficult if your car was declared a total loss and the insurance company wants to keep possession of it. Talk to the personal injury lawyers at Johnston Law Firm who may be able to help you keep your car and preserve vital evidence for your case.

Don’t miss out on these common personal injury mistakes.

Get the legal counsel you need to guide you through the process of filing an injury claim.

Getting Justice After an Airbag Injury

If a faulty airbag caused your injuries, you may be able to seek compensation for your losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. 

An airbag injury lawyer could help you pursue a claim against:

  • The airbag manufacturer
  • The vehicle manufacturer
  • Any party responsible for inspecting, maintaining, or replacing the airbag

To be successful, a car accident attorney must prove that the airbag was defective and that the fault was the direct cause of your injuries. Unlike many car accident cases, this will be a product liability case. This means that your attorney does not have to prove negligence – just that the product was defective.

When you are at fault for a car accident

It may be possible to recover damages for injuries caused by a defective airbag even if you were at fault for the car accident. So don’t quickly conclude that your case is invalid. Talk to a Johnston Law Firm airbag injury attorney to discover the legal options open to you.

When a loved one dies due to a faulty airbag

Losing a cherished family member is a tragedy under any circumstances. When it results from a defective airbag that should have protected your loved one, the distress is compounded. Sadly, both passenger and driver fatalities have occurred due to faulty airbags. In such situations, the surviving family members have the right to pursue justice for their deceased relative.

During your free consultation, a Johnston Law Firm wrongful death attorney will listen compassionately to your story. He or she will talk you through the legal avenues available that can enable you to rebuild your life after your tragic loss.

Asked Questions

To prove that an airbag caused your injury, gather medical records detailing your injuries and their alignment with airbag deployment. Collect accident reports, photographs, and witness statements to support your claim. Consulting with automotive experts to analyze the airbag’s performance and obtaining documentation of any relevant recalls or defects can strengthen your case significantly.

In Oregon, you generally have two years from the date of your airbag injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. This statute of limitations is crucial to observe to ensure your right to seek compensation is preserved.

Yes, you can still pursue an airbag injury claim even if the vehicle was subject to a recall. The key is to prove that the injury was directly caused by the airbag defect. Documentation of the recall, evidence of injury, and expert analysis will be crucial in building a strong case for compensation.

The resolution of an airbag injury case can take several months to a few years, depending on the complexity of the case, the severity of the injury, and whether it settles out of court or goes to trial. If you contact our airbag injury attorneys, they can provide a more specific timeline based on your situation.

Most airbag injury cases in Oregon are settled out of court through negotiations between your attorney and the responsible parties’ insurers. Settlements are often preferred for their faster resolution and lower costs. However, if a fair settlement cannot be reached, your case may go to trial. Your attorney will guide you on the best course of action based on the specifics of your case and evidence available.

johnston profile

Let Johnston Law Firm Firm Fight for Your Rights

When the airbags that should protect you let you down, make sure you choose a lawyer who won’t. The car accident attorneys at Johnston Law Firm understand that liability in car accidents can be complex and may include car companies and airbag manufacturers. 

Our car accident lawyers have the skills and experience you need to sift carefully through the evidence and build a strong case. When you hire us, we will use all the resources at our disposal to give you the very best chance of recovering maximum damages for the injuries you have suffered.

So don’t delay. Let Johnston Law Firm fight for your rights and the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free consultation by calling our representatives standing by 24/7 or filling out our contact form today.


Contact Us for a FREE Consultation

If you have been seriously injured at no fault of your own, please contact us using the form.


CALL 503-546-3167 NOW