Defective Airbag Claims
Let’s examine one kind of claim which often leads to hearing loss and damage. Air bags save lives. They can also destroy hearing. The explosion of an airbag can create a deafening roar producing tremendous ear pain, loud ringing, and bleeding from the ear canals. When airbags are deployed, there is an inherent injury risk from the high-amplitude, short-duration noise from deployment. The peak amplitude may exceed 170 decibels. That’s really loud.
When an air bag deploys, a large percentage of people suffer from ringing in the ears, punctured eardrums, significant disequilibrium, and/or hearing loss. The hearing loss is likely caused either by the acoustic trauma of the deployment or by the contact of the patient’s face or ear with an airbag.
But air bag litigation is complex. One reason is that air bags are safety devices. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration produces estimates of the many lives air bags have saved and the countless injuries they have prevented.They are designed to inflate rapidly to prevent occupants from striking hard against interior objects such as steering wheels. Therefore, unless there was something truly defective about the air bag, an injury alone does not justify litigation.
The most successful cases involve non-deployment, late deployment, and excessively powered air bags. Sensor and/or wiring problems in the vehicle can lead to late or non-deployment. An accident reconstruction investigation must begin while the car is in its original post-crash condition.
These cases are very expensive to pursue and generally are handled only by law firms with a proven track record of success in airbag litigation.
A doctor can easily determine if the eardrums have been ruptured. They may heal in two to three weeks, but scar tissue can affect the ability to hear low sounds. The ringing can be permanent. Inner ear damage can affect high-frequency hearing. Tinnitus, also known as ringing in the ears, can be a debilitating condition. If it is brought on by trauma, it may be compensable in a personal injury lawsuit. Click here for my blog on proving damages in litigation involving Tinnitus.