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Why Didn’t My Airbags Deploy in My Crash? What Do I Do?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it only takes a properly functioning airbag 1/20th of a second to inflate. In fact, in the past 20 years, airbags have saved over 50,000 lives.

But what if your airbags didn’t deploy during an accident? Do you have a case?

The answer is yes. You might have a case if the airbags failed to inflate upon impact. You could pursue legal action against the car manufacturer, airbag manufacturer, or another party.

Here’s what to do if your airbags didn’t work when you needed them most.

Steps to Take If Your Airbags Didn’t Deploy

After any car accident, it’s a good idea to seek medical attention if you feel pain or notice any injuries. If your airbags fail to deploy and you’re not seriously hurt, here are a few steps you can take to protect your rights.

Report the Accident

You should notify the police immediately after an accident, especially if you experience an airbag malfunction. Make sure the officer includes this detail in their report.

Document What You Can

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and flustered following an accident. Try to remain calm and document the following:

  • Details of the crash including the location, your speed, traffic signs, etc.
  • Take photos of the scene, vehicle damage, and injuries
  • Get the contact information for any witnesses

Consult a Personal Injury Lawyer

Defective airbag claims are complicated. It takes an experienced product liability lawyer to understand the complexity of this area of law.

Your attorney can help you navigate the legal process and pursue the compensation you deserve. You may be able to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer and collect damages from the “at fault” driver as well.

Your attorney will examine all the evidence in your case to determine the best steps forward.

Why Didn’t My Airbags Deploy?

Unfortunately, airbags don’t always work perfectly. For example, Takata airbags have been recalled due to defects that killed several people, rather than saving them.

Airbags are designed to deploy during moderate and serious crashes. For various safety reasons, they do not deploy in every type of accident.

Whether an airbag deploys depends on various factors, including:

  • The speed the vehicle is traveling
  • The location of the crash sensors
  • The direction of the impact
  • The airbag system’s design
  • The other vehicles involved in the crash

There are multiple reasons an airbag may fail to work properly. It’s important to talk to an experienced car accident attorney to discuss the details of your accident.

If your airbags should have deployed during a crash but did not, your attorney will investigate to determine the actual cause of airbag failure.

Some common reasons for airbag failure include:

  • Computer issues
  • Previous crashes
  • Defective crash sensors
  • Design or manufacturing defects
  • A minor crash
  • A child in the front seat

Airbag Malfunctions

If an airbag fails to deploy, it can lead to serious or devastating injuries. Airbag malfunctions can injure drivers and passengers. Some malfunctions include:

  • Failure to deploy
  • Aggressively deploying
  • Deploying at the wrong time
  • Deploying too late
  • Exploding airbags

Airbag Injuries

Airbag malfunction is a serious problem that can result in serious injury or death. Airbags that deploy in the wrong way or at the wrong time can lead to even worse injuries for drivers and passengers.

In extreme cases, airbags can explode, sending shrapnel flying through the vehicle. This can lead to devastating injuries or death for anyone in the vehicle.

Some common airbag injuries include:

  • Facial lacerations
  • Broken bones
  • Chest injuries
  • Skin scarring
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Head injuries
  • Internal bleeding
  • Fractured ribs
  • Punctured lungs

The most common injuries from airbag malfunctions are head and facial injuries. The airbag is designed to protect your face and head during a crash.

Without the cushion of the airbag, your head and face can violently impact the steering wheel or window. This can lead to serious facial injuries and life-threatening trauma.

Strict Liability

A product manufacturer may be liable for any damages that occur due to a defective product. Even if the manufacturer isn’t aware of the issue and could not have prevented the defect, they may still be liable.


An airbag may fail to deploy if someone damages it or tampers with it during a repair. For example, a mechanic may mishandle the airbag or damage a replacement airbag during installation.

To prove negligence, your attorney must show that the defendant owed a duty of care and failed to provide it. They must show the breach of duty caused your injury.

Breach of Warranty

In a breach of a warranty claim, you must show the manufacturer has breached an implied warranty or express warranty. These cases are rare and complicated.

It takes an experienced personal injury with knowledge of warranty claims and the laws related to warranty breaches to handle these types of cases.

Hire the Best Personal Injury Lawyer

If you’ve been injured due to a faulty airbag, you may be dealing with medical bills, lost wages, and emotional pain and suffering as well. We understand what a stressful and difficult time you’re facing.

If your airbags didn’t deploy, hiring a personal injury lawyer is the best next step. Airbags are in place to protect you. If they don’t, you have rights.

Our team at RHINO Lawyers wants to help! We will talk with you and evaluate your claim. And we don’t get paid unless you win your case.

Contact RHINO Lawyers today to schedule a free case evaluation.


In short, after a car accident, you may not know your rights. Above all, don’t struggle through the process alone. Actually, our personal injury team is here to help you with any legal needs you might have regarding your accident.

Lastly, let RHINO Lawyers answer your questions and review the facts of your case with a Free Consultation. So, get started by completing the “Free Instant Case Evaluation” or by calling us any time, day or night, at 844.RHINO.77.